Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Scene: Open on the bedroom window; the sun is bright, finding its way between chinks in the curtain and right into your eyes. Zoom into eyes; they are bloodshot and unfocussed. Pull back - you are sprawled sideways across your bed, your hair looks like fifteen manky rats decided to have an orgy on your head. You lick your lips and try to swallow, but every ounce of hydration has been sucked out of your body. You groan, roll over and try to go back to sleep.

This screenwriting thing is easy. Welcome to having a hangover, by the way.


First off, I would just like to announce that this is not a hangover cure per se, it is merely offering advice as to what to do in the event of a hangover occurring. Once you have a hangover, there's not much that can be done except ride the wave out.

For the first-time hangover readers out there, your only previous hangover experience will probably have been from movies. Don't be fooled. In the movies, a character will hold their head and say, "Uuuh my head," be offered a Panadol and they'll be running marathons in the next scene. Movies suck.

If you wake up with a hangover, it is assumed that you have indulged in the over consumption of alcohol the night before. It doesn't matter what kind of alcohol, whether it was beer, wine or spirits, the outcome is very much the same. It's too late to worry about drinking too much now, what's done is done. Accept the fact that you have a hangover quickly; it will make the rest of the day slightly more bearable.

Step 1: Empty your pockets

For no other reason than to see how much money you have. INTERESTING FACT #3279: After every night out, you will come home with money in your pocket that is made up of 89% coins. INTERESTING FACT #3280: If you're me, you'll also bring home a few shotglasses/wineglasses/water features. Anyway, these coins will come in handy later on. While you're digging through your jeans from last night, you might want to check your phone. A hangover often signifies that you were acting slightly differently than you otherwise would if alcohol had not been present - make sure you didn't call anyone that you shouldn't have. If you did, make a note to call back and apologise. Not right now though, you're in no shape to be talking.

Step 2: Shower

A shower is the most necessary thing in the world right now. You smell like 4-day arse. Get in, tiger. Depending on the ferocity of your hangover, you may want to sit down in the corner of your shower and just let the water fall over you. Adopting the foetal position is not a bad thing at all, just remember to occasionally adjust the temperature of the water, because you're probably in for the long haul if this is your chosen shower position, and that hot water is not going to last forever. Other favourite positions are the "Paris Hilton", where you wrap your mouth around the showerhead and try to keep up with the flow; the "Climate Control", where you start with your back against the cold tiles while your chest and stomach are pelted with hot water. After about 30 seconds, turn around. Repeat until you get too dizzy or the water turns cold. And finally, the "Pregnant Lady", where you stand with your hands folded over your belly and your chin thoughtfully resting on your chest.

Step 3: Food

Everyone has their comfort food, and people swear by different kinds; the greasy, bacon laced burger with extra cheese and a giant fuck-off cup of Coke works for some. Others will hock into a box of donuts. Some drink Mountain Dew and eat Jatz crackers with dip; I've seen others numbly shove handfuls of dry Frosties into their mouths. This is where your leftover coins come in handy: give them to someone (anyone at all - a housemate, a boyfriend / girlfriend / parent / sibling / neighbour / paperboy / homeless man) to go and get you food while you take it easy on the couch. You have a big day of sitting around being hungover to get through; you need to conserve your energy.

Step 4: Activities

Old faithful, the television can come in quite handy right about now. Something needs to entertain you. Normal television programming will probably not suffice, unless there's a Channel 9 special of "Classic Sports Bloopers" or "Russell Gilbert Isn't Funny: Here's Proof" that is on that day. Pop in a DVD (the worse the film, the better you'll feel), and sit back and 'chillax'. Also, if anyone tells me to chillax while I'm hungover, they'll definitely be getting a crowbar swung lazily at them. And then, when I'm feeling more spritely, it'll be swung harder, with more purpose, and will look more like a chainsaw.

You might also like to go outside if the weather is fine. And this is where the fun can begin again:

Step 4A: The recount

Catch up with the people you went out with the night leading into your hangover. Since you will all be in a similar state, things will automatically become hilarious due to lack of hydration, lack of sleep and residual drunkenness that all robs the thought processes of common sense. You should swap stories about what you can remember from the night, discuss how disgusting you all feel, offer insights into your attempts to converse with your cab driver, and dangerously, try to work out whose shout it was when the night was abandoned.

Step 4B: The Hair of the Dog

Before you know it, you may just find yourself with another pint of delicious, cold beer in your hand. It may have started as a joke when someone suggested having a beer, it may have been someone buying you a beer to apologise / thank you for something that happened the night before, or it might have just been a natural reaction to order a beer whenever you leave your house to see your mates. In any case, you are now officially drinking again.

You may find that the first drink is hard to swallow, both literally and metaphorically. The taste will be off, the liquid will sit thick and heavy in your gut, and your brain will tell you that it's a bad idea. You must ignore your brain, for the first glass at least. If another beer is presented or offered, accept it and have a sip. The first sip of the second drink will tell you whether you've managed to convince your brain that drinking is still a good idea. The taste will be better, it will be lighter in your stomach and your head will feel a bit more relaxed (you might even be able to say 'chillaxed' around me by now). If, by the third glass, your brain is still saying 'no', it means that it's probably a good idea to stop drinking. If you want to be childish about it though, you can continue trying to convince your brain to let you keep drinking, and turn to shots a lot earlier than you normally would. If this is the case, try to imagine a kid who is trying to get his mum to buy him a Power Ranger toy. The mum says, "No." The kid cries. Mum ignores it. Kid keeps crying, wailing on the floor, calling for the Power Ranger. Mum says, "No." There's your 'third drink', so to speak. The fourth drink, or the 'shot' in this case, would be the kid taking the car keys, jumping in the Subaru and heading down to K-Mart and putting the entire Power Rangers line on mum's credit card.

Sometimes, people, you need to steal a car to get a Power Ranger. That's all I'm saying.

The Hair of the Dog approach is only good for so long. You should stop drinking when all symptoms of being hungover have dissipated and you're getting a bit pissy. If you cannot read that last sentence out-loud, you have officially stepped over the 'pissy' line and you have become 'drunk again'.

If the next morning begins much the same as this one, you should follow Steps 1 - 3 again, perhaps twice over, but do NOT go to "Hair of the Dog". Sometimes you just take too much fur from that puppy, and he's looking decidedly shabby by now.

Drink in moderation and stuff, lest you become one of those guys who invites himself onto a random table and dribbles nonsense to anyone who will listen.

That said: I'll cook breakfast if you go get beers.


philbert83au said...

I once spent a rather drunken weekend with some sea men. They advocated the eating of capers, from a jar, whilst swilling champagne at 8am the morning after. I heartily recommend their counsel.

Anonymous said...

hehehe, seamen!

Mister Evil Breakfast said...

Foods eaten directly from a jar always have a high anti-hangover power that is not present if it is portioned onto a plate. Just don't drink the brine. Never a good idea.

PS. Seamen. Hehehehe

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