The mourning after the night before.
T’is the season to be jolly, tra la la. Christmas is upon us once again. It comes around every year if we wait long enough. We definitely know it’s here as Debenhams are reminded us by having a Christmas sale in November.
With it comes seasonal bonhomie, goodwill to all me, including those you don’t like (well, till January, anyway) and the famous office Christmas party.
At this event unassuming people participate in the most unlikely romantic trysts that they will reflect on with acute embarrassment in January.
The office photocopier will be placed under considerable strain when it is required to take gross, anatomical pictures of those who find it hilarious to sit on it. This is definitely a case of over-exposure.
‘Thank you, perhaps just a small one.’ ‘Well, it is Christmas, isn’t it?’ ‘Have one for the road.’ ‘Let’s have another toast.’ ‘Whose round is it?’
All of the above have one common factor, drinking excessive quantities of alcohol, and as sure as New Year follows Christmas, the inevitable hangover arrives.
There are few afflictions quite as dreadful as a full-blown hangover. Your shrunken brain rattles painfully against the inside of your skull, your tongue is coated with an inch thick layer of greasy fur and your mouth tastes as though you have consumed the contents of the bottom of a bird cage. Getting up is problematic as this action causes violent motion sickness, but you’ve got get to the toilet somehow or there will be yet another disaster.
During the first hour of wakefulness you think you are going to die; for the rest of day you will wish that you had.
Experienced drinkers know that when it comes to hangovers, prevention is better than cure. This means that you have to plan for your hangover in advance. (Yeah, right!)
A good rule is to drink plenty of water during your drinking session. Alcohol is a diuretic and acute dehydration out is a major part of hangover agony.
Some Jewish friends assure me that chicken soup is good for hangovers. Apparently it replaces lost liquid and coats the stomach lining with a protective layer of schmaltz. But if they are to be believed, chicken soup cures practically everything from haemorrhoids to home-sickness; and possibly broken hearts too.
Some hardened drinkers offer truly horrendous 'cures' involving Worcestershire sauce, raw eggs (our American cousins cause them Prairie Oysters), pepper and other unspeakable ingredients. The only benefit I can see from this is that it will probably empty the stomach contents very rapidly, although somewhat messily. Nobody with a real hangover could look a raw egg in the eye without feeling nauseous.
The real answer, of course, is to drink in moderation so the problem doesn't arise in the first place. However, I know and you know that this pearl of wisdom is unlikely to find Christmas favour. For most of us there is no option but to pay our dues and accept them as payment for a good time had by all. As Oscar Wilde famously said, ‘drink is the curse of the working classes.’
Finally there is that that ridiculous notion of taking 'a hair of the dog that bit you'. This was dreamed up by the fellow who said: "It's not being drunk that hurts. It's the times between being drunk. Eliminate those and it doesn't hurt at all."
It now only remains for me to wish all of my readers a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas and may the New Year bring you good fortune.