Notes on Hangovers

This is where my head was a little over three years ago.

Two semesters shy of obtaining my J.D., and what was I doing? Applying for an internship? Job hunting? No. I was apparently putting whatever little brain power I was capable of mustering up at 12:30 am to churn out a page long screed about the effects of hangovers on the human body. It is rambling, full of unsupported assertions and lacking any citations from accredited sources. Basically, the same level as a Washington Post article.
Originally posted: Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 12:30am ·
Yesterday, a friend of mine slightly admonished me for my habit of commenting about trivial matters such as my hostility towards polar bears, belittling Somali pirates and my most recent post regarding my frustration of Texas liquor laws vis-à-vis Missouri laws. We then reminisced about a deep conversation we had one night concerning the death penalty. It was a great discussion.

Well, it might have been had we not been too drunk to remember it. He more so, but that’s splitting hair. This all led me to think about those interesting nights, but more precisely those mornings, in which after imbibing one too many adult beverages I awoke with a horrendous hangover. You’ve all had them. Hell, I know most of you have, considering I was probably right next to you slamming down those Jaeger Bombs or Lemon Twists. So, rather than finish up a 20 page paper that’s due in a few weeks or begin studying for finals, I’ve decided to write a long piece on hangovers.

For those of you wondering why it’s taking me so long to graduate law school—consider this your answer. And yes, Sminu, this further supports your observation that I have an obsession with trivial things. But as Ms. Z stated, some of these things are important to alcoholics.

What Causes Hangovers?

Scientific explanation 
Perusing the pages of that venerable source of accurate info, Wikipedia, I discovered a plethora of fun facts regarding hangovers. To wit:
    • “A Hangover describes the sum of unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of drugs, particularly alcoholic beverages. The most commonly reported characteristics of a hangover include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysphoria, diarrhea and thirst.”
      Check, check and triple check.
    • “Approximately 25-30% of drinkers may be resistant to hangover symptoms.”
      My lovely roommate falls within this category. I have witnessed only 2 times where she’s been sidelined by this condition. I surely do not fall under this category, and because of this I slightly hate her for this near immunity she possesses.
    • “Alcohol dehydrates so that every part of the body is shrunken other than the brain, and needs refreshing. The brain swells because of the damage, usually only temporary, that has been done to the nerve cells by the alcohol.”
      That all sounds…not good. Words to highlight here are “shrunken, swells, and damage.”


    • “ There is currently no known proven mechanism for making oneself sober short of waiting for the body to metabolize ingested alcohol, which occurs via oxidation through the liver before alcohol leaves the body.”
      In short folks, you gotta ride that bull til he bucks you off.
    • “However, drinking a large amount of water or a rehydration drink prior to sleep will effectively reduce a large proportion of the symptoms.”
      Of course you’ll have to urinate for a while so I suggest stocking up on the “turlet” paper. I’m speaking to the ladies here. How you guys handle this is outside my purview.
Michelle’s explanation 

In my experience, a hangover is the result of having an extremely trying week where you read pages upon pages of tiny print written by extremely intelligent people who take far more space than they should to lay out an earth shattering concept or rule that in the end makes no sense to you and is inevitably overruled 5 pages later. Drink to that.

Then you’re reminded how much of an idiot you are by professors running the gamut between resembling the dude from House to a tiny woman with a freakishly penetrating stare who I’m pretty sure relishes giving students verbal bitch slaps. There’s also Mr. Perfect who’s a vegetarian, helps the homeless, has beautiful kids, and somehow gets you to enjoy the mind screw that is Rule Against Perpetuities. Drink to that.

To top it off you have four finals approaching in which you have yet to study for and a giant term paper due over a topic which sounded great when you chose it but now is so dull even an out of work New York Times reporter won’t touch it. Drink to that.

So, casting aside all these commitments, you and a four of your best girls slap on the war paint and strip off the sweats to hit the downtown watering holes. You’re there so often that the doorman recognizes your perfume. Except me, I’m still carded. Drink to that.

You fight your way to the bar, exhaust all methods of gaining the attention of the bartender short of flashing your mammaries and fork over $6.50 for a coke. If you’re lucky you’ll get a drop of liquor in it.Drink it down and order a shot.

The muscular, shaved head, tatted up piece of man meat you’ve been eye balling won’t give you a second look. Drink to that.

The polo and sandal wearing assclown with a receding hairline won’t leave you alone. Drink to that.

A drunk girl steps on you toe and while she’s apologizing spills her beer on you. Shove her and drink to that.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day so take a few swigs of green beer and chase it with an Irish car bomb.

Running tally so far: 11 adult beverages

Bar is closing, finish drink and last shot for the night. Walk home or if you’re following your 5’10″ roommate, run home. Top off the night with rum and coke and then hit the sack.

Total: 13 drinks


Assuming you haven’t died of alcohol poisoning, promptly:

  • Look at pictures you took of yourself and/or your friends and realize how much of an ass you are when you’re three sheets to the wind and trying to dance to Britney Spears.
  • Survey the blisters and bruises on your body and realize how unattractive they look in the daylight
  • Delete phone numbers of weirdos you thought looked devastatingly handsome at the time, but now realize they bear an uncanny resemblance to Quasimodo.
  • Do damage control concerning the inappropriate texts you sent to friends, ex lovers and current but soon to be ex boyfriends.
  • Clean up the vomit covered bathroom and bleach the hell out of your dress/jeans in order to salvage them for future use.

There you go, kiddies, an extremely lengthy post over hangovers, their causes and possible remedies. It’s not groundbreaking, important or even well written, but it’s something that needs to be exposed. Not really, but try and sue me for the 2 minutes of time you lost over info you could’ve gone your whole life without knowing. See you at the bars!


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