By James Pavel

Tired of telling yourself that you’re done getting smashed on the weekend only to find yourself screaming for your best friend to hold your hair while you vomit out enough shooters to fill a bath tub?

I have an evolutionary secret that will alter your bottle-swigging days forever. Turn 27. That’s right. Age is definitely more than just a number.

I’m here to help. Screaming at cab drivers, hitting on people that look like they escaped the Calgary Zoo and being hauled out the pub before the clock strikes midnight, I’ve been there. And then I’ve been there again and spent the night in a jail cell.

But then a miraculous event transpired. On the third of December I celebrated my birthday. But not just any birthday. It wasn’t my golden b-day, nor was it my sweet sixteen. It was my 27th birthday. Often associated with the deaths of rock stars and less often with your older brother’s quarter-life crisis, there I was, reveling in the wonder of becoming not older, but perhaps, better.

And then it hit me. I attempted to wake up for my first day as a 27-year-old. But I couldn’t. I realized my head was rattling like a family of rattlesnakes trapped inside a shoe box. I reached for my glass of water and threw it down my parched throat that was as dry as a Nevada summer. My entire body felt like road construction was being conducted on it, with twin jackhammers delivering pulsating blows to my temples.

I was clearly and desperately hungover.

But pre-birthday, I could shake it off. A quick jog to sweat out the vodka, a cold Gatorade to hammer down the hatch, and I was on the freeway to normalcy.

But not on this day. Nor any day after. At 27, you no longer wish to drink. You just can’t. So you quit. You’re done. The hangovers aren’t just brutal. They’re from the seven hells of Jupiter, a land that takes privilege in squeezing your moral compass until it shatters to smithereens. A place that makes you so crippled by fatigue, you contemplate calling in sick for a month.

A day-long nap/movie marathon can’t shake these thunderous, hung-to-the-moon hangovers.

If this secret threatens your present fun then please, relish your three-hour headache. You know, that hangover you get when you’re 22-years-old.

The one where you pop an Advil, lay down for a half hour and could write a book of poetry and raise a foreign orphan.

Because hungover at age 27, you desire a wheelchair, enough Tylenol to comatose Snoop Dogg, and a nap the length normally reserved for newborn children.

Or don’t. Embrace this new age of pain and reality. Put the bottle down. It’s finally time. You’ve found your excuse that your body and mind can’t ignore. All those activities that you put off in favour of club-hopping and pub-crawling are now deliciously desirable ideas.

So go rock-climbing. Stop pretending you go to yoga and actually start regularly attending. There is no book or medicine to quit drinking. Only an age demographic.

Relish in the magical age that will help you to quit drinking alcohol forever.