The Hangover

For ten thousand years, ever since human beings settled down to the cultivation of cereals and vines, alcohol has played a fundamental role in society.

It has served as an object of religious festivals, social lubricant, and afforded many unattractive men and woman the otherwise-unobtainable affection of higher mortals.

Suffice to say, heavy drinking has always been part of the British character. Winston Churchill once told: “A lady came up to me one day and said ‘Sir! You are drunk’, to which I replied ‘I am drunk today, madam, and tomorrow I shall be sober, but you will still be ugly.”

For years alcohol manufacturers have been telling us that their particular brand of alcohol will leave us king-of-the-jungle and irresistible to the opposite sex.  The idea is that Jack Daniels is catnip for girls; splash it around your carcass and women will flock to you like plankton shortly before wrestling you for a place in the bed. The reality, of course, is that you wake up in the morning, slightly jaded and alone, with little more than a souvenir of beer mats and a lighter wallet.

The marketing machine of the alcohol industry tends to have less-subtle imagery than Korean propaganda. And yet, every time we find ourselves in a pub, we order our staple beverage regardless of what the marketing minions have suggested might make our paltry lives better. So, in the interest of progression, having accepted that whatever will be will be and you will drink whatever you damn well please, here are some dubious suggestions on how to avoid that jaded, light-wallet feeling in the morning.

  • Stay drunk. Rather than accept that the walls are closing in the following morning, why not pepper the day with a Bloody Mary, or perhaps a gin and tonic.
  • Drink a pint of water before you pass out on the sofa — if you even made it that far. Note: if your chosen place of slumber is a public toilet, do not attempt this, despite what your Labrador might say.
  • Eat before you drink. Alcohol is absorbed slower on a full stomach, so your hangover won’t be as had. Go on, eat a giant burger before you attempt to binge-drink yourself to death — it’s for health reasons.
  • Eggs contain cysteine, which aids recovery during a hangover. Fruit juice will help to replace lost vitamins if you drink it afterwards, but drinking orange juice before sleeping helps too. Yes, healthy fruit. Don’t you bloody hate it when the vegans get something right?
  • In Ireland, it was said that the cure for a hangover is to bury the ailing person up to the neck in moist river sand. No more hangover tips from the IRA i feel.
  • Lucozade and a bacon sandwich. Many people claim Lucozade as their secret weapon in fighting hangovers. Apparently it works best when taken the night before. A bottle contains twenty-one teaspoons of sugar, however, which I think I’d struggle to sleep on no matter how squiffy.
  • It sounds counterintuitive, but try to stay away from aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen, the effects of which can be magnified when alcohol is in your system. Aspirin is a blood thinner like alcohol; paracetamol can damage your already overstretched liver; and ibuprofen can irritate the stomach.

If you have any other theories on how to cure the common hangover, then email

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