You might be surprised to hear that, for a hefty sum by the standards of most mortals, you can actually pay someone (a Registered Nurse someone, not just anyone, mind you) to cure your hangover by stopping by your home, sticking a needle in your arm and dripping liquids into your veins until they’re positively brimming with vitamin and anti-oxidant goodness. Or maybe you’re already onto this game, maybe you’re a rich bank boy who can’t possibly take a day off from destroying the world for something as frivolous as a hangover. In that case, my sincerest apologies.
The Hangover Club, a slick, at-home hangover treatment service, is a leader in the IV-therapy trend wave. And the good doctors and nurses at this miracle touting operation were kind enough to let us take their wonder baby out for a spin. And girl did we ever relish in the opportunity to abuse our vital organs and sop up all manner of boozes with wild abandon.
The service, which was founded by Asa Kitfield and his partner and the company’s medical director Dr. Maurice Beer (probably the most aptly named physician of all time), promises delivery within 45 minutes within Manhattan, and also makes runs to the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights areas as well as Long Island City. It isn’t just for finance boys– it’s also for power broking girls. And Asa’s father is a doctor, so he says he was familiar growing up with “the idea of injectable wellness.”
“I was talking with a friend of my dad’s and he said in med school when they would go out and party too hard they would do a bag of saline during exams and that would keep them on top of their game,” he said. Back in May, Asa’s bachelor party was the perfect opportunity for he and his pals (one of them was a nurse, don’t freak out) to try it out for themselves. “At one point we must have been halfway to dying, and within an hour I was back to normal.”
Asa said he knew he’d stumbled onto something here and decided to recruit some nurses and start offering the service in New York City under the auspices of Dr. Beer.
“Obviously with hangovers there’s the problem of dehydration, but when you go out and drink a lot your magnesium levels get depleted very quickly, and if you’re still a little drunk or hungover you’re going to have trouble absorbing those in your GI tract quickly,” Asa explained. “Really, the only way to get a therapeutic concentration of certain vitamins in your body is through IV therapy.”
The Hangover Club offers not just saline of course, but a cocktail of vitamins and medications to address symptoms of nausea and aches and pains. But the business will soon expand beyond the hangover realm to include health and wellness geared IV therapy.
I was excited to try it out and I only make fun because the service is expensive (as in, between $129 and $249 per session). But perhaps justifiably so when you consider that a Fairy God Mother of sorts, or just an exceedingly pleasant, well-mannered handsome young man nurse arrives at your doorstep with a totable IV tower and the gift of life after the previous night’s Alcoholocaust.
Still, this isn’t something us proles could afford to do each and every time we get a hangover. But I hate to admit it, if I had a seriously important something happening that say my job or livelihood depended upon, and my characteristic weak willpower kicked in the night before and I made like I was some brunch tart on a late Saturday afternoon and got falling-down piss-tanked, I might consider calling the Hangover Club.
Wednesday night, I took to the bottle. I took to it with unbridled enthusiasm, not just because this was an assignment, but because I’d spent four hours and 45 minutes at an emotionally exhausting play, The Iceman Cometh. You better believe I payed $5 for a glorified sippy cup so I could pound back beers while Nathan Lane as Hickey (an alcoholic salesman) screamed in my face about getting sober: “I know you become such a coward that you’ll grab at any lousy excuse to get out of killing your pipe dreams. And yet, as I’ve told you over and over, it’s exactly those damned tomorrow dreams which keep you from making peace with yourself. So you’ve got to kill them like I did.”
Not today, Hickey. Not today. Beers slipped away as did the hours. I knew I was nearing the threshold of no return when I saw John Slattery (aka Roger Sterling aka Silver Dream Fox) standing in line for the bar while hiding behind glasses and a baseball cap and I blurted out with not-mock joy, “ROGER!” only to have him give me a quizzical look in response to my glassy-eyed, grotesque beer grin.
After the third intermission I was really losing my grip. Suddenly Hugo (the former editor of an anarchist newspaper and now passed out drunk) cried out, “Life is just a crazy monkey face!” Yes, Hugo. Life is a crazy monkey face, I thought, and laughed loudly in support of his assertion. He’s on to something. But it wasn’t until later that I would know exactly what he meant by that.
After the play things are a little hazy but somehow I ended up at a bar close to my house improbably chatting about weddings (uh, I hate weddings) with a newly engaged bartender and a guest who seemed more excited about it than she was. “HAHAHAHA NO YOU HAVE TO TELL THE PHOTOGRAPHER NOT TO TAKE STUPID PICTURES.”
Two Negronis, some bourbon, and more beers later I was facedown in my bed. I woke up feeling the glow of success: I was hungover, really hungover. I had a vague headache and was nauseated to boot. I wasn’t about to puke or anything, but only because I was still drunk. This relatively warm feeling would only last for so long–my body was still half expecting me to pour more booze in it. I was supremely sluggish and above all so mentally handicapped I could barely navigate the internet. Translation: I would not have performed well at work.
I’m well-versed in the various types of hangovers my body gets locked into and this was definitely the kind that only gets worse with the day. Though I didn’t have to suffer long until Josh James, my gracious RN arrived with a backpack full of goodies and his compact IV totem.
Josh hooked me up with the Hangover Club’s “Mega” cocktail (one of three levels) which includes that delicious Saline drip plus a hefty dose of Vitamin C to boost the immune system, Magnesium for a soothing effect, a Glutathione Detox boost (a powerful anti-oxidant that makes you feel energized and revitalized), and a butt-ton of Vitamin Bs. Josh also handed me a grape flavored melty tablet to pop under my tongue to relieve my building desire to vom. Thanks Josh!
I must say, at first I was a little dubious. In the first moments I felt a little rush— popping a needle in your vein and getting plugged up to a bag that slowly disappears straight into your bloodstream inspires a certain sense of immediacy. But after the initial excitement, I realized I still felt like steaming garbage. This booze hound felt she needed more.
But after about an hour to two hours, I felt as though my hangover had slowly subsided. And suddenly it was gone. Dangerously so. I actually hate knowing there is something that can fix my ever-present affliction. And thank our dear dark lord below that I can’t afford such luxuries, because without hangovers I might be liable to be drunk, like, all the time.
So what did Hugo’s monkey face have to do with all this? Well, Hugo (who hovered somewhere between anarchist and Marxist socialist) was want to trash talk bourgeois luxuries, belonging to a class of people he often equated with “stupid monkey faces.” Hugo would have certainly demanded that all members of the Hangover Club be immediately sentenced to execution by firing squad.
And as if to enrage Hugo’s Marxist sensibilities even more, Asa noted that the Hangover Club has plans to team up with popular brunch spots in the city for a hangover cure brunch, which means the end of humanity, basically, and the spawn of a whole new brunch monster.
I’m not saying I agree– Hugo was a crazy man who spent most of The Iceman Cometh passed out wasted, but he’s got a point. The Hangover Club, as amazing as it is, is really only accessible to a certain class of people. That class, along with brunch and car service and health insurance, will be getting another leg up on people. Whereas hangovers were once the great equalizer, now they too can be bought out.