Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hangover Heaven

As a board-certified anesthesiologist, Jason Burke had plenty of lucrative career options. Hospitals, specialty clinics, and outpatient surgery centers around the country are always looking for competent professionals, but he decided that he could best serve humanity by treating one very underserved affliction; the Las Vegas hangover. Thus, Hangover Heaven was born.

Armed with what appears to be a decommissioned Aerosmith tour bus, Burke and his staff cruise the Vegas strip in search of those whose evening debauchery has left them with morning discomfort. For a few hundred dollars, you will be placed in one of the bus’s six bunk beds and connected to an IV drip of proprietary hangover-busting health elixir which promises to have back you ready to make poor decisions in no time. For those unable to extricate themselves from their hotel room, Hangover Heaven even offers in-room service for an additional surcharge.
While I can definitely see the market for “in-room” treatment, Dr. Burke may be placing himself in a vulnerable position because there are nicknames for people who spend extended periods of time in the Vegas hotel rooms of excessive drinkers: accessories after the fact. Even so, this might still be preferable to driving handfuls of extremely nauseas people around in a windowless bus for an hour because I could definitely foresee some custodial issues arising.

The website features video testimonials from customers like Michael who, after consuming at least “three bottles of vodka” by himself, found it difficult to get out of bed the next morning. In another video, Alex reveals that after “thirty drinks or more” he woke up suffering from nausea and a headache. Richard claims that he drank for a straight ten hours. All three gentlemen indicated that within an hour of receiving Dr. Burke’s treatment their hangovers were gone.

The video testimonials are somewhat odd in the fact that they seem to be differing perspectives of the same night since all of them feature the same males and one blonde female in the background. It is puzzling that we are not presented with the female’s testimonial but I assume that she was still filling out some paperwork at the police department and was therefore unable to appear.

While I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of Dr. Burke, I will be somewhat concerned if his business flourishes. After all, if your daily level of alcohol consumption requires the intervention of a physician perhaps you should spend the $200 on a substance abuse program instead of intravenous pharmaceuticals. There is also an irony into peddling the “health benefits” of a treatment to someone who refers to drinking an entire bottle of vodka at 5:30 PM as “the pre-game.”

I imagine it is only a matter of time before Dr. Burke adds other depravity-erasing services to his standard hangover treatment. For the evening that really got out of hand he could offer a penicillin injection / marital counseling combo deal or BOGO on nipple-piercing reversals. If he formulates a serum to cure regret and self-loathing there will be no stopping him.

In all seriousness, if you need an entire medical staff you restore you to functionality you might want to try taking it easy the next day. After 40 brake-fluid shooters the night before, there is no shame in pansying out with a glass of red wine and a chef salad.

I always felt that a hangover nature’s way of reminding you that jello shots do not constitute a food group. After all, how many of us remember waking up from a night of indulgence and saying to ourselves “If only I had consumed more alcohol this wouldn’t have happened.”  By the same token, it takes unwavering dedication to wake up in a debilitating stupor, take a long hard look at your life and say, “What can I do to recover from this so that I am well enough to do it again within 12 hours?”

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