Drinking is ruining my life.

No, it’s not the booze that’s to blame. The beer, spirits and bum wines are all treating me very well, actually. It’s the god damned drunk munchies that are sending me down a twisted rabbit’s hole into a Hot Pocket-filled valley of destruction. Like any true addict, my needs for a better high keep getting stronger, and good old Jack in the Box just isn’t cutting it anymore. It’s gotten to the point where I’m finding myself in a USC frat house alternating handle pulls with breaking into the kitchen and boiling 10 pounds of “found” pasta in fucking chafing dishes at four in the morning. If I’m not ashamed of that, I must have a serious problem. Even worse, I’ve been known to frequent the faux-Asian, blatantly masochistic bowl-based hedonism that is Panda Express when gnarbladed. Oh god, how orange chicken shits haunt my dreams.

Luckily, I’m not alone in succumbing to my hooch hunger. Many citizens of our fair town have seen their friends eat Costco boxes of Cheez-Its or puke up full trays of nachos and probably have done it themselves. But the question remains: Why does the permed populace feel such an uncontrollable urge to cram sloshed sustenance into its collective maw?

The reason the drunken food quest is so paradoxical has to do with a fact most of us try to ignore: Alcohol is high in caloric energy. Thus, if drinking a 30-pack over the course of the day provides you with enough calories – 100-200 per beer – to replace 24 hours worth of meals, where is the craving to slam down 45 chicken nuggets coming from? One theory is that since drinking water speeds up your metabolism, and the monkey piss called Natty is actually 94 percent water, all that fluid has to get your stomach rumbling, right? Well, not quite. Thanks to carbonation and a serious volume of fluid intake, high-velocity brew-skulling and even casual sipping tends to get filling initially. Plus, as anyone who has done the drunken hold-your-pee-pee dance while waiting in a bathroom line knows, all that water goes flying out your whodilly pretty quickly.

Thankfully, Britain is full of scientists addicted to the study of alcohol consumption. My homeboy (and presumably a multiple-pint at lunch kind of guy) Martins Yeomans from the University of Sussex has found the answer. Among his numerous beer and food studies, there is a set dedicated to comparing people’s appetites after eating high-calorie food and after getting half-shitfaced. The answer is obvious: People who eat 15 cheeseburgers tend to not eat for a while, but other folks with St. Ides in their system slam down Dino Bites until extinction.

Here’s how it works (apologies to Dr. Gilbert, it’s been a while since I was in Nutrition): When our tummies go empty, we start burning fat and our brains tell us we’re hungry. According to Yeomans’ research, that Taaka floating around in your dome piece is not only stopping the fat-burning process, but also making those hunger signals fire on overdrive.

The take-home message? Those poor, helpless leftovers in your fridge don’t have a fucking chance.

Still, just because eliminating munchie dependence seems impossible doesn’t mean anybody needs to quit the boss sauce or swing the other way into alcohol-induced bulimia. Hell, it’s just science, and science also tells us that smoking menthols and getting weird with strippers is an unhealthy lifestyle. With obvious hogwash like that being bandied about, what’s to trust these days, especially from a British researcher? I thought we started our own country just to escape that kind of tyrannical bullshit.

See, despite what the rest of the world may think, a patriotic pledge to go cold turkey on late night meals is as anti-unAmerican as you can be, so let’s do this together. Just promise that you won’t call me a traitor the next time I’m found passed out with my head in the freezer after a still-frozen Bagel Bites massacre.