Many of us have a fraught relationship with alcohol. Some use it as a social lubricant – a fuel for the banter bus, as it were. Some just really like the taste of beer/wine/gin and tonic/jaegerbombs. Some use it to numb the pain of life’s inevitable trudge towards death. Some are a mixture of all three. However, only the mentally disturbed will enjoy the after-effects of having a mad sesh as they usually involve sore heads, sore livers and the somewhat urgent requirement of an overdraft. Hangovers are life’s yin to being drunk’s yang, the antithesis of fun and enjoyment and, often, the very embodiment of Satan incarnate. With my time in London bringing me more than my fair share of hangovers of varying severity, it is only fair that I share my wisdom with you so that you may be self-aware enough to recognise the various aspects of your fragile wellbeing. I give you five broad categories of hangover – aspects from one may well seep into others, but largely the below are often their own separate entities. Why not see if you can achieve all five next week?
1.The Fonz – Happy Daze
After a particularly entertaining night out, you come in to the office on a Friday morning or emerge in the living room over the weekend with a dopey, stupid grin on your face and seek out those who were out with you. You repeat the statement, “Last night was so much fun,” every few minutes, but your good mood is infectious, making others giggle at your antics and generally being a little hungover ray of sunshine for those around you. You feel generous, giggly yourself and generally at peace – after all, last night was so much fun.
- Day of Week: Friday or Sunday mornings, often in presence of other hangover sufferers.
- Alcohols required: Usually nothing to excess – a few beers/wines/G&Ts followed by a shot or two later in the evening.
- Side effects: Entertaining nature belies the reality of your hangover – colleagues and managers will expect you to function as a normal member of society, which when hungover is logistically impossible. Additionally, daze can eventually wear off, leaving only fatigue and despair.
2. Thar Be Chunder Dragons Here
Dear God why won’t it stop, I didn’t even drink that much I swear, what the hell is that, is that blood, IS THAT BLOOD, oh no it’s just a bit of pepper from the Saino’s Southern Fried Chicken Wrap I had for dinner, Christ almighty please can it just stop.
More of a pre-set medical disposition than a state of mind, the vomiting hangover is an affliction that often affects the fairer sex more than the menfolk. Constant nausea, lack of appetite, sweating and general expression of self-induced anguish are the calling cards of this particular circle of hell.
- DoW: Usually Saturday/Sunday mornings, occasional Friday (may God have mercy on your soul).
- Alcohol: Too much of anything – especially red wine. Lucifer himself created the purple splatter.
- S/Es: Concerned looks / ridicule from those around you. Stronger bonds formed with BFFs as they hold your hair back. Genuine concerns within own psyche that you are actually, literally dying.
3. Take ‘Em Off The Boil Mate Coz They’re Still F*cking Steaming
How on earth you managed to make it into work is anyone’s guess – you’re still utterly hammered. Your dead, glazed eyes belie the total lack of any coherent thoughts going through the hole where your brain used to be. Whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing, there is next to no chance you’ll be able to do it well, or even at all. You stagger around, looking sad and lost, and if anyone asks you anything they get a vacant stare back, followed by a thoroughly unhelpful answer. Often you will be in the same clothes as the night before, leading to people asking who it was you pulled. When you reply that you passed out in someone else’s house at 4am, they will laugh. Unless it is your boss, who may pull you aside for a quick chat about your wellbeing.
- DoW: Almost always Friday and if you could possibly sleep it off, you would.
- Alcohol: Copious amounts of spirits drunk post 1am, either in a club or in a random house somewhere miles away from yours.
- S/Es: Piss-taking from peers. Possible disciplinary from managers. Copious amounts of coffee imbibed.
4. The Weekday Hero
Maybe you had a date the night before that got a bit boozier than anticipated. Maybe a quick one after work turned into something of a session. Either way, you’re pissed off at yourself and desperately try to pretend that you’re not hungover on a Tuesday. To those around you, the bags under your eyes reveal your true state, leading to some gentle joshing, much to your chagrin. No-one gets drunk during the week, for goodness’ sake – why do I do this to myself?
- DoW: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
- Alcohol: Any, but usually not to excess.
- S/Es: Despite self-loathing, surprising respect from your peers.
5. The Boomtown Rat
As Bob Geldof famously sang, “I Don’t Like Mondays.” After a Sunday session at the Ship, perhaps, or a Saturday night that ran through into a Sunday, you arrive at work on Monday morning. You are exhausted. You are dishevelled. You receive some concerned looks from those around you. You start to harbour major doubts about your own sanity. You have a tragically strong desire to see your parents.
- Dow: Monday morning, you madman.
- Alcohol: Does it really matter?
- S/Es: Overwhelming sense of the futility of life.
And there you have it, a comprehensive list of the states of being that are the inevitable consequence of existing purely for the sesh. Take the information above, study it, learn from it, and ensure that you will never make the same mistakes again. Next time, you’ll finally get a handle on your limit and go home at the right time.
Next time, you definitely won’t drink until you pass out in a skip.