It's not often that we get positive news on the drink front, but here is some: the French have discovered a cure for hangovers. Better than that, it prevents hangovers, regardless of how much alcohol you consume. In tests, a man who drank a whisky, a bottle of wine and a liqueur gave a blood-alcohol reading of 187mg, but 40 minutes after taking the wonder potion (which goes by the name of Security Feel Better) the level had dropped to just 80mg. It's almost too good to be true. Despite having magical properties, the innocuous blend of water, fructose, plant extracts and other neutral-sounding ingredients is completely harmless. This is the green light that overzealous boozers have been waiting for since the invention of alcohol. It could change our lives for ever.
Picture it. You're tucking in to the second bottle of wine, racked with guilt, already feeling slightly queasy. Normally at this point, you'd sink a glass of water in the hope it might make a difference. It doesn't matter: you know that you are stuffed whatever you do and that you will have to pay the following day. But now, everything has changed: you can reach into the fridge and pluck out a bottle of SFB - healthier than a glass of spring water, more welcome than an orgasmatron - and those throbbing temples and Rosemary's Baby eyes are suddenly an amusing memory.
But should SFB become a standard post-party medication, I will be a bit sad. It's true there are good hangovers and bad hangovers - the ones you thoroughly enjoy building up to, and the ones that sneak up on you, courtesy of a cheap host's paint-stripper plonk or that dogged drinking you can succumb to when bored to the brink of death - but they are very rarely uneventful.
Hangovers are a separate state of being with their own rules and emotional landscape: you are more likely to declare love, break up, weep, talk to strangers, make life-changing decisions and seek solace in fatty foods when hung-over than at any other time. Being hung-over feels like being a child all over again, only without the energy and optimism.
But the part of hangovers I would really miss (besides the "how bad is yours?" phone-around the morning after) are the complicated strategies for making them go away, even though they never do. There's the milk thistle supplement (always remembered too late). The Pepto-Bismol option. Some like Ribena and a banana, others Marmite on any surface.
My personal recommendation is a pint of Coca-Cola. Finding that spare can in the back of the fridge when the world is sliding all around you is one of the purest pleasures life has to offer. I'm not sure SFB can match that.