Thanks for all of your helpful advice on the matter. It seems like my friend was very lucky this time around, and her first question to me as soon as she knew it was working was, "Where can I get a good case for the computer?" To read a roundup of your best advice and comments, or to comment yourself if you've experienced the same thing and have some advice to share, read more.
"I should also add to this discussion that the unibody laptops have spill sensors built it that change colors. Apple will know if you spill something on them and try to lie to them about it." — spacekatgirl
"Months ago my roommate's boyfriend spilled a vodka & sprite cocktail all over my open MacBook. The best advice I got right there on the spot was to NOT turn it on until it was completely dried out. So, I took out the battery and propped my MacBook up like an upside down V. I waited 3 days before I tried to see if it turned on, and it did! To this day the keys stick a bit, but I'm just happy it's still kickin'." — BrittneyMona
"I suggest using silica gel to thoroughly dry it out. Photogs usually use it to keep lenses dry in humid areas so that fungus can't grow. I dropped my iPhone in a bucket of water once and totally panicked. I left it on (because turning it off could cause it to short circuit). I wiped it dry and used a hair dryer for good measure. And then I put it in a ziploc bag with a 1-ounce packet of silica gel. It dried off in a day." — Anonymous