August 14, 2004


I have a hangover. I can't remember the last time I had a hangover. But I've got one today. And it's not because I drank a lot, rather it's the combination of what I did drink. I wasn't even drunk. Buzzed for a bit, yes. Drunk, no. So why is my body insisting on exhibiting all the symptoms of having been on a major binge? Go figure. Another joy of age? Am I just out of practice? I'd be okay with that, but I know it's really because I ignored a lesson I'd learned the hard way a long time ago.

It started innocently enough. I hopped the Metro to meet up with Wendy and some of her co-workers for a farewell happy hour. Farewell to a co-worker moving on to a new job. I had never before met this particular co-worker, but I felt like I knew her. Wendy keeps me up to date on folks at her office. But I knew the other folks from other social gatherings and office functions. She works with good people. And happy hours with this group are fun and interesting.

Because of work commitments I didn't get there until after happy hour had ended and happy evening had begun. Happiness abounded. We were all drinking draft beer. Until Tom bought a round of shooters for everyone. Usually I refrain from doing shooters and I've never regretted it. I know my body does not react well to mixing liquor and beer. But last night, those little shooters looked tasty and refreshing. Fruity. Frothy. Sweet. I raised the little shotglass and drank with the others. Can't remember what we toasted, but I'm certain it was heartfelt and sincere. I also don't know the name of or ingredients in the shooter. A hint of Amaretto and sweet pineapple juice I could identify. But as to the rest? Clueless.

All told for the three and a half hour span we were at the bar, I drank two draft beers and two of those tasty sweet frothy refreshing shooters. And devoured a dish of spinach artichoke dip on little toasted strips of bread (which was, btw, not as good as my own recipe).

When we got home after midnight, I drank a bottle of water before bed. A big bottle. To flush things out and such. Water is good for what ails you, I always say.

So why did I wake up with a pounding head, queasy stomach and fog-filled brain? How could something that tasted so good going down disagree with me so many hours later? I know why. Because I've learned the lesson before and just chose to ignore it last night. But the next time those folks order up shooters, I'll politely decline. Because mixing beer and liquor is not a good idea.

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