Wine? Are you stark-rav­ing mad? Cock­tails? May as well go to A&E now

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We are pro­foundly un­de­lighted to in­tro­duce the phe­nom­e­non that is the two-day hang­over. If you are un­der 35, t he two of you will not have met be­fore. But read this and be afraid. oh yes, be very afraid.

If we cast our cal­ci­fy­ing minds back a few years, we dimly re­call that there was a time when hang­overs were kind of funny. Badge-of-hon­our-ish. Work­ing on a mag­a­zine to­gether 10 (plus a few, but time crunches to­gether when you are old) years ago, the two of us had a code: we would text each other say­ing ,‘ I need love to­day .’ Which meant we prob­a­bly hadn’t been to bed and were ba­si­cally fine but re­quired a large sand­wich ev­ery hour, on the hour, a nd gal­lons of ribena. oh, for those hal­cyon days.

Hang­overs are no longer fun or funny or cosy or bond­ing or any­thing other than gothic ally hor­ri­ble. The shame doesn’t help; the knowl­edge that we should know bet­ter. Why don’t we know bet­ter? What is wrong with us? are we al­co­holics? oh, prob­a­bly. a bit. But we’re just go­ing to let t hat lie. for now.

Hang­overs, these days, are gory af­fairs. Stealthy, like stamp duty, they fool us into think­ing we didn’t bite off more than we could chew last night. We wake up and in­wardly, id­i­ot­i­cally crow to our­selves, ‘I’ve got away with it. Ha! one flat white plus a bagel and all will be well.’

the down­ward spi­ral

any­way, at some point in the next hour things take a sin­is­ter turn. We sus­pect –based on ab­so­lutely no sci­en­tific ev­i­dence at all–that the cof­fee and the bag el( or the por­ridge or the gluten­free toast or what­ever) give the body fuel to grind into hideous mo­tion and start to process the abuse that was in­flicted upon it the pre­vi­ous night. Be­cause, which­ever way you look at it, cells do not re­pro­duce and re­plen­ish the way they once did.

Time was, we woke up nearly dead and our bod­ies had pretty much re­placed them­selves by dusk. now, we are stuck with these poi­soned husks for days. By lunchtime, the acid claw has es­tab­lished its grip around our ribs, but we’re be­ing grown-up about it, largely be­cause we are ashamed. and we can’t af­ford to lose these jobs – not like that job one of us‘ re signed from’ in 1998 when she had sex with the IT guy by mis­take and slept un­der her desk once (quite a lot).

The rest of the day and evening are spent in a fug of Midult brain melt and refined car­bo­hy­drates, un­til we col­lapse into bed in a kind of frenzy of relief, only to wake up the fol­low­ing morn­ing shrouded in bleak­ness; cloaked in grim self-loathing and hope­less­ness. and yet again our Midult memories fail us, en­tirely un­able to es­tab­lish any con­nec­tion be­tween the fes­tiv­i­ties of 36 hours ago and the ‘would it just be eas­ier for ev­ery­one if a bus hit me?’ think­ing of to­day.

the so­lu­tion

Be­cause we a re here to help, we a re go­ing to give you a lit­tle les­son in how to get dr unk, dance, stay up late and wake up with an en­tirely man­age­able hang­over, even af­ter the biggest night of your year. or your decade.

This in­for­ma­tion was passed on to us by a hal­lowed party per­son – a Mid-ult woman who has drunk-zigzagged the globe, carous­ing with the biggest ma­ni­acs out there. name one and she’s matched them shot for shot. She’s mag­nif­i­cent. and so we sought her coun­sel when we had a very full-on party to go to and the old im­bib­ing mus­cles hadn’t been f lexed for a while. The in­nards were vul­ner­a­ble. We were, frankly, con­cerned for our safety.

The Ma­jor Ma­niac rec­om­mended this: beer and tequila. That’s it. Sim­ple as. Wine? are you stark-rav­ing mad? Cock­tails? May as well go to a&e now. Whisky? oh, stop it. eat or don’t. drink water or don’t. But stick to the booze rule. We tried it; danced till 3am, span­nered but not undig­ni­fied(!); and got up at 7am fresh as daisies.

Beer re­hy­drates as it lu­bri­cates (it also makes you pee con­stantly and is ob­scenely fat­ten­ing), and tequila peps, peps, peps up the old bones with­out t ur ning you into t he no-con­cept-of-per­sonal-space stum­bling par t y ter­ror­ist. and so we leave you with that t win­kling lit­tle tip. It will trans­form your sum­mer. Say good­bye to the phe­nom­e­non of the two-day hang­over. It was not nice know­ing it.

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