With the exception of people who don’t drink and eighteen year olds with their weird immunity, who lets face it are bastards, everyone has had a hangover.
They can range from being mildly groggy all the way up to wishing you had gone nine bare-knuckle Rounds with Lennox Lewis because that would be less painful. As you get older hangovers do get worse and after a heavy night of drinking you are left wondering if the fun you had last night -or this morning whilst you got the kids ready for school, I wont judge- was worth it. Of course, many people might advise not getting so ridiculously drunk in the first place, but those people have never lived a day in their lives. The only real advantage to not getting drunk in the first place is you won’t need to use up precious phone minutes the following day apologising to everyone for what you did. Seriously, I once used up an entire months minutes in a day after an unfortunate incident at the local zoo during a Christmas Party- on a side note it’s an absolute lie that baby chimps enjoy tea parties, even when dressed in dungarees.
As someone whose psychiatrist is “worried about their drinking” I have had my fair share of hangovers. And being in my thirties means losing several days and apparently calling in sick with a hangover doesn’t count as a good reason because it is self inflicted. To be fair, if you dangle your balls in a blender that is also self inflicted but I can’t imagine being forced into work because you’ve gone full Hitler Scrotum – work are just weird like that. To that end, I thought I’d run down my top ways of getting over a hangover. It is the party season and I imagine many millions of you over the coming weeks are going to wake up feeling like you’ve been smacked repeatedly by that chimp you forced into dungarees at the Zoo (seriously, sorry about that).
Number One: Fluids
This tops every list when it comes to curing a hangover. The smart people make sure there is a glass of water on the bedside table so when they wake they can drink down the crystally clear goodness. Water is usually bland and boring, which is why we tend to fancy it up with cordial, tea or whisky. However, I don’t think water has ever tasted as good as it does when you are hungover. That shit is so good, I mean I drink pints of the stuff and it’s the best thing I’ve ever fucking tasted. We worry kids don’t drink enough water, but I reckon we can encourage them to do so if we send them to bed with a bottle of JD. We all know that hangovers are caused by dehydration – see, I knew it wasn’t the booze, stupid psychiatrist- so the best thing you can do is ensure you have enough fluids in you. And it doesn’t have to be water, even though it tastes like a cuddle from God, you can totally mix it up. I know people who insist on Lucozade, which is great because it also contains glucose. I know people who swear by Irn Bru, though that’s not a surprise living in Scotland, a can of Bru is so revered here I believe the NHS offer it as an alternative to morphine.
But my favourite non water drink is a strawberry Yazoo. These things are great anyway, and you are never too old for strawberry milk, even vegans have been known to hide it around the house like alcoholics do with mini vodka bottles. A bottle of Yazoo allows you to feel like a kid again whilst dealing with the most adult of problems. Also, being English I recommend tea. A good Earl Grey or Assam is a wonder and I believe the English NHS offer it as an alternative to morphine.
Number Two: Yakkity Yak
Vomiting is not usually fun, unless you are into a very specific type of porn the UK Government insists you shouldn’t be. And it is not usually advised that you force yourself to be sick. But I’m not a doctor, so force yourself to be sick. I haven’t been sick with a hangover for a long time- the best thing about problem drinking is your body kinda gets used to the stuff- but when I have felt so hungover I need to be sick, then vomiting has felt like the best pastime since the weekend I spent playing Lego Batman with endless supplies of popcorn. The best thing about hangover vomits is, excepting that yummy kebab you had on the way home, your stomach content is pretty much all liquid. And if you’ve followed the advice in number one then it’ll mostly be clear or Yazoo pink. Aside from being a questionable scene from the new adult lead Goonies movie, blowing chunks also allows for instant relief. Getting the stuff out that doesn’t belong in, for a few seconds, leaves you euphoric in a way that 90s ravers would usually pay good money for. If you could convert hangover vomiting into pill form you would have been a God in 1993. There is a reason we feel good after puking – our body is thanking us for getting rid of the crap we’ve put into our body. Of course, if you are hungover enough to be vomiting, you probably also have the beer shits so take the morning to position yourself on the throne of stone, mop bucket in hand and if you set up a camera too, you can go for a double fuck you to the UK Government ban.
Number Three: Endorphin release
Okay, so we all know how great endorphins are. I mean, they are the best natural high ever. No matter how crappy we feel, if we get a rush of endorphins everything suddenly seems better. The sun is shining in our minds, there is a bounce in our walk, we don’t mind if the bus is two minutes late and we suddenly can appreciate the joys of bubble gum pop music. There are several ways you can get some endorphins to pop out of your brain and swim through your blood stream which is totally how they work- remember, not a doctor. The first is exercise. Now of course no one wants to go running when the slightest jiggle in their stomach feels like a tsunami is swilling around in there, but it is a great way to get some natural endorphins if you can just push past the pain. Now I don’t exercise when I’m hungover because I’m a normal person, but if you like the outdoors, being able to see random strangers who are not hungover without stabbing them, as well as being overly confident your bowels will keep their damn mouth shut, then maybe a run is for you. I mean, if that’s the case we probably can’t be friends, but it is a great way of releasing endorphins.
Any physical activity can be a good thing. One morning at work back home in Leicester, a colleague was hungover as all hell, but there were barrel deliveries (For clarification I worked in the Donkey Kong factory) and we had to roll them into the cellar, lift them, move them, shift them around and within half an hour he felt great. He had worked through the pain just like a bullet ridden action movie star.
There is however a far simpler way of releasing these endorphins, one that doesn’t even require you to leave the house, one that doesn’t even require you to put on underpants- in fact it absolutely requires you to go pants free like some sort of hippy. Now, I know in Britain we get a bit uncomfortable talking about this, but I have to say from personal experience it is the single best way to get rid of a hangover, and not only that but its fun too AND can be a group activity. If using this method from bed you need either a laptop, a smartphone or a mind that’d make the Marquis de Sade want to disassociate himself from you. I assume we’re all thinking the same thing? No, not a binge session of Netflix (though Game of Thrones could help I suppose), I speak of course of that thing cornflakes were invented to stop. You know what I mean. That thing we all do but don’t speak about. Oh Christ, I’m really beating around the bush here… actually, if you’re a lady person that’s a pretty good metaphor. Okay, I’m going to say it. Three. Two. One.
NO! STOP! That wasn’t a count down to start. Finish the damn article first. It is an often told joke that women have a “headache” when they don’t want sex. Not only is that really fucking sexist and quite despicable that a woman can’t feel she can just say “no” (Right up there with “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” in the list of things women shouldn’t have to say to get you to piss off), but it’s also a good reason to actually have sex. Not only is it exercise but you also get the endorphin release from orgasm, so double whammy in the hangover. No that one isn’t a metaphor. So when you’re feeling like you kept that bar in business last night, lie back, close your eyes and let slip the dogs of war. Okay, I’m done with terrible metaphors. One day I will be able to talk about masturbation like an adult, but that day isn’t today
Number Four: Food, glorious fo…bleugh
Okay. No one wants to eat when they feel like crap. Vomiting with fluid in your stomach is one thing, but doing so after eating means its going to be bulky and the only single redeeming quality of this is you get to taste bacon twice in one day (every cloud and all that). But eating can really be good for you- your body is crying out for nourishment, vitamins, minerals. Carby toast is a great thing if you can’t manage anything big, or a greasy fry up if you can handle something more complex. Of course the hard part is cooking the bastard. No one wants to stand over a cooker frying bacon, eggs, sausages, mushrooms, little chopped potatoes whilst the beans cook, the tomato grills, the hashbrowns hash and the black pudding sits there lonely on the counter because that is vile, vile stuff that deserves to feel left out like I did the morning after the chimp incident. Britain apparently has a binge drinking problem, which means a lot of hangovers, so it is slightly confusing to me why no one has set up a breakfast delivery service. We have a god damn cereal café in London, but no one has yet realised delivering bacon rolls to hungover students is the best business plan since someone realised they could charge double just for pre slicing the bread- seriously, we are lazy bastards we humans, we like our conveniences. Things like tea makers are a prime example- a machine that wakes you up and pours you a cup of tea, a task that literally takes minutes and is so simple chimps have been trained to do it (why is it always going back to the damn chimps?). So providing a breakfast delivery service would be a stellar idea, I don’t even care if it comes with a £10 delivery charge, if I can avoid moving further than from my bed to the front door, which is closer than the kitchen by all of three feet, I damn well will. So try and eat something, even if just toast, because like with water, even the bland boring hot bread becomes like finest caviar when hanging.
Of course we should drink in moderation, we do have a binge problem in Britain, and Scotland has a reputation as a boozy nation. We have pubs that stay open till 3am- or 5am during the Fringe- so drinking is very much part of the culture. I’m sure many of us might be aware we drink too much and if you really do feel it is a problem talking to your doctor is a great first step. But all joking aside, do make sure you have plenty of water with you the following day, do try and eat something, crack one off if you can, allow your body to do what it needs even if that means striking up an intimate relationship with the porcelain god that would make the most devout of evangelicals feel awe at your commitment. Many of us will be drinking heavily in the coming days and weeks but try to be safe, try not to embarrass yourself and embrace the season of goodwill.
Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and to all, play safe, have fun, and never, ever take dungarees and PG Tips on a trip to the zoo.