Like footballers and groin injuries, getting hangovers is part of the job – a challenge faced by even the most eminent of beer bloggers and writers. There’s many an occasion I’ve woken up wishing that I’d taken more of an interest in stamp collecting, or another safe indoor hobby that could leave you merely out of pocket, rather than out of kilter altogether. Last month, following a Magic Rock takeover of one of our local Edinburgh pubs, I had such a crushing hangover the prospect of collecting small sticky pieces of paper seemed almost enticing.
Thankfully, it soon passed – which is more than can be said for the hangover. A couple of days later, I caught up with the other people I’d been ruining the rest of my week with. They had all been suffering very differently, leading to the idea that hangovers (and their victims) can be divided into five distinct categories:-
1. The Immobile
These people have hangovers that sever all major motor function. Balls of agony are dispatched by the brain to gather at every major nerve junction, crunching the body into whatever unnatural shape they woke up in. Moving isn’t an option, as even the twiddling of a toe sends blasts of pain and nausea in every direction. The only option is to lie there under the duvet, whimpering, and hope the monster hangover passes by their hiding place. But just at exactly the wrong moment, they sneeze.
2. The Puker
‘Get it out, that’s the best thing’ ‘You’ll feel better once you’ve stopped’ ‘Don’t worry, the toilet needed a clean anyway’. These lies are all familiar to those who favour the most spectacular hangover category. None of them are to be believed – except the second, as once every facial orifice has stopped streaming you do, briefly, feel better. Flumping back into bed, just a bit of sleep and it’ll be fine – until three minutes later when the stomach begins pitching once again, and its back to the toilet. Don’t worry – the body has no use for bile anyway.
3. The Denial
“No, I can’t have a hangover. I only had four beers last night. And that wine wasn’t a strong bottle. The doner on the way home must have soaked some of it up, surely? Although…I don’t remember going into a kebab house. I wonder what I was eating. Anyway, I can’t have a hangover today – it’s the presentation to the vice-chairman of the regional board. Why is my left hand covered in salt? Must be something else. I wish the cat would stop staring. But I don’t have a cat. Who’s that lying on top of me? And why does my presentation have teeth marks on it?”
4. The Headache
This is often seen as the ‘best’ hangover type to get – as from the chin down you are, to a cursory glance, a real human (following a shower to wash off the stench of shame, of course). However, the tradeoff is that the City of Edinburgh appears to be building an extension from the Gogar tram depot to your brain. If it weren’t for the finest drugs available, there would be no chance to be productive. As it is, you’re not productive either – but at least you can fake it whilst mashing the keyboard with your non-coffee hand.
5. The Unaffected
Of course, everyone knows somebody who will say to you – with a beaming smile – that they don’t get hangovers. This statement is usually delivered whilst they are cheerfully pulling on their running shoes four hours after you both crawled home from curry n’ absinthe night at the Red Lettuce. As you are currently lying on the hall floor using the shoes as a pillow, face smeared with tikka masala, feel free to respond to these people in the correct manner – by noisily throwing up in them.