....so last weeks blog was all about the ill advised decision I made back in 2006 when I decided to take a legal 'herbal high' whilst backpacking around New Zealand. If you missed that blog post then I advise you jump in a Delorean 'Marty Mcfly' style and go back one week as there are rumours that it was a humdinger of an article and it could even potentially save your life. If you don't have a Delorean, don't panic, there's also a rumour going around that you can alternatively just scroll down on this page and look out for the blog post beneath this one. I know, crazy isn't it.
Anyway so to continue where 'Herbal Highs And Massive Lows' left off I am going to write this week not about the hangovers that taking tablets called 'Mad Dog' or 'Meow Meow' can cause, but about that pain that probably 99% of all human beings have suffered from at one point in their life. No not watching a film directed by Clint Eastwood, but an alcohol induced hangover.
Now ten years ago, when I was in my early 20's, I used to drink far too much. It was one of those periods in your life where for some reason you convince yourself that in order to have a good time you 'have to' turn up at the pub drunk, as God forbid someone sees you at the pre drunk stage when you can still string a sentence together or have a conversation with a girl for more than 5 minutes without getting the wrong impression and assuming they've fallen in love with you.
So in order to aid the task of turning up at the pub 'in the zone' we would begin the evening drinking 4 or 5 pints round my mates house's before heading out. Now I have come to realise over the years that this pre-drinking err drinking is silly for 3 reasons:
1) It makes your liver hate you and for days after nights out back then I could feel mine throbbing as if it was crying out for help.
2) It makes you fat and in the few years that this pre night out boozing took place I reckon I put on at least 2 stone and most of which went straight to my chin(s). So by the age of 23 I had what can only be called a pelican neck sagging from my jaw line, which was fine if I was just trying to store food to feed my young, but unfortunately I wasn't storing anything but fat and with a face increasingly looking like a dropped pie there was very little chance that someone would find me attractive enough to produce me any young any time soon.
3) The hangovers. My good God. Drinking a stupid amount of alcohol before you go out can only ever lead to one thing. Yep a hangover so bad that you get that throbbing behind your eye as if someone's trying to do a remake of 'Inner Space' in your head and Dennis Quaid is frantically trying to escape.
Now to me there are two types of hangovers. There's the one where you don't have to get up for work the next day and then there's the one where you do. This post will focus on the one where you do, as although it is not something that happens to me much since I've grown up a bit and realised excessive drinking does me no favours whatsoever, it is this type of hangover however that causes the most issues.
The issues I mention tends to be especially prevalent in the Advertising Industry that I work in as quite often the events you get invited to involve a free bar and so in my younger less sensible days I would end up drinking far more than I should of, which in turn always made things far more, well let's say 'interesting', the next morning.
Free bars also caused another phenomenon that was guaranteed to make any hangover worse, and not just in the advertising industry, but in any 'free bar' situation, whether that be a wedding or some other occasion when someone is foolish enough to allow you to drink their hard earned cash away.
This phenomenon is that you always see people walking around holding two drinks?! It's as if they (and I am including my younger self in this) think that the free bar is going to end any moment, so must stock up whilst they can like you saw idiots do before Y2K, or people do before a tornado or flood strikes; loading up their arms, pockets, even children with all the provisions that they can carry 'just in case'.
Well it's the same in a free bar situation, everyone stocks up as quickly as possible as who knows when the 'freeness' of it all will end! So you see people wandering around holding on to all the free booze they can get their hands on as if they're doing a smash and grab down the local off licence or something.
So anyway, after a work night out such as this you wake up the next day and if you are like me something horrible will happen. You will have at least a ten second moment where you think it's Saturday and as you look over at the clock and see its 8:45am you smile, whilst thinking to yourself 'Yeah I feel like hell, but at least I don't have to go to work'. Then those ten seconds start to tick down and your thought process goes something like this:
10, 9, 8 seconds. God I feel horrific, what the hell is going on in my head, it feels like a Chilean miner is trying to dig his way out of there. Still no work, so I may as well just sleep it off.
7, 6, 5 seconds. Wait what was I doing last night? Oh yeah, work do, let's see if I've got any texts from work people to see if I did anything stupid.
4, 3, 2 seconds. Hold up, work do? It can't be as work do's are always on a Thursday and I know it's now the weekend?
1, 0 seconds. Oh fu*k.
That's when it hits you, not only do you have to go to work but also you have to be there in under 30 minutes. This is made even worse because you know its a 60 minute journey in and currently your lying on your bed, still wearing half a suit from the night before and with a tongue so furry it feels like you've been using it to lick clean your carpets. You've also got beer sweats so bad that there's a good chance if you rang out your bed sheets the resulting liquid would probably have a head on it.
It's at this point however that you spring up and head for the shower, knowing that although in an ideal world you wouldn't need one and would just head straight for work, but in reality you currently smell like a urinal in a pub toilet so it's essential you wash away the previous nights sins before you face the general public once again.
So in the shower you get thinking this should be the moment when things start to take a turn for the better, but for me this never happens. Now I may have used this analogy before but to me when that water hits me I do what that guy does in the film 'The Crying Game' after he realises that he's slept with a transsexual the night before, I just curl up into a ball in the corner and hope that the water bouncing off my back and head will cleanse me of everything that's happened to me in the last 12 hours.
Of course it doesn't, so once the showers done it's then over to the wardrobe to grab some clothes whilst having a little prayer that no ironing will be needed because you know that attempting that in your current state is likely to end with you burning down your house. So you decide to just chuck on whatever looks the least creased and out you go into the big wide world, still feeling sick, still with a brain that seems to want to leave your body through any orifice it can find and still pretty certain that the next 8 hours are going to be the worst of your life.
Quickly dropping a text to a colleague to say 'Sorry' about your lateness and hoping that they are in the same position, you head off to work. Now depending on where you work and how you get there the next bit can be tricky. For me I have to get the train and the underground, which I personally feel is the last thing needed when feeling like you've just been run over by a bus....full of Sumo wrestlers.....carrying a pallet of bricks.
See the problem with the train and especially the underground in London is that you very rarely get a seat. So you are left to stand in the isle with some blokes pit in your face, or as I'm over 6ft I tend to have the pleasure of the top of some girls head straight in my mouth, which is great if you want to use their hair for flossing, but when feeling like even a cuddle could make you vomit, this is horrific.
The other issue is on the underground the air-conditioning is non existent. So combining this with the beer sweats and that the rest of the carriage seems intent on rubbing themselves up against you in a manner that is borderine sexual assault, things are never going to go smoothly. Eventually however you make it off the tube and in to work, probably about 10am and in all likelihood carrying a McDonald's breakfast which although at the time you think will help, does in fact just makes you feel worse.
Once in you then have that moment where you declare to anyone who will listen that 'I don't know what happened, I didn't drink that much and had a pint of water before I went to bed so I should be fine, my drink must have been spiked' in some kind of desperate attempt to convince yourself that the way you are currenlty feeling is no fault of your own. Even though you know all to well that 8 hours earlier you were roaming around a bar holding two pints of 'Stella' in your hand and singing along to 'Don't stop believing' like you'd just wandered on to the set of Glee.
The rest of the day will be spent praying that the phone doesn't ring, asking people to feed you water like your life depended on it (which it does) and praying that the hair of the dog that you are having at lunch time will sort everything out (which it doesn't). By the time it comes to going home you have finally declared that you will 'never drink again', but we all know exactly what happens next.....