Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Wisdom of the Froog

"I don't understand how anyone can still have a hangover at 6.30pm. Why have you not yet had another drink?"

Leather Britches was whingeing on Sunday evening about feeling unable to drink because of the supposed excesses of his Saturday. A drink is, of course, exactly what he needed to set him right. Nothing soothes the physical discomfort (and the remorse) that we think of as a 'hangover' quite like another nip of alcohol. And while I can understand that some people may be reluctant to try this remedy when their physical symptoms - or, more likely, their remorse: the 'moral hangover', the misguided (but ephemeral) commitment to abstinence that so often follows a heavy session - are still raging strongly, or may have more general qualms against drinking during the day, well, by 6pm there's really no excuse any more; the physical unease must have begun to abate somewhat twelve hours or more after you finished drinking, and it's perfectly respectable to venture into a bar once the sun is below the yard-arm. Just shut up and have a drink, goddammit.

I well remember Jonathan Miller in his influential BBC1 series on medicine and anatomy The Body In Question saying that we take a decision to be 'ill' - that the exact same symptoms may be perceived and dealt with very differently, perhaps scarcely perceived at all, if we choose not to pay attention to them and not to categorise them as 'illness' - or 'hangover'. If you dwell upon your symptoms and give them the dread name 'hangover'.... then you have a hangover. I don't do that; thus, I never get hangovers.

It's not much of a 'trick', really.  You should try it for yourselves.

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