Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Let's all take a look at the different species of hangovers available to the dipsomaniacs among us, shall we?

Thanks to Brewski, I now have a perfectly appropriate phrase to describe a certain type of hangover; The Spidery hangover. This is the one where you're capable of going to work, it's not bad enough to stay home for, but it manifests itself all day in a dry, jumpy, and as Brewski puts it, delicate way. This is a harmless one, usually the result of the 'pub trivia type' evening, where you just drink beer, don't mix your poison, and don't stay out particularly late or go too crazy. In fact, this one is often accompanied by thoughts like "if I'd just skipped that LAST round...I'd be fine." Thoroughly unpleasant, but you can work through it.

A similar hangover, but one step up the scale of misery, is the bastard-behind-the-eyes hangover. Characterized first and foremost by the feeling of a drill at the temples. Like the spidery hangover, you can work with this one, though it presents the symptoms listed above, though with alternating fits of nausea, sweats, shakes, and diarrhea. You don't necessarily HAVE to mix your drinks to get this one, merely drinking a LOT of beer, and sleeping very little will get you there. Though working with this one is frowned upon - especially if the restrooms at work have thin walls and your personal sounds travel - you won't be any happier at home, so you might as well save the sick day for the next one....

The "Whiskey Flu" hangover. This miserable bastard hits when you DO mix your poison, don't eat enough beforehand, and thoroughly load your body with sugar and other toxins. You know this one is on its way by the fact that it takes the actual act of vomiting to put an end to the evening's revelry, and keeps you immobile most of the morning after, because you're feverish, and have dizzy spells when you sit up too fast. Though I have done it, I do not recommend going to work sporting this type of hangover. You'll do no one any good, and may even do harm.

Kingsley Amis, in his wonderful book, On Drink, offers descriptions of a few of the different types of hangover availabe to the discerning drunk. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, and I loaned my copy to a (drinking) buddy of mine, so I don't have any good quotes to go with this post. Let's just say if you can find a copy in a used bookstore or on ebay, his comparison of the Physical hangover versus the Metaphysical hangover...brilliant.

How about it, gentle readers? What does your hangover continuum look like?


Blogger Dr Maroon said...

I think continuum is a good word for it because that's what it looks like to me anyway I am a scientist first a continuum a big black empty desolate black continuum filled with black emptiness continuing to black evermore.
And all the physical symptoms too.

15 November, 2005 15:43  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

My least favourite one is one I call, 'Black Cloud Rising. (BCR)' That is where you don't feel so bad getting up, but as the day progresses you get steadily worse until finally you succumb to it and lie on the sofa watching the Simpsons, snuffling and whimpering softly.

15 November, 2005 15:56  
Blogger Andraste said...

Ahhhh yessss....I have a similar one, though I call it "the late-breaking-hangover." Fine when I wake up, because I'm probably still drunk, and then a gradual sobering descent into hell, ending in a miserable puddle of self-pity.

15 November, 2005 16:07  
Blogger mrshife said...

I am guilty of all three of those hangovers, but I am especially prone to the late-breaking hangover. I always wake up still a little tipsy mostly because I drink too much and get very little sleep. But instead of marinating in my own juices, I throw some more gasoline on the fire and keep drinking until I pass out again.

15 November, 2005 16:33  
Blogger LBseahag said...

i am a puker...and a food binger...then it goes away...

15 November, 2005 19:09  
Blogger LindyK said...

The "late breaker" is what I had this weekend... still drunk in the shower the next morning, then worse as the day passed...

Of course, there's always the "what the fuck did I drink last night blackout," which I seem to be particularly susceptible to -- after a certain point, I don't remember anything...

15 November, 2005 20:15  
Anonymous vague said...

Last weekend I had a full-body, all-consuming, trip-to-hell-type hangover. It was so all-consuming that it even seemed to affect my bathroom, possibly being the cause of the bathtub drain's malodorous regurgitation. It was without doubt the cause of mine, anyway. I shudder even remembering it. My head hurt so bad but I couldn't keep any painkillers down. There is no name evil enough for this one.

15 November, 2005 21:27  
Blogger Brewski said...

Let's not forget the Hangoverus Melancholous, which visits upon you a terrible sadness. Anyone else get those? Go to Thailand, drink a pitcher of Sangh Thip (whiskey) and Red Bull, and spend the next day being darkly existential and lamenting this old life of ours. Vodka can also do it me for some strange reason.

16 November, 2005 03:12  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Jesus Vague, you win. If you can't even keep the pain killers down...what do you call something that evil? There has to be a name for it, apart from knocking on death's door.

16 November, 2005 03:16  
Blogger michael the tubthumper said...

two others. there is the 'beyond hangover full on alcohol poisoning'. most ly characterised by trying to sit up once and saying 'fuck that for a laugh i am staying DOWN today'.

there is also the one that is a mix of the diarrohea and drill hangovers but then miraculously clears up at lunchtime leaving you feeling fine. thats a weird one but always quite a nice surprise when it happens.

16 November, 2005 05:21  
Blogger Andraste said...

Yep...had 'em all at one time or another. Except for the blackout one. Lindy - that's fucking frightening. There are times I WISH I COULD black out, knowing that my behavior will be cause for much embarrassment and guilt in coming weeks, but as yet, I remember every awful bit of bad behavior.

Which of course is one of the criteria for the METAphysical hangover. Once again, Brewski has the best terminology for it: Hangoverus Melancholous. Perfect.

The silver lining (IS there a silver lining? Hark, you shall hear it) is that the day AFTER a nasty hangover, you can get up feeling pretty much normal, but because the previous 24 hours were so fucking awful, "normal" feels like "FUCKING SPECTACULAR"

16 November, 2005 09:25  
Blogger tgic said...

I've only skipped work once for a hangover, and that was only because I actually drank all day one Sunday.

But oh, some days, I've sure as fuck wanted to skip. The worst is when you're vaguely nauseous anyway, and you get on the bus and want to ralph. Bad news.

The first day of my current job? The day after Southie's St. Paddy's parade last year. You can imagine my state.

16 November, 2005 10:55  
Blogger the anti-barney said...

Mine was so bad that I'm only
catching up on everybody's blogs
now,the eyesight is nearly back to normal.I don't WANT to know the name of what I had.

16 November, 2005 15:48  
Blogger Brewski said...

It shall be called, 'The One of which we do not Speak' AB.

17 November, 2005 08:21  
Blogger the anti-barney said...

That could be confusing,Brewski,
whatever about "the one in which we do noy see."

17 November, 2005 09:11  
Blogger the anti-barney said...

Not see.Not see,not see.

17 November, 2005 09:14  
Blogger Snotty McShot said...

Today I feel like my head is full of wet cement. No pain, just a sensation like I'm wearing an enormous invisible balaclava.

I could try and cook up a name for it, but to be honest it's been a struggle enough writing these words right here. Sorry.

18 November, 2005 10:40  
Blogger Andraste said...

Hey Snotty, no problem. Thanks for stopping by, even if you're half-capacity.

18 November, 2005 10:58  

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