Hungover again darling!

“The labour we delight in physics pain”


Alcoholic consumption is an allegory of life; the good never beats the bad. Only the bizarre enjoy the throb of the next morning. So terrifying is it that the calming joy of the first cold martini, is often offset by the knowledge of future agonies. That said I used to know a strange chap who would toast “to the hangovers we will endure tomorrow”…

Abstemious people aside, we have all gingerly opened our eyes to a thunderstorm of pain after an evening of libations. No one is immune. 

A hangover is a sweeping phrase used to convey that feeling; however I believe there be a plethora of nuanced versions. I have spent a substantial time ‘under the weather’ and still, despite several different remedies, I’m yet to find a genuine cure. 

A regular panacea used by office workers is “eat this (bacon), drink this (berocca), take that (paracetamol)” – this is suitable for a person who feels that two for one cocktails on a Thursday night are the height of sophistication, not a true booze hound. Due to my revulsion of Bloody Mary’s, my current medicament is the marvellous Bullshot (beef consommé, lashings of vodka, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco over ice) – much more hearty I think you will agree. There are also those who swear by Fernet Branca (a bitter digestif) – I feel worse looking at it, but if it works, good luck to you! 

The first point to deal with upon arising is to discover of the size of physical hangover (headache, dry mouth, nausea etc) and the metaphysical hangover (self loathing, anxiety etc). To the naive practitioner, the physical is the harder to alleviate. On the contrary my dear old things, it is is the metaphysical side that is harder to shake, often lingering until bedtime. 

The physical side is obvious to the recipient as soon as they awake from their coma. The head is pounding like it is between a tight vice, the dry scarlet eyes sting, gulping nausea overwhelms you, and even the most rudimentary task feels impossible. The desire for pain killers and water is the only thought, unfortunately the knowledge that they are on the other side of the room renders them untenable. Perhaps you return to sleep, perchance you rise, or maybe even attack a greasy breakfast – the key is to take your time, stress will slow you down. 

Always remember it is constantly  Alka-Selzer o’clock! The big moment for me is the shower, which I often foolishly put off, but once I’m showered and shaved (do ladies wax their legs?) I pop on some smart clothes (birdbrains will dress casually, embracing the slump) and feel like a genuinely new chap. Have a suitable snifter to oil the parts and Bobs your uncle – I’m back!

The metaphysical is more of an uncontrollable beast. “What did I do last night?” is a delightful game to play with friends, however it is more of a dark game when played against a head that feels like it’s been punched by Jack Johnson. 

The metaphysical is a contradiction in terms; if one believes himself to be hungover, they are not; Indeed once the physical maladies are gone a truly hungover being will gaze relentlessly into the abyss, unable to realise the degeneration of himself. They can sit unnoticed by themselves for hours touching the void and thinking of nothing. Unfortunately the metaphysical hangover doesn’t end with an ecclesiastical fanfare of joy, it is more like a slow realisation that we aren’t destitute anymore.

Indeed we hate the morning after the night before but is the night before worth it? Drinking from a literally poisoned chalice does leave me in tatters on occasions, on the other hand it has come from fun and offers one a chance to tell tales. The supersonic mornings of agony are rare, realistically they come few and far between. The conventional Friday night is easily counteracted by a long soak in a scalding bath and a full English, failing that if you are still in trouble when sun begins to set do Oliver Reed’s remedy; 2 ice buckets, one filled with ice and a champagne bottle. The other with boiling water. Place a towel over ones head and steam the face, breaking intermittently to slurp at the champers.

The common consensus of the drinking classes is that life would spectacular without hangovers. I can concur with that point of view, however life would be a little bit more formulaic and dull if we rose with clear heads every day.



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