Craig’s Guide to Easing a Horrific Hangover.
Fitting, because I am hungover right now. Right. Now.
To begin, it is important to note that there are a variety of potential hangovers. Each having their own specific anatomy, which is useful in discovering the clearest way to handle them.
I am not going to bother with the smidgen hangovers which result from having “one beer too many” on some random Tuesday night while watching Seinfeld reruns. That’s not a hangover. A headache and weird dreams do not a hangover make. Besides, all you need is some Bayer, a quart of whatever “sports drink” is available, and a spoonful of shut-the-hell-up to get beyond those hangovers, so there’s no need for a guide.
I’m talking about the MONSTERS of the species. The major, post-fubar variety. This variety. Where you’re wishing for death but know you’re even unluckier than that because you have to actually DO something while in the hazed grips of a crippling hangover. Your body is still boycotting your use of certain vital organs, yet you still have to mow the lawn, make the donuts, give a sales pitch to the idiots of the Southwest Sales Division, or see your parole officer. Under normal circumstances, your average person would quickly fold and toss in the towel. They’d call in sick.
Well, that’s not the way of The Masters. You must learn to deal with the evil after effects of your night of insanity in a constructive way. Embrace the thing. Make it your own. For two reasons: 1) So you’ll understand that getting obliterated on a school night has consequences, so you better make that night of drunken idiocy kick some serious ass to make up for the punishment you are sure to receive. And 2) because it’s your lot in life to suffer immediately after a good time. That’s what being a human is all about. Peaks and valleys (or some metaphorical shit like that). We all ebb and flow, and that’s okay. Welcome to the club.
To flesh out my guide, I’ll use what I consider to be the foundation of the worst of hangovers: The Careless Drunkard Mix. It usually starts off with a Wednesday happy hour, consisting chiefly of beer. You have no intention of making a marathon drinking event out of the evening, you just wanted to “wind down” or whatever the light-weights call it. You have your beers, and on the third one, someone recommends another place. You’re feeling good, so you give the plan a thumbs-up and follow along. It’s only eight o’clock after all. Before you know it, arriving at midnight involved half a bottle of wine, three shots of Jager Meister, a stolen Vodka Tonic (yes, I capitalized that, out of respect) four more beers, two Jack and Cokes, and a pint of gasoline (well, that’s what it tasted like anyway). Now you’re in the “fuck it” stage of Careless Drunkard Mixing. Full force. You’ll drink anything that spills. And you don’t remember much of what happens after midnight.
What you DO remember is that you owe some cool bartender a twenty for getting you and your Careless Drunkard Buddies a cab. Oh, and your car was probably towed, since it was double parked in a pay lot. But those are specific problems for you to address, and while this guide may help you to handle those problems, they aren’t the hangover, which is what my rambling jumble of caca is supposed to help you with.
When you wake up with your mouth feeling like was lined with pumice, your left eye completely dried up, your pants halfway off, your front door open, and you’re twenty minutes shy of egregiously late to something, this is the guide you will need.
1) Everything you do should involve water. Specifically, the consumption thereof. Take every opportunity to do this. The first thing you need to do is get a glass of water. A liter, preferably. Drink half of the glass immediately. Just down it like you did those surfer-on-acid shots that those two biker dudes bought for you. Remember them? You kept telling them that they “really made a cute fuckin’ couple”. They might have been responsible for your charred left pant leg. Come to think of it, they probably didn’t buy you those shots. They bought them for each other and you “intercepted” them at the bar. Such a sweet couple. The bigger one might have punched you too, but those bruises could have come from anywhere, honestly. So you drink half the cup of water. Now pour the other half over your head because you don’t have time for a real shower. Ta-da, you’re clean.
2) Take three of whatever pain killers you have, but stick to the off-the-shelf variety. Don’t go popping any muscle relaxers, nerve benders, or mood variants of any kind. They will do nothing but complicate an already volatile situation even further. Stick with Tylenol, Bayer, Advil, whatever you aren’t allergic to. More water. Feel free to take a second shower if you’re up to it.
3) Take all your current clothes off and set them aside. Throw them in a corner or something. Keep them separate from your wardrobe. They smell like a bar full of corpses, corpses comprised of olive juice and smoking Marlboro Reds. You don’t want that to migrate over to your other threads. Plus, you have no idea what you did while wearing them. We’re talking evidence here. Some scene-of-the-crime type shit. You’ll probably have to burn them later, so it is best to quarantine them for the time-being.
4) Stand in the middle of the room, looking stupid for two minutes, because you have no idea what the hell is going on. Scratch yourself periodically. That’s not really part of the guide, but that’s what I usually do, so I’m throwing it in here for continuity.
5) Dress in your finest threads. Your upper-echelon “business casual”. You just poured a cup of water over your head and your eyes are the color of butter, so you’ll need to do something to redeem your appearance. Pressed clothes and nice shoes go a long way when you’re trying to convince people that you’re actually responsible. Wear long sleeves if possible, to cover up any stupid stamps on your hands (lower arm, elbow, collar bone, wherever).
6) Remember to brush your teeth. Many novices skip this step because it is time-consuming, and they don’t realize that their breath smells like the drain trap of a frat-party sink. Brush real good. Get in there and really scrub around. Get that tongue. The same tongue you used to lick the face of that waitress. She spilled her whole tray, you know. That’s not cool. But whatever, because you probably tipped her four hundred dollars because you got all confused when they kicked you out and you had to sign your tab. You kept calling it “this month’s rent check”, and they never bothered to correct you. You can’t do addition in that condition anyway. You might have tipped her $4HH.8n because you suck like that. Regardless, remember to brush your grill.
7) Check your face for anything too incriminating. Turn on the bathroom light while doing this, it seriously helps. Check for the following: black eye(s), missing teeth, swollen lip(s), cuts, shaved patches of hair, missing ear(s), new earrings/tattoos (especially if the tattoo is ‘tribal’. If it is, then just kill yourself immediately because there’s no living that down. Ever.), blood (yours or someone else’s), or stamps that transferred from your hand to your face as you slept like a gunshot victim in the entryway. Clear up anything that is easily handled, and make up something believable (which no one will believe, but they’ll appreciate the effort) for the big stuff. Black eye? You fell down some stairs at the homeless shelter where you read to feral children. Patch of hair missing? Your half-brother is going through chemo and you’re showing some solidarity (I am so going to hell). New earring? You’ve started pirating as a hobby. Tear-drop tattoo? Someone had to die, and that’s how you and your roll-dogs handle shit. Whatever you think will fly, given the audience you will be receiving. This exercise should be very involved, because it will help you keep your mind off of how much pain you are in.
8) Go to whatever task you are responsible for that day (job, a hangin’, Al Qaida meeting, whatever), immediately make your presence known (hey, you showed up right?) and then LAY LOW. All you have to do is subsist until the booze wears off and the hangover gives way. Feel free to let that phone go to voice mail. You can call them back after lunch. Hang out in bathroom more often than normal. Tell anyone you have a face-to-face with that your allergies are beating your ass, and the medicine you’re taking is seriously making you drowsy. They’ll stop listening to you after they see how yellow your eyes are, or after they get hit by the “stench of bar” wafting off your person, but that’s okay. Again, it’s the effort they’re looking for.
9) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. To pull through this like the soldier you are, you will need to flush your system of all toxins as fast as possible. The true end of a hangover is marked by the immense bomb you will drop in the nearest porcelain pelican. It will be impressive. It may scare you. It may even talk to you. Ignore it, as you owe it nothing. Flush, and be gone.
Eat a greasy lunch and take a nap as soon as possible. It is best that you continue to avoid anyone of authority or importance in your life. You are still liable to say something stupid, smell like compost, or pass-out mid-sentence. So, steer clear of anyone whom you worry will judge you for being such a dumbass.
And so ends Craig’s Guide to Dealing With a Horrific Hangover. Feel free to add your own wisdom to my guide. I always appreciate the advice of professionals.