Some solace for the dreaded hangover blues

Come on, kids. It’s that time of year. Party time! Which means that some of us—but, no, not a nice girl like me!—might drink one too many at that holiday party, and wake up the next morning not feeling so good.

You can find all sorts of tips on hangover cures on line or in magazines. My favorite tips come from Kinsley Amis (1922-2005) the famed British writer who was also known as an enthusiastic, “prodigious” drinker. Yeah, he was a dipso. Wow, haven’t come across the term, dispsomaniac, in a while. But, Amis used it in the columns, essays and books he wrote about drinking—or in his view–about the ways to be the cosmopolitan gentleman that he professed to be. His writings on drinking was collected into the book, Everyday Drinking, which was published last year.

Click here to read a reprinted version of his essay on how to deal a hangover. He divides this Morning After affliction into the physical hangover and the metaphysical hangover. Oh, I don’t think any of Amis’ tips will actually be of much use. However, it’s provides a silly, funny, sometimes witty read, and I appreciate very much what he has to say about the emotional and psychological consequences of the hangover, so I quote some of that section below.

Very quickly, his recommended cures for the physical hangover are 1) to wake up and have sex, unless you happened to be in bed with someone you don’t want to be in bed with; 2) drink lots of water; 3) eat nothing; 4) don’t smoke; 5) go for a walk and get some fresh air; and, 6 ) and by around noon, take that hair of the dog, and have some vodka or something in a Bloody Mary.

But as you’re addressing the physical drudgery of the hangover, you’ll also have to deal with the metaphysical agony. And here’s what you need to do, according to Sir Kinsley (yeah, he was knighted):

“1. Deal thoroughly with your Physical Hangover.

2. When that ineffable compound of depression, sadness (these two are not the same), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future begins to steal over you, start telling yourself that what you have is a hangover. You are not sickening for anything, you have not suffered a minor brain lesion, you are not all that bad at your job, your family and friends are not leagued in a conspiracy of barely maintained silence about what a s**t you are, you have not come at last to see life as it really is and there is no use crying over spilt milk.

3. If necessary then, embark on either the Metaphysical Literature Course or Music Course or both in succession (not simultaneously). Going off and gazing at some painting, building or bit of statuary might do you good, too.

The structure of both courses, hangover reading and hangover listening, rests on the principle that you must feel worse emotionally before you start to feel better.

A good cry is the initial aim.”

3 thoughts on “Some solace for the dreaded hangover blues

  1. Some friends who work at the Baylor Sports Science Institute have done some private research for fun on this problem. The best way to avoid a hangover is to mix bottled Gatorade 1-1 with regular water. It's best to do this before you go to bed (if you have the determination), but also can help the morning after.

    They also found Pickle juice to be beneficial.


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