At the ripe old age of 25, it has already become apparent that I can't party like I used to. My college years of binge drinking and getting off virtually scot-free are gone. The all-day hangover has arrived. Rather than opting to drink less, though, I did what any true drunk would do: I cheated. Or, perhaps I should say, I chased.

In search of the fountain of drunkard youth, I dropped five bucks on a pack of Chaser, that miracle hangover pill that I always see commercials for while I'm watching elimiDATE at 12:30 am. Chaser claims to help "prevent headaches and other discomforts by absorbing harmful elements in beer, wine, and liquor." I was skeptical that Chaser's main ingredients-activated calcium carbonate and vegetable carbon-could absorb all the "harmful elements" I planned to throw its way. So I conducted a scientific experiment to test its effectiveness.

As any scientist worth her test tubes would, I conducted a "control group" night of binge drinking first. At my laboratory, Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard's Bar of the Gods, I mixed up a surefire hangover combo: beer, Maker's Mark, well gin, and dirty vodka martinis. The next day I was riddled with pains, my brain taunting, "You're too old for this shit."

When I got my drunk on again a few days later at another Hawthorne dive, the Space Room, I followed the dietary supplement's directions. I drank the same type and quantity of drinks as the first night. And, yes, as my Chaser-treated evening careened into the wee hours, I realized I was indeed very, very drunk.

Stumbling home at 3:30 am, I took stock: I had completed an 11-hour shift of drinking supplemented with six Chaser pills. I went to bed dreading the morning to come.

Much to my absolute shock, I awoke feeling relatively good. I was tired and a bit groggy, but I didn't have a trace of headache or nausea. I couldn't believe what my body was telling me: Chaser works! Or at least it seemed to help.

But my late-night research made me realize something: There is a painful satisfaction in having your body say, "Hey, dumbass, you drank too much." As much as you might want to be 19 again, you're not, and you can't fool yourself with Chaser forever. Experiment concluded.

Bar of the Gods, 4801 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 232-2037. Space Room, 4800 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-6957.