Everything is wrong with me
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
 
a long boring post about my terrible fucking hangover
I had the worst hangover of my life on Saturday.

I know I employ hyperbole a lot on the site, i.e. “It was the best sandwich I ever had” or “There is an International Jewish Conspiracy that is out to destroy me” or “I was so upset that I ran him over and it was the best Sunday ever.”

But there is not a hint of overstatement when I say that this past Saturday, I had the worst hangover of my life. Every New Year’s Day, I get so drunk marching in the Mummer’s Parade that I can’t maintain an erection for the next three weeks. My twenty-first birthday began a month-long drunken orgy that ended with my roommates and I being evicted and sued for $23,000 in damages to our apartment. I went to Oktoberfest – the real Oktoberfest, in Munich – where I spent an astounding ELEVEN days and nights drinking $7 liters of beer fourteen hours a day, leaving in such a state of withdrawal when I got home that I would sit at my desk at work, shaking and sweating, counting the minutes until I got off from work and could go home, smoke pot, and take a very long shower.

None of those hangovers compared to Saturday.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and I think I know why I was so hungover on Saturday, but before I go into these reasons I should provide you with a satisfactory recap of Friday night.

On Friday night, my friends and I got together in Philly for a drinking tour: “Whacked on Foot”. This was the second year of the tour’s existence. It was started last year by my buddy David to celebrate his birthday. I’ve written before about Dave on the site – among other things, I went to London with him and Jimmy the Muppet in February 2004; he and Jimmy were the guys who had me unknowingly passing out counterfeit $20 bills on a night out drinking in April 2004 (under pseudonyms); he was my partner in the 7th Annual Quasi-Celebrity Drinking Tour (“Drink Until You Shit!”) this summer; and most recently he organized the still-untitled drinking tour on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving of this year, which involved a bus with a DJ and two girls making out.

Long story short, David has a flair for the dramatic – and I mean this in the most heterosexual way possible. Simple nights or standard drinking tours do not entertain him. There always has to be something else, something usually retarded, to make the time mo’ better. Even if it involves something illegal and could possibly result in your friend serving very real jail time for a federal offense, well then so be it.

(And yes, I’m still bitter about the counterfeit money thing.)

Thankfully, there was nothing illegal about this Friday’s drinking tour, but there was a catch. There were about 14 guys on the tour – and one Santa suit. Each guy had to wear the Santa suit to a different bar. We started at 7pm at a bar on 2nd & Pine and we worked out way down 2nd Street, stopping at every bar on the way, back to our South Philly neighborhood.

And let me tell you, things got pretty ugly pretty quickly (of course, I don’t mean “ugly” in the “not good” sense, but rather the “booze soaked and totally and completely fucking awesome” sense). I should mention that my buddy Mark really upped the ante. Unbeknownst the rest of the crew, Mark went out and procured a Polaroid camera, film, and (literally) hundreds of candy canes. This was the perfect compliment to the Santa suit (see below).

My buddy Doc raised the bar pretty high when he was the first to put on the Santa suit. There is something wonderfully iconoclastic about Santa buying a round of shots, pounding a beer, and then screaming at the TV, “C’mon! Santa’s got $200 on the Sixers, so let’s go there Allen or else you’re getting coal, you mother fucker!”

I was determined to get out of wearing the Santa suit in any way, shape, or form. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the idea – but early on it was apparent that I was too drunk to be very jovial. This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t having a good time, but it means that I just wanted to drink, sit back, and laugh. One of the rare moments that I didn’t want to be at the center of attention.

So we kept drinking and moving on, guys switching in and out of the Santa suit as entered or exited each bar. Eventually, the idea of being Santa started to appeal to me. I’m guessing this has something with the fact that we’d go into bars and girls would start lining up for a Polaroid on Santa’s lap (and a candy cane, of course). As you guys know, there is nothing I advocate or enjoy more than sticking an unsuspecting woman with my thumb-sized boner. The origins of this go way back to my adolescence, when I would ram my bird into girls that I was slow dancing with at school dances, wondering, “Can she feel this? Because I sure can and it’s totally sweet.” The prospect of reliving my early boner-poking days was making me feel more and more jovial.

But near the end of the night, it didn’t look like it was going to happen. At the second to last bar, our friend Phil had the Santa suit on. The plan all along was for David, the birthday boy, to wear the Santa suit at the last bar. That would mean no Santa for me. But the good news is that by the time we were at the second to last bar I was so drunk that I was incapable of getting an erection. Hell, I was nearly incapable of sitting down. All I could really do at the point was breathe, piss, drink, and lean.

David, however, was in worse shape. I don’t remember the specifics, but I went to the bathroom, came out, and he was gone. When I asked Phil where he had gone, he told me that David had to be taken home by two other guys in the drinking tour because he was too drunk. It was about 12:15am. A total pussy performance to be sure (the first of three in a row for him), but this meant the Santa suit would be mine for the last bar! Victory!

At about 1am, I got into the suit, and the remaining four of us headed to the last bar. And that’s when it gets a little fuzzy.

I remember that Mark and I were the last two guys left at the bar. I remember doing a lot of shots with Mark. Bars close in Philly at 2am, but we stayed until 3am. I don’t remember any girls sitting on my lap (by that point, I’m pretty certain that at least two detectives from the Philadelphia Police Sex Crimes Unit were following me around as a precautionary measure), but there some Polaroids of me at the bar, which sadly I don’t have to scan.

And I do remember leaving. Or rather, I remember getting home. Knowing that I would be terribly wasted, I made some preparations: I had a sandwich and some Gatorade waiting for me. After I housed those, I popped two aspirin and passed out, the room’s delightful spins lulling me to sleep.

And then – whammo. When I woke up the next morning, I was in the throes of death. I never sleep in when I’m hungover and so was up at 9:30 in the morning. My usual remedy is aspirin, water, and a long shower. When after my first shower I felt like shit, I took another shower. And then another. And another. All told, I took FOUR showers through the course of the day Saturday, leaving the shower each time only when my I drained the house’s hot water heater and the cold water left me shivering. Even then I contemplated checking into a hotel, just so I could look myself in the bathroom with my iPod and a bottle of Poland Spring while the bathroom steamed up. I ultimately decided against this because – what am I, made of money?

I can’t begin to describe the misery. Obviously, it was bad. I was bedridden until dinner, when the scent of stromboli got me out of bed. All day long I couldn’t move, look at anything, or touch anything without something hurting. I looked the part too: my eyes were red and bloodshot since I slept in my contacts; my hair, which hasn’t been cut in almost two months, was a mess; I had stained the undershirt I was wearing; and my breath, beard, and ‘stache stunk of death and SoCo and lime. Just nasty.

At dinner I finally got some strength and was even able to make it out later that night. However, I had about three beers in five hours before coming home, popping a Xanax, and sleeping the sleep of the dead. But the damage was done. My original intention was to return to New York on Saturday afternoon. I got back Monday evening. Oops.

So why was I, such a seasoned drinker, so hungover, even when I was “prepared”? Two main reasons:

Biological/physiological
First, I was bombed. Duh. That isn’t going to make for a good morning any way you cut it. But on this particular night, two things did me in:

1) Late binge drinking. The tour started at 7pm. By midnight, I was in the bag. But between 1:30 until the bar closed, I must have had six shots. Six shots at the end of the night (especially sugary shots like SoCo and lime) are going to ruin you. If anything, it’s best to drink heavily early and more slowly later or to pace yourself all night. Of course, I drink like I make love: quickly and without remorse. And someone usually gets punched in the face. So no dice.

2) When I came home, I ate a chicken caesar wrap and a 32oz (or thereabouts) Gatorade High Endurance. Gatorade is a TERRIBLE thing to drink before going to bed on a load, since it’s very high in sugar. Sugar is very bad for hangovers. This is because sugar takes longer to break down in the body and robs it of hydration. I just made this up, but trust me, sugar is bad. One should drink water and only water the night before a hangover. I know this, and don’t know why I had this lapse on Friday evening.

Emotional/psychological
I’ve been miserable lately. Duh. Alcohol is a drug that induces mood shifts, usually (in me, at least) helping me get from low to high. But once the alcohol is retreating from your body, so go your good feelings.

So as I lay there on Saturday morning/afternoon/evening, I more readily wallowed in self-pity. Instead of thinking, “God, you’re so hungover and such a pussy. But I have to admit that it was pretty awesome when you hit that junkie with the snowball and then blamed it on the other junkie and the two junkies fought each other.”, I was thinking more along the lines of, “Way to go, chubby. Keep pissing away the opportunity of a lifetime because you can’t stop drinking anything put in front of you. Now roll over, fat chops – our left arm is going numb.” This doesn’t help.

***

And so what is my resolve and/or solution? None and none. Things are looking decidedly downward: I’m getting older, I can’t drink like I used to, and I’m wasting precious pre-deadline time. Not only that, but it’s the holidays, which I hate (maybe this is why, but I’m not a therapist). Maybe that nervous breakdown that I wrote about in Post One is nigh. At least, I think, that would be very good for site traffic. In the meantime, I can only do what I do best: sit at my desk and stew. And of course, keep you updated – whether you want to be or not.

(And you thought I was kidding about the title)



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