Drunk of the Week

Patrick Lawler should be awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. For those of you who live in a cellar or are purists who won't watch anything on a TV smaller than 42 inches, Mr. Lawler is the gentleman who proved to the world that hangovers are caused by huge nails being stuck in your head. The incident in which Lawler shot a nail into his head may have been unrelated to drinking, but in my expert opinion, there was certainly drinking involved afterward. Lawler, who thought he simply had a bad toothache, says he soothed the pain with ice cream -- and, I'm guessing, a few beers.

After a "few too many," I always wake up feeling like there's a large nail in my frontal lobes -- but I never blame it on a toothache, much less a nail gun. As I've discussed with the Head of Drinking Regrets, I always thought the pain came from burning the roof of my mouth with pizza or the other obligatory greasy food that you overcook at two in the morning with only one functioning eyeball. After you've been at a place like the Keg Steakhouse and Bar (1890 Wynkoop Street), of course.

The Keg is the type of establishment that puts "Steakhouse" first in its name, in the hopes of keeping out people like you or me who are bound to surface the next morning feeling like they have large spikes in their heads -- or actually do have large spikes in their heads. But don't be fooled by the nice name and setting: There's a great bar inside this Keg. The moment you walk in the front door, you're thinking, "I need a drink." This is partly because there's such demand for tables that you must do something to burn off the wait -- and can either freeze your arse off out on the street or warm yourself with a few vodka tonics. It's also partly because you really need a drink.

For several reasons, we never made it beyond the bar one recent evening. First, we were highly upset at being abandoned by a few key members of the Institute. There was no good reason for their absence, so our only recourse was to leave upwards of ten drunken nasty-grams on each member's voice mail -- and in order to leave drunken messages, we needed to be drunk. The Keg's bar also boasts a strong gravitational force: The combination of a happening scene, extremely comfortable chairs and TVs at every possible viewing angle exert a pull more evil and powerful than that of Dr. Phil and Oprah combined. The Keg even serves its full menu in the bar, where I'd recommend eating; that way, your inebriated state won't get you thrown out of the dining room. It's also much easier to get to the very nice bathrooms (my own hasn't been this clean since the day I moved into my apartment) from the bar than from the dining room, which becomes increasingly important as you rent greater amounts of alcohol through the night. In fact, after consuming a pound of beef and the required accompanying starches, it's damn near impossible to avoid a urologic disaster in your extremely comfortable chair, much less make it to the next bar or home.

But no matter where you station yourself inside the Keg, you're bound to end up with a massive hangover the next day. And when you wake up with that familiar feeling, remember: Ice cream ain't gonna cure it. I suggest seeing your dentist or neurosurgeon immediately.

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Patrick Osborn

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