The Hangover is in dire need of a public defender.
Until that happens, the Hangover should disappear and go into hiding deep in the caves of Iraq, and it shouldn’t come out until people finally acknowledge the nobleness of its purpose.
It should proclaim itself a raging alcoholic and when people ask where its been for the past three weeks, it should tell them that its not quite sure how to answer, because…well…it has a splitting headache and cotton mouth and it can’t remember a goddamn thing.
Or perhaps the Hangover should acquire a celebrity endorsement, like Lebron James, who could claim that he doesn’t go anywhere without his post-championship celebratory hangover, which he stores in his headband. Or possibly Larry Bird would be interested, considering the legendary story of the time he stopped drinking, went into a horrible slump, took drinking back up heavily one night, and put up 61 points the next night on the Atlanta Hawks with his hangover steering the ship.
What the Hangover really needs is a brilliant publicist to reform its image, which has taken a beating over the past few decades. Death’s PR guy comes to mind. What a fantastic job he did with his creation of the sinister and creepy icon he developed in the Grim Reaper (McDonald’s would be so proud). But instead of a hooded cloak and a scythe, I picture the Hangover in dirty sweatpants and Uggs, with brass knuckles and a megaphone that screams a thousand decibels of pain and torture into your brain.
The point is, the Hangover has long since been chastised and persecuted by society. A martyr in the tabloids. This is mainly the result of the severe contradiction that exists between the previous night’s embellishment and the morning after’s devastation. The chemicals now lurking in your body, which at one point the night before transformed you into a king of invincible proportions, have turned on you and are now hanging around like despised and uninvited house guests, sucking the hydration and nutrients from your very soul until every cell in your body feels like a post-nuclear wasteland. In short, you feel betrayed, and you therefore take it out on the Hangover.
This will be difficult for most of you to hear, but the Hangover is a necessity to our ritualistic celebrations. It is the Yin to our Yang, the hazing that allows us to belong to a fraternity that quickly weeds out the weak and under-talented. If you don’t like that, it’s because you are a moderate drinker who wants to swim with the big boys but doesn’t want to pay the price of admission.
When you sign up to drink, you are committing to the Incredible Hulk adventure in which you experience enormous waves of emotion and feelings of invincibility as you transform into something completely unrecognizable to your friends. This is followed by wreaking havoc upon those around you and ravaging anything and anyone in your path until the next morning when you wake up bruised and foggy-headed, wearing tattered purple pants and wondering who and where the hell you are. Moreover, your potted plant in the corner of the living room smells like urine and the beautiful damsel you were rescuing and brought home last night has vanished and been replaced by some sort of hideous warthog.
For centuries people have been trying to find a cure for the common hangover, all the way from herbs and medicinal remedies to the greasiest fast food you can get your hands on. You and I both know that the only true hangover cure to date is more alcohol.
And do not preach to me about prevention and abstinence as a solution. There is no room for moderation when you make that commitment to work your elbow for the night. The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to drinking is listening to the do-gooders whose main purpose in life is to kill fun before it can be born. Fun abortionists, I call them, who try to anticipate everything bad and harmful that was ever conceptualized so they can crawl into a bomb shelter where they sit and hug their knees and rock back and forth, dreading the inevitable.
Great drinkers take pride in their drunkenness and hangovers. That is because it is a recurring rite of passage, a badge of confirmation which affirms that we have successfully completed our mission. Excessiveness and the Hangover are best friends. The main reason for drinking is to be allowed to act completely and utterly irresponsibly and have something to blame it on. It is not a custom for the weak and sober to participate in, and it is certainly not for them to fix. The Hangover is a gauge that measures our resolve and courage. As Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own, “Hard is what makes it great. If it was easy, anyone could do it.”
God forbid we should ever find a cure for the Hangover. With no consequences to our actions, nations would fall, livers would fail at the age of 35, wallets would be forever mysteriously empty, and the number of attractive people allowing trolls into their beds would quadruple at the very least. The purpose of drinking is to let it all out, to go out and actually participate in life experiences and have a rip-roaring good time. The purpose of a hangover is to remind you not to do it every day.
Whatever the Hangover decides to do, it’d better do something, and fast. Since man first became loopy thousands of years ago sucking fermented juices from rotten fruit, it has been a victim of mudslinging and witch-hunting and as a result, people blinded by and who are unappreciative of their liquor are seeking its crucifiction and are trying to cure and forever eradicate the hangover like they would an infectious rat.
I, for one, intend to defend the reputation and dignity of the Hangover to the death. I believe it’s time we stopped ostracizing it and instead started paying it our respects. I plan to stand outside of Walmarts with a petition and picketing signs that prod and steer people toward the truth. And please don’t stop by to save me or tell me that I should abstain from drinking or that I should slow down, for I have been taught to not be a quitter, and I am fully prepared to suffer the consequences of my actions the morning after. You should too.
Cheers, until the next time.
“One is alright, two is too many, and three is not enough.”
– James Thurber on the Martini.