It was one of those Tuesdays where everything that could go wrong did.
The big boss man at the company where you’ve been a dedicated slave to the groove for five years sent out an email to inform you that there would be some cutbacks in your department, which may or may not lead to you eating out of a dumpster by Christmas.
Then, out of the clear blue sky, the girl you have been dating for the past month sent a text to let you know that she was getting back together with her ex. Well, shit!
As if a couple of savage kicks to the nuts—like the possibility of unemployment and a sexless winter—wasn’t enough to ruin the day, there was that summons in the mail saying that you would soon have the pleasure of earning a whopping $15 per day on jury duty.
It’s times like these when not even the strongest man can get through it without knocking back a stiff drink or two. It’s just sometimes necessary to run like hell down to the local bar and get completely wrecked before more lousy news trickles down the pike, crawls up your pants leg, and slurps the remainder of your soul out of your ass like a bowl of ramen noodles.
It works, too (at least for the most part) until somewhere around 1 a.m. after 15 beers and a Moscow Mule when you realize that getting up in the morning for work could prove challenging.
Because while science was never your forte–apparently life isn’t either–you are smart enough to understand that there is no way out of a midweek booze bender without suffering a gnarly hangover.
Come Wednesday morning, the writing is on the wall—and so is something that you must have barfed up in your sleep. What the fuck is that, anyway?
While pondering the source of this chunky Rorschach test, something dreadful happens. Beep…Beep… Beep…Beep. Goddamnit, man, the alarm clock is a painful reminder that while it felt pretty good to drink away the misery of the previous day, you are going to need some serious help in the here and now to get through the one ahead.
There is just no way you can step inside the office in such a wretched condition. Look at you!
For starters, you’re breathing like a dying animal, your mouth reeks as if a cat mistook it for a litter box, and if your eyes were any more bloodshot, they’d explode out of your face like something straight out of a sci-fi film. The only solace here is that you don’t have a black eye to cover up like last time.
You are doomed if something doesn’t happen fast to help you pull your shit together. It’s not like you can call in sick or anything. You can’t afford to give the boss any more reason to put you on his shit-canning list.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t show up a little late. So that’s what you have to do. Put in a call to the office first thing in the morning and let those bastards know that it’s going to be a few hours before you can make it in. You need some time to get straight.
Just crawling out of bed at 5 a.m. and trying to press on as if you weren’t going all Leaving Las Vegas hours before, well, that’s not going to work out. Take a couple of hours to wash off the stench of hard liquor and get acclimated to the vertigo. After all, going into work late half-a-man is better than showing up on time in a million pieces.
If for some ungodly reason your employer requires an excuse for this tardiness, you’ll just need to make one up on the fly. The following has come in handy for us a few times or two. Feel free to use it if necessary:
“Well, you see, my mom fell down a flight of stairs this morning. You know how old people do? She called me first thing, complaining that her hip doesn’t feel right, and she thinks it might be broken.
I was like, ‘Shit, mom, you’re like 80, nothing’s supposed to feel right anymore.’ But no matter how much I tried to convince her that she was okay, she still insisted on going to the ER to get it looked at. And, apparently, I’m the only one who can take her.
So, I’ll be in as soon as I get the old bat lined out. By the way, do you know of any good retirement homes that take food stamps?”
The person on the other end of the line will be so mortified that they won’t even care that you’re coming in late. And, as a bonus, they may never ask you to provide them with another excuse every again.
Now, chase three 200mg ibuprofen with a bottle of water and set your alarm for an hour. You’ve just bought yourself enough time to get a little extra rest before it is time to walk among the living.
Hopefully, by the time you finally crawl out of bed to grab a shower, the headache that typically comes with a hangover is starting to let up a bit. But you are going to need to suck down copious amounts of fluids in the hours to come to combat the severe dehydration that one often experiences when a drink retaliates against the drinker and turns him into a puddle of pukes.
Some medical experts suggest that in addition to consuming a lot of water or sports drinks to replenish lost electrolytes, eating a good breakfast high in carbohydrates is the key to a speedy recovery.
“Drinking may lower blood sugar levels, so theoretically some of the fatigue and headaches of a hangover may be from a brain working without enough of its main fuel,” said Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff at the Harvard Medical School. “Moreover, many people forget to eat when they drink, further lowering their blood sugar. Toast and juice is a way to gently nudge levels back to normal,” he added.
If you usually go for a run or to the gym in the morning before heading into work, you might want to put that shit off until later—that is unless you don’t mind stopping every 100 feet or so to vomit in the weeds.
Instead, you might try going for a walk to get some fresh air and light exercise. You might want to do this, however, after stopping by your friendly neighborhood coffee shop for a strong caffeinated beverage.
Although the coffee itself is a diuretic and will contribute to more dehydration, it will keep you from nodding off like a homeless junkie when it comes time to sit through those afternoon meetings. But as long as you keep drinking water throughout the day, you should be fine. Not great, but good enough to get through a few hours at the office without someone asking if you need a sponsor.
As long as you don’t make the same mistake again by hitting the bottle a little too hard again tonight, you’ll be back to normal soon.