Rompope and cabbage to avoid those year-end hangovers

2012 was the year that flew by faster than any year I recall. However, I am told that that is what happens as we grow older and there are fewer new experiences or first times in our life. Anyway, time, like everything else in this world, is relative. It varies with what we are doing and how we are feeling. As far as I know, the only people who can really measure time are those who make speedometers. Perhaps it is the perception of time that is relative and time is absolute — which brings us to the relativity of reality.

What matters is that there is an agreement among a group of people (probably the bigger the better) as to what reality is. Then we can get on with our lives. A large number of people in the world have agreed that 2012 is coming to a close (not with a bang but with a whimper) and is never going to return. This will happen at different times, of course, as the world turns.

At least a third of those people are going to say goodbye to 2012 and welcome 2013 with food and drink. And probably another third of that third is going to have hangovers. That has happened since the beginning of time (the measurement of it, that is) and the discovery of grapes and yeast.

It has been suggested in this newspaper that asparagus is good for a hangover. Asparagus is expensive. The Romans had a better way, and they probably wrote the book on overindulging in both food and drink. According to Cato, their spokesperson,

“The cabbage surpasses all other vegetables. If, at a banquet, you wish to dine a lot and enjoy your dinner, then eat as much cabbage as you wish, seasoned with vinegar, before dinner, and likewise after dinner eat some half dozen leaves. It will make you feel as if you have not eaten and you may drink as much as you like.”

The beauty of this remedy or prophylactic is that cabbages are a lot cheaper than asparagus and need no preparation. Wouldn’t it be a nice new custom if, before a festive dinner, the hosts served cabbage leaves with a bit of vinegar? And then ended the dinner with the same. Or perhaps a control group would not do so and another would and we could do a scientific study. And prove once and for all that the Romans were right and the scientists just like to get their names in the paper.

I may try the cabbage treatment this year if I get invited to overeat and drink too much. However, I recall that milk or cream was supposed to coat your stomach or something so I bought some really rich milk that Dos Pinos puts out every year. It is sort of a milkshake, and the Ticos call it rompope. (cute!) I started drinking it today. It’s awfully sweet, so I added the last of my Frenet Branca to it. If anything will cut the sweet, Frenet Branca will. And I recall when I lived in New York, a bartender poured some for me, saying it would cure everything from the flu to hangovers. I was coming down with one or the other at the time.

Oh, dear, I was going to do a review of 2012, but when you think about it, if you feel like thinking about it, that is; it was more weather, more buildings going up, more fútbol (in the stadium) and more politics, also, thankfully, more friends and close family ties.

There is something comforting in the thought that the more things change, the more they stay the same. (except I-Pads and I-Pods and cell phones). But, of course, when they do that you lose track of time. “The Time Tracker.” That sounds like a terrible job.

Whatever. I would like to wish all of you, my happy readers and not so happy readers, a very Happy New Year. May it hold some unexpected, but pleasant surprises and you have all the time you need to do whatever it is you’ve been doing. My milkshake needs refreshing.

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