Your Hangovers, Described

Right now, I have the barest little sparrow of a hangover fluttering its wings against the inside of my forehead, against the backs of my eyes. Went out last night, had a trio of drinks at Bolete in Bethlehem — a bourbon cocktail called “The Remedy,” a “Not-Your-Grandmother’s Greyhound,” and two fingers of Laphroaig 10-year. I never really had much of a buzz, which made this hangover — manifesting itself around 2AM last night — all the more disappointing and undeserved. (Though the drinking remained delicious. Bolete creates impeccable cocktails, and anybody in the area would be a wool-headed window-licker not go to partake of their alcoholic and culinary delights.)

This hangover will be easy to defeat. Water and Advil — with some early morning bacon — form a powerful hammer to beat back even the snarkiest of hangovers, and this one just can’t compete.

But, I remember the worst hangover I’ve ever had.

Friend showed up at college with a bottle of Yukon Jack. We drank less of the bottle than you’d think, but got bombed just the same. Ended up laying outside the dorm babbling at people.

Come morning, the hangover I suffered was as such where I felt like a room full of balloons with a floor made of nails — I dared not move for fear of expiring right then and there. Every ounce of my body hurt. My brain felt like a caged rat gnawing through rusty hinges in order to escape. I knew if I did anything but sit on my bed and stare at the wall I would cry out, vomit, pee myself, and possibly explode inside my skin.

Seriously. I felt like hammered dogshit.

To this day if I catch a whiff of Yukon Jack, it all comes charging back, a freight train of bodily memory.

Thing is, I know even that hangover just isn’t that impressive.

I know you can do better.

So, reader-types, share:

Give us a story.

Tell me about your worst hangover.

47 comments

  • Hilariously enough I don’t get hangovers. Ever. At all. The very worst I can suffer after a rather nasty binge is some slight dehydration which might lead to slightly shaky hands. No pain or discomfort though.

    Boring, isn’t it? It would have been, if it didn’t also give me the great ability to rub… people’s…faces… in…it!

    A friend of mine who lives nearby got my apartment key and vice versa, in case of emergencies, which is something he regrets every day after a binge. He gets some of the worst hangovers I’ve ever witnessed and as a northern Norwegian that’s saying something. There is true suffering to behold there.

    Of course, this means that I get up bright and early after a party, quickly grab some supplies from the fridge and lock myself in at his house. I set some bacon and eggs sizzling and then I kick down the bedroom door, yell “EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM!” and tear open the curtains.

    The usual reply comes from underneath piles of blankets from where I can barely spot a couple of bloodshot eyes that are truly portals into hell.

    “I wish I could kill you with my hate.”

    I have some more fun tormenting my poor friend before I manage to get some semblance of liquids and solids into the painwracked body and in general play nurse for him for a few hours. By the time I’ve gotten him into decent shape and head back home, he has usually calmed down a bit and given me a ‘thank you’ or two.

    I love never getting hangovers… and most people hate me never getting hangovers.

  • My worst hangover was ages ago, when I had first moved out of my parent’s house. I was staying on a boat in Florida and drank a good part of a bottle of Gran Marnier (god knows why – I think because it was sweet). I had a hangover that lasted four days. On a large boat which was rocking with the motion of the water. In a place that smelled of seawater and fish. I have never had Gran Marnier since, although I’ve had other less epic hangovers.

  • Weekend at a friend’s beach house in Pringle Bay. Heavy drinking throughout day one and two but it was sippin’ weather and beer and whiskey won’t hurt you if you treat them like a marathon.
    Day three, a party of New Zealander tourists came through with two 2l bottles of witblitz – a home-distilled fruit brandy, insanely potent and impure. It tasted terrible and we drank all of it, and we got wrecked but good.

    I woke myself up with my trembling. There were knives in the back of my eyeballs, and my muscles were trying to detach themselves from one another. I could feel my pulse and everywhere it went it hurt.
    I didn’t have thoughts. I was just screaming, in my head, continuously.

    I couldn’t move my head because it was a balloon filled with blood and bits of glass, but slowly I managed to move my eyes enough to get a look at the bedroom door. Somebody had punched a hole through it at about head waist height.
    I felt a little better, but not much.

    It would be two days before I felt anything like a person again.

  • My mightiest hangover, to beat all other hangovers into a corner until they weep for mercy, was caused by “The Frog”. For those truly blessed people that have not encountered this drink, it contains three bottles of different alco-pops (the fuzzy memory says it was Smirnoff Ice, Reef and WKD Blue), with about five shots of vodka, topped up with Sprite (‘cuz, y’know, it’s not like it has enough sugar in it already). It tasted like those fizzy sweets you ate as a child and it is EVIL!

    Served in a tankard, you share it with your nearest and dearest so the next morning you can all feel like heroine junkies who have been without a hit for a week, and have instead been injecting yourself with bleach in the hope it would tide you over. I think I spent three hours staring at a wall tile in the hotel room me and my boyfriend were staying in. I kept sucking in air, as if that would blow away the sensation of my innards digesting themselves, and blowing it out like a woman in labour.

    That was the day I swore I would never drink again. It was so bad it took me a full two weeks for me to forget that promise.

  • Singapore Slings. I only had three, but have you read what’s in those things?
    A group of us had gone down to Plymouth, UK, to seal a business deal. A biggie. We did it, and we went out to celebrate. Mixed sexes, none of them involved with anyone else, which is asking for trouble to start with.
    Plymouth is a big naval base. We were outdrinking the sailors, according to some people. i woke up the next day in my hotel room. I was feeling rough, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I’d packed very neatly ready to leave that day. We’d hired a minibus, so I figured I’d sit at the back and doze.
    That was until I discovered I’d been sick over the TV, with a telling trail to the bathroom, where I’d missed. I honestly didn’t remember a thing. So I cleared it up as best I could with the bathmat, being sick, this time in the right place, in the meantime. I made it to breakfast, where I could barely sip a glass of orange juice.
    And instead of the minibus, I took the train. I needed the loo. Wasn’t right for days. But I vote Ravven the winner. On a boat. Ugh.

    Anyone had the other experience, where you are genuinely ill and everyone thinks you have a hangover? That happened to me, once, and it wasn’t until someone else who’d shared the meal at the restaurant rang to ask how I felt that they believed me!

  • If you have a weak stomach you may not want to read this.

    Drank tequila in Japan. A lot. I had to vomit so I grabbed a plastic bag. I missed the bag and spewed all over my bed. I scraped it off the bed with a fork (into the plastic bag that failed me earlier) and fell asleep in my own smeared sick. When I woke up the next morning I had an awful case of Montezuma’s Revenge and I could swear that my head was just going crack open and my brain would just fall out. Everything just went “Wob wob wob.” I’m pretty sure I cried too.

    I still love tequila though.

  • I was 14. I remember helping my friend sneak from his house a full bottle of brandy and an almost-full bottle of Jack Daniels. My friend was spending the night, and my mom and step father were heading out for the evening.

    I remember eating an entire Piccolo’s thick crust pizza. By myself.

    I remember heading out toward the fields behind our neighborhood where we’d drink the booze. Along the way, my friend ended up bumping into one of the Cacioppo brothers and wrestling with him in the snow. As they kinda-sorta fought, I started drinking.

    And that’s all I remember from that night. I’m told by my friend that I drank most of both bottles. I was too drunk to walk, and it took him quite some time to get me out of the fields. He eventually stashed me in some bushes when we got near my neighborhood and he had two of the Cacioppo brothers help me home. Out front, they tried to get me to vomit, but I couldn’t. So into the house I was dragged, placed face-down on my waterbed. As my friend played games on my Colecovision — just moments before my parents got home — I emptied the contents of my stomach onto the floor and somehow proceeded to fall face first into the mess. And that’s when my parents walked in.

    My friend told them we found the bottles in some bushes. My step father took my friend home as my mom cleaned up the mess and me. Into the tub I went, where I kept vomiting into the bathwater. Drain and refill in between calling the hospital to see if I needed to go to the ER. As long as I was vomiting, my mom was told, we were good. It took several tries to clean me up, and then to the back porch we went, so I could throw up closer to outside.

    I woke up thinking it was all a dream. Seriously, I didn’t remember a thing. But when I rolled over and saw some old toast and vitamins and water on my nightstand, I knew that I not only DID get drunk, but that I had been caught. I drank the water and eventually went out to the kitchen, where my mom was making breakfast. She asked if I wanted hot cocoa, which seemed weird. She didn’t say a word about the previous evening, and I typically fended for myself where things like a cup of cocoa were involved. As she brought it to me, she said, “Would you like some brandy in it?”

    It wasn’t so much the hangover; surprisingly, I didn’t feel very sick. But getting caught and having to start the day discussing — at length — why what I did was stupid and hearing all the embarrassing details was worse than if I’d just felt bad. After the talk, I had to go to the back porch and clean up my mess from the previous night. Fortunately, since it was cold, the last couple heaves had frozen, so I was able to jar the puddles free from the porch floor with a hockey stick and throw away what looked like ugly pralines (with sausage chunks instead of pecans).

    I vowed that morning that never again would I drink to such excess that I’d make myself sick. I came close a few times after it, but 28 years later, I’m proud to say it was a one-time affair.

  • The worst for me was on a float trip (which, for you non-Midwesterners, is floating the river in a canoe or raft, see also Toobin’ if you’re in Texas). We all came down at various stages after work on Friday to the Ozarks, and began drinking around the campfire in preparation for more drinking the next day. I made a gigantic Gatorade cooler of summer brew for the event – vodka, lemonade, and Coors light.

    I had enough of the summer brew before the people in the adjacent campsite came over to play flippy cup (a drinking game that requires you to chug your beer and flip your plastic cup over before the next person in line can begin) to think that it would be better to play with the summer brew than straight beer, since I am horrible at chugging beer.

    Fast forward to the next day, when we were all floating the river, which I puked in for several hours, every time I deigned to put anything in my belly, which unfortunately was river food – boloney sandwiches, trail mix, while all my friends were enjoying themselves drinking. At least there was always a place for me to puke.

  • It happened the morning after a dark and stormy New Year’s Eve. I partied, I drank, I drank some more. You cannot see me now, but I am tiny. About 5’5, 130 pounds. The 12 bottles of beer were fine, the shots of Sambuca were fine, but the two shots of Fire Ball Whiskey was not fine. I passed out, only to wake up moments later to vomit, inside my book bag filled with the clothes I was going to wear the following day. Nothing smells worse than booze vomit. Nothing. I woke up the next day in bed with someone I should not have been in bed with, covered in my own vomit, and feeling pretty convinced that I was going to die. I got up and then fell over again. I was still drunk. I got up again and headed for the bathroom were I hugged the toilet like it was my best friend and showered it with more booze vomit.
    Long story short, I couldn’t stomach anything for days after, and I had to throw out my book bag, along with the contents.

  • One of my best friends had one of those 21st birthday parties that you hear about in movies and stuff, you know? Kinda like in The Hangover where they’re all trying to assemble the pieces of what happened the night before? That was us.

    My friend had been waiting until midnight to have his first drink (when he would officially be 21) while everyone else was getting sloshed; being the good friend I am I volunteered to help keep an eye on the guests and also wait it out until midnight with him without drinking. This turned out to be a terrible idea.

    We started out with shots of tequilla….chased by more shots of tequilla… chased by god-knows-what. I know we ended up at the bar across the street and I know I had at least 3 Long Island Ice Teas and somehow staggered back to the apartment.

    I actually barely remember what happened after we got back, just that I knew I couldn’t stop drinking because we were “just getting started” and that there were a bunch of people there from the bar that we didn’t actually know. The last thing I remember was taking a few shots of Jager, realizing I didn’t like it AFTER I drank it, then trying to mix it with wild cherry pepsi.

    And then lots of vomiting, lots of laying around on the floor with my friend next to our respective trash cans, and lots of OTHER people vomiting too. In retrospect, it was pretty hilarious.

    Even now years later we’re all still going “Hey, remember that time? That party was the BEST PARTY.” I’m actually not sure it will ever be topped.

    I’m actually not really the type to get hangovers either (a blessing, if you ask me) but that morning was absolutely the worst. One of those covering-up-like-a-vampire two-pairs-of-sunglasses three-gallons-of-gatorade six-slices-of-leftover-pizza kind of mornings with the worst headache ever.

    That is, once i got over still being drunk from the night before.

  • The truly epic drunk that preceded it is the real story, but it was the hangover that taught me the following: when it’s your birthday, don’t go to the bar where you know EVERYONE on staff (musicians, wait staff, bartenders, and the door people/bouncers), plus your birthday guests, because they ALL want to buy you drinks. I was drinking vodka and cranberry; I lost count somewhere around 15 “birthday presents.”

    This piece of advice goes double if your plans for the next day include going to Universal Studios theme park with your friend’s 5- and 7-year old children.

    I had just turned 25. I think I crawled through the park that day, stopping at every fucking coffee stand I could find, desperately assuring the children that Aunt Dawn would be along shortly. At one point, I fell asleep standing up, waiting on line for the Jaws ride. The pictures from that day feature me in the Florida sunshine, shoulders slumped, sunglasses firmly in place, my skin a delightful pale sallow shade, my knees visibly bruised from all the time I had spent on them the night before when I was vomiting copiously in a wide variety of places — outside the bar, in the parking garage, on the side of Route 4, in the parking lot of my apartment complex, on the steps of my apartment complex, and in the tiny bathroom I shared with my younger sister (whose lecture to me included, “What the hell is wrong with you? We know how to hold our liquor damnit!”).

    Worst hangover ever. And enough to make sure I never did that again.

  • My freshman year, Miami of Ohio. I was in a program where all the frosh lived together in the same dorm—so we all could suffer together, I suppose. Our first big paper of the term was due on a Tuesday morning, five pages on some intersection of sociality and literature. Monday night, everyone was freaking out. Except me. Even in those days I fancied myself a Writer, so I’d bulled through the paper with minimal fuss and by about 8pm had cause to celebrate.

    For reasons which I cannot to this day fathom, my mother had sent me off to college with a bottle of 141 proof Ron Rico rum. A month into the term it was still 2/3rds full (powerful stuff), and a rum and Coke seems just what the doctor (Ph.D. in Yeah Baby) ordered. To add to my joy, I wandered from room to room of my struggling peers, sipping my drink, pointing and laughing.

    It was so good I had another. And another. And I have no idea how many others. I mostly don’t remember the latter part of the evening, except for a brief flash of myself sprinting around the exterior of the dorm, naked, with my RA in hot pursuit. I recall he said, “Bill, you need to slow down. I’m a smoker, I can’t keep this up.” Apparently I also sang my undying love to a girl I hardly knew, but fortunately I can’t remember that at all.

    Some time the next day when I awoke at last, the rum bottle was empty. I assume I shared at least some of it since I’m still alive.

    The hangover lasted five days. The next Saturday was Parents Day at the football game, so my mom was all gung ho to come down and watch the team lose. I was still craving dim light and silence, but somehow I made it through the game without puking on her and my friend Mike, who came down with her. She claims she had no idea anything was wrong, though Mike knew in seconds from just looking at me.

    Thirty years later, the smell of rum still makes me queasy.

    Also—that paper? I got a C.

  • The dentist I used in college charged a very robust missed appointment fee. Something my parents would never have covered in a million years. Something which, if incurred, would’ve had my burger-flipping ass eating ramen and begging cigarettes for a couple of weeks, easy.

    But, hangovers? They all suck in their own right. Always thought it was more an issue of the circumstances through which the hangover must be carried.

    How about the one where, after a successful stage-acting debut I meet an old friend at a party, who forgives me for the time I kicked her out of my house after sleeping with her because I thought it would be weird if she stayed the night. And because I was a giant ass-pustule.
    And not only am I forgiven for this thing that I’ve been killing myself over for a solid two years, but I am forgiven with a nalgene bottle, in my right hand, full of I-don’t-know-but-there’s-rum-in-it.

    In my left hand, I held another bottle. Also with rum. And coke. And more rum. Spiced rum in that one, too. Drank ‘em both, like a champ, smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes, had some truly fantastic conversation with people I’ll never meet again, and passed out beside the AC unit in a cocktail of my own rum-puke.

    Two girls fussed over me, cooing and patting my poor over-drunk head, and through the extinction-level gut pain I thought, “Whrha, rhAhuihsh Mmbbds.”

    And then two broad shadows appeared over me. And the voices of Titans broke from the haze.

    “Ladies, give us a minute.” said one.

    “You pathetic piece of shit, get your lazy drunk ass off the damn ground. Now! GET UP. GET UP NOW YOU PUSSY PIECE OF SHIT.” said the other.

    Allow me to introduce my friends: Ben and Evan. Ben and Evan are big, and very strong, and very, very loud. But I drove a hard bargain, being totally inert and effectively inanimate, and convinced them through sheer power of frightening intoxication to haul me bodily into the house and deposit my as-yet-unanimated corpse onto the couch.

    I slept.

    At nine o’clock the following morning, an alarm beeped. I was not dead. I was not dreaming. I was wishing them both. I could feel the mouth-stink of one thousand winos pasting my swollen tongue to my teeth. I wished for a toothbrush. Mouth wash. Anything. And the alarm beeped. Nobody was shutting it off. I was going to stay here, rotting, paralyzed by the never-ending *BeeBee-BeeBee-Bee-Bee*, my head nailed from the inside of my skull to the wood supports of the couch that would be my home until the heat-death of the universe. If I had a vote.

    Which I didn’t. And that fucking alarm will not stop beeping!

    Oh.

    It’s mine.

    …Oh.

    It says “9:30 Dentist Appointment.”

  • I rarely get hangovers– and it’s probably due to the fact drunken-me knows to force-feed myself at least 1-2 glasses of water before I pass out. However, one night (and following day) I was not so lucky.

    When I’m drinking, I sometimes feel like competing with the guys. I like to show that I can handle my liquor and that I can knock them back just as easily. That night, it just happened to be some whiskey. Now, I never allow myself to drink when I’m stressed–argumentative and emotional Me comes out when I do. But somehow, that tiny little seed of stress snuck in there and exploded (I was plastered). All it took was one little set-off. Blacked out for hours!

    I came to once when I threw up, blacked out again, and then I finally started to come around and realized my brother had shown up from out of town to mediate the situation. I really don’t remember going to bed.

    Next morning I was throwing up from about 6am-3pm. Couldn’t hold down even the tiniest bit of water during that time, so I sure as hell didn’t eat anything. I had to call in sick (McDonalds). My friend brought me some gatorade, cucumbers, soup, and water and watched trash-tv with me until I could finally hold water down again.

  • You mean you guys can narrow it down to just one?

    Impressive.

    I usually get one after New Years Eve. Way to start the year off right. It’s one where I don’t crawl out of bed until after 4 pm for dinner. Usually my brain feels like it’s pulling away from the inside of my skull (I read somewhere this actually happens) and body aches from my head to my toes. 1000 mg of aspirin and a few gallons of hot tea usually does the trick. And whining. Lots of whining.

  • Awww….I know you are going to hate me for this, but I have almost never had a hangover in my life, and I’ve seen half a century. I can mix drinks of all kinds, get so snockered I believe I can compute rocket science on a cocktail napkin but can’t get up and walk–and I bounce out of the bed in the morning and make bacon and eggs! Every few years I get a hangover, which consists of a headache and feeling like I didn’t sleep much, which I didn’t. I’m not sure it really is a hangover.

  • Uh. So quick background —

    I had my first drink at 16 at a friend’s house. I was not large. I am still not large and I am now 21 and presumably full-grown. I am 5’5″ inches tall and average around 135lbs. I am like the shrinky-dink version of an adult male. Everything is about right (oh the facial hair I could grow if I so chose) but in miniature. Anyway.

    There were three other people there that I didn’t know. Friend’s family had a full bar in their basement, which (questionable parenting alert) is where my friend often slept, so obv. we camped out down there that night. Except it wasn’t really “in use” looking, it kind of looked like the unsanitary memory of a full bar. Everything was mostly emptied and there was dust on the dust inside of cabinets that were also covered in dust. So it was here that I had my first experience with alcohol and I kicked off the relationship with vodka and whiskey of indeterminate origin. A lot of it. Because I desperately, desperately wanted to experience “drunk”.

    And nothing happened. Everyone else barfed up everything they’d eaten since they were five years old and I sat there and pretended to be drunk. It was so lame. I thought — what is this? Is everyone else pretending? Do I have some sort of super power? This is the super power I was given? That is shitty. Everyone woke up the next day looking like hell and I skipped of completely unaffected.

    And so it was with a large amount of undeserved bravado that I went to another friend’s going away party less than a year later at his house (17 years old). His mother (questionable parenting alert) had actually supplied the alcohol this time, which consisted mostly of cheap beer. I drank copious amounts of it and became so unbelievably, beautifully drunk. I even stumbled onto the stairs and called my sister about halfway through the night to tell her the good news (“Oh my god. Go to sleep, Sam.”) I once again avoided the barfing train into the bathroom, but at one point I became so completely disoriented that my friend’s older brother dragged my carcass upstairs to his own bedroom and made me lay down. I thought this older brother was kind of cute — so I consented to the laying down thing, and then promptly passed out.

    Having accomplished the drunk successfully I should have known the hangover was going to happen as well, but I’d never experienced one before so I didn’t know what to expect. I hid in his bedroom for a while after waking up. I think I even tied blankets to his windows because the curtains weren’t doing a sufficient job at keeping every tiny little suggestion of light out of the room. I also think I wondered for a while if I was dying. When I finally walked downstairs (ready to kill someone for a glass of water — no, really) everyone watched me descend into the living room with this breath taken, awe-filled stare that horrified me a little (oh god, what did I do?) but also sort of made the hang over worth it.

  • 2006. Moonshine and greygoose vodka were the culprits (I’m southern). I remember taking a shot or three of moonshine before we went out. I also remember drinking the gg directly from the bottle.

    Jumped out of a moving limo that night and crawled army-style through a parking lot.

    When I woke up I thought I was dead or in a hospital because there was no way I had gotten through that night unscathed. I threw up at the cracker barrel the next morning when one of my friends dared another one to eat a pad of butter and drink an entire container of syrup.

    There wasn’t enough advil or bacon on the planet. It took a full 48 hours to recover.

    I’m actually sick thinking about it.

    -TH

  • Not really hangover, more like walk of shame. One too many Jäger shots from friendly bartenders in Doylestown, PA. Walking the streets from one bar to the other, tree braking through the sidewalk, tripping in my awesome vintage platform shoes, ripping my jeans and my knee (had no idea). Arrived at my hang out bloodied and nauseous. I locked my self in the bar bathroom for an hour or so before the bartender kicked in the door. I was passed out on the floor. A friend carried me to his house on the next block. The only time I never really knew what was going on. Just flashes of what was happening.
    Waking up in a strange living room surrounded with kids toys, early morning light blinding me…. The walk of shame back to my house. I really should have had stitches.

  • Ah finally a topic in which I am fully qualified to answer. The year was 2009. The location, a grad party I was attending, due to being the person’s graduation escort. There was spiced rum and lots of it.

    The evening started well enough, we were drinking in small amounts, the grads had flasks after all and so everyone, before the party, was nice and buzzed. Of course, with any amounts of alcohol bad decisions can be expected. My bad decision was drinking about 13 ounces of rum in under an hour.

    The evening is a bit fuzzy after that so I’m simply going off of what I remember when I recall having a conversation with a girl about shaving habits; that not being the face shaving. I also talked with someone about being blueballed before the grad and suffering at that point. Basically my mouth was unhinged and uncensored and if I had been the only one that totally trashed it would have been awkward; luckily no ill was done because it was a grad party and by default everyone was close to their limits.

    Unfortunately there is a time when a stomach decided it has had enough of the alcohol and decides its time to come out. This happened, upon my grad date realizing how drunk I was, tried to give me a glass of water to sober me up. I luckily held it until I found a garbage can, ended up in a bathroom throwing up and was packed off to the house to pass out.

    I woke up in extreme pain with my grad date sitting at the foot of my bed. All she says is, “13 shots of rum…”

    The rest of my day was being packed to various grad dinners and luncheons, unable to eat or even smell the cooking due to wanting to throw up more. My lesson was learned and I learned to pace myself. I still get the odd bad hangover but by God if that wasn’t the worst experience drinking I’d ever had.

  • So it’s half-price night at the student’s union bar. That’s student’s union prices to begin with – and this is back when that meant something – so the cider, lager and snakebite are all cheaper than Coke.

    And for some reason – we’re all reasonably dedicated drinkers, but have never really gone for stupid displays of drinking prowess – we start boat-racing. Drink it up in the fastest time, prove it’s empty by putting the cup upside down on your head. Do it in teams, and player #2 can’t start until player #1’s cup has hit his coiffure. None of us, more than a decade later, can confidently say exactly why this had become a good idea.

    We have a little money, but it goes a fair way; we don’t stop until kicking-out. We’re all properly pissed, and J’s feeling frisky, so she says we need to go to hers and N’s flat to keep drinking. At that point, I couldn’t say for sure. They had vodka, certainly, and other things for when the vodka runs out.

    The hangover doesn’t wait for the next morning. Somewhere around midnight or 1am, I stagger into the toilet and am copiously, hideously sick. Then I need to sit on the seat for the next step in the ablution. Then I need to turn around again, so I have the pleasing waft of vomit *and* diarrhoea. Which all helps it keep coming out, I suppose.

    The first couple of rotations, I pull up and drop my trousers each time. I even manage a couple of courtesy flushes. Before long, I’m just turning on the spot, immediately after the wipe, trousers around my knees. I honestly don’t know if I wiped every time. The last dregs of the vomit – sixth rotation? seventh? – is gritty and dark brown, like coffee grounds. For all I know, it used to be an organ.

    So eventually I’ve produced everything I’m about to produce from my body, flush, clean up, do my trousers up, walk back into N and J’s living room. Apparently I’ve been in there a couple of hours. I dunno, probably. I remember softly weeping and praying for death. Our hosts are pretty much done for the night, and we need to get going. I’m about a hundred yards from home, my best friend B is probably twenty minutes’ staggering distance, but he pretty much needs to get me home first.

    We stop on the first corner as an articulated lorry passes, covered in nine-foot-tall pictures of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. For some reason, this is the single funniest thing that has ever existed, ever. It is dawn.

    Finally, I stagger home, piss in the sink in my bedroom in my student digs, have a couple of glasses of water, and fall into bed to watch the room swinging backwards and forwards for an hour or so.

    I’m due at work at the pub up the road the next day at 11am, but I’m still genuinely incapacitated. I don’t have a phone, change for the payphone, or the number of the pub. The pub is maybe half a mile up the road, but it takes me half an hour. As far as I remember, I actually crawled the whole way, although that may be distortion, since I’m pretty sure someone would have stopped to see what was wrong; it was a pretty major road. I remember stopping many, many times to vomit again on the way.

    I got to work, told my boss I was too sick – she was obviously highly impressed with that – and somehow got home, where I lay on the bed to watch the turning again.

    When I got up on the *next* day, *I was still hungover.* I limped to the bar (not the bar I worked at; the bar where this all began) to have several glasses of watery postmix Coke and a plate of egg, chips and beans, which kind of helps. I think I was more or less able to interact with the human race by about 6pm, the night after the night after we started drinking.

    Oh, god. I’m actually feeling a little funny now thinking about it.

  • Believe it or not, Southern Comfort Hangover beat my Tequila Hangover. I will not drink either anymore. It was 1993. Bored soldiers in the barracks in Frankfurt, Germany for what for most was going to be a long weekend. Not for me, as is usual for those combat camera folks covering the stories. Everyone else was drinking beer for which I had yet to get a taste for…There was a dice game, called 3 man. I was the noob. I didn’t really get the hang of it. With every drink I got the hang of the dice even less. For every beer shot they drank, I was doing Southern Comfort. I was carried to my bunk, clothes and boots still on. Somehow my alarm went off while I was puking my guts out at 4 a.m. The Command Sgt. Major that I had to accompany along with one other soldier was less than impressed. As I still had on parts of the uniform that I had partied in and had passed out in. He made me eat scrambled eggs on the tarmac as we waited for soldiers to come back from Iraq. I threw up in some bushes outside the terminal building. The only thing for lunch was some mushroom soup via the USO offices. I puked from the simple smell of the fungus in the soup. I was there at the airfield for 8 hours, barely able to stand, taking photos and trying to get quotes. Alternating getting sick in the latrine or outside in the bushes. One returning soldier said he could smell the whiskey on me. I said, “It wasn’t whiskey, it was some bitch from the south that I will never partake of again.” The entire platoon waiting on their baggage exploded in laughter. And laughter, of soldiers, made my hangover dissipate. That and some woman at the USO finally got me some of my favorite hangover cure. Waffles and chocolate milk. Hey, what can I say, it works. That and three canteens of water and some Tylenol, then I was partying at 9 p.m. again that night. Ah, the follies of youth. Maybe sometime I’ll tell you the story of three woman, a beach house in Hawaii, a gallon of tequila and a shark.

  • When I was about 8 years old, we traveled to upstate New York to visit family. We have a lot of extended family, so this was a large reunion/gathering. My grandmother’s house slept a good number of people, but with the house packed to the gills, the remainder spilled out into her side yard, sleeping in tents and trailers. Huge gathering.

    I don’t remember a whole lot from the trip, but I do remember that on Saturday night, one of my uncles built a bonfire in Grandma’s side yard, and we all gathered around it. At some point, one of my cousins (many years older) held out a tray that was filled with plastic tumblers.

    He laughed as he asked, “Want some?”

    I didn’t know what was in the cups, but I took one anyway. Which made him laugh more.

    White wine.

    For all I know, it was Boone’s Farm. I do remember it was sweet and kind of bitter and definitely not something I should have been drinking.

    So I slammed it down real quick, of course, before I got caught.

    The next thing I recall is sitting on the couch with all of my younger cousins, laughing. Laughing and laughing, and not really able to shut up, but also not really caring that I was acting so, so silly.

    The next morning, Sunday, Mom woke all of us kids up early. Time to get ready for church. I watched in the mirror as she combed my hair, trying not to cry and not understanding why it felt like someone was pounding a hammer on the inside of my skull.

    First hangover. Eight years old. Left a strong enough impression on me that I’ve only suffered a couple since.

  • Being the somewhat avid drinker that I am, I have had more than my fair share of legendary hangovers. The most epic (or embarrassing), though, took place in 1996 or 1997 (along with the exact details of the night leading to the hangover, the exact date has been scrubbed from my memory).
    Let’s just run down through the liquor, first:
    1 bottle of Fire Water (100 prf Cinnamon Schnapps)
    1 bottle of Ice 101 (101prf Peppermint Schnapps)
    1 bottle of tequila (the soul of the margaritas)

    Things I remember:
    7 rounds of Fire and Ice (1 shot of Fire Water chased with 1 shot of Ice 101
    2 Margaritas of unrelenting strength
    1 Taint piercing
    1 line of people outside of a bathroom to see the aforementioned taint piercing

    Crusted-over eyes opened slowly, covering my cheeks in a fine sandy residue. My head pounded, my tongue felt swollen, my teeth hurt, I was fully dressed, and it was morning.

    I sat up, which produced a wave of nausea that boiled in my gut. The acid had found a happy place in my stomach and being swished unceremoniously to previously uncalcified linings of that tortured pink balloon made me almost double-over into a trashcan that was mysteriously next to my bed. Huh. How’d that get there?
    I stood. Slowly. Very, very slowly. I was dizzy – not head-rush kind of dizzy that threatens to make you pass out, or the kind of dizzy that you get if you glance from a high enough perch. No, this was a deep-seated dizziness that caused another wave of nausea and an even deeper throbbing in my head.
    The headache was strange, though. The pain felt like it was in my forehead, slightly left of center, and not the general all-over headache you normally get with a hangover. Very strange…
    I rubbed my eyes, clearing away the last of the grit. I rubbed my forehead to try and ease the throbbing dizziness, and my world exploded into searing blinding pain. I almost collapsed back onto the bed, but whimpering I shuffled around my dresser and looked into the full-length mirror. I… here’s what I saw:
    Me
    Jeans – covered in mud, vomit, and what suspiciously looked like blood
    Flannel shirt – covered in mud, vomit, and what suspiciously looked like blood
    My hair – long at this point, but with a leaf or two stuck in it’s curls
    My face – a hint of blood crusted around my left eye and an angry cut right above said eye

    “Huh.”

    Shit, long hot shower, careful washing of cut, band-aid, clothes, Sunday morning breakfast at the dining hall.

    Full tray, eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee, orange juice, water – sweet life-giving water.

    I stumbled to the regular table where a half dozen or so friends (or bearded blogger being one of them) were finishing their meal. With a wry grin, I sat down. Two people got up without a word and walked away.

    Me: “So, uh… who do I apologize to first?”
    Someone: “You could start with the Imp. He found you passed out under a bush bleeding and puking…”
    Imp: “Then apologize to her [indicating one of the people who left the table and was quickly retreating from the dining hall].”
    Me: “Oh.”

    I’ve woken up in some bad places after doing some very bad things. There has been puke involved, lost memories, abused friendships, dirty drugs, filthy music, and questionable sexual acts of depravity, but nothing stands up to swimming back to consciousness after head-butting an oak tree and almost-certainly giving oneself a mild concussion before passing out under a bush covered in your own fluids. And now, every morning, when I wake up and still have that slight face-puffiness from a night of slumber, I can see the faint outline of that scar and I am reminded that:
    1) I shouldn’t power-drink schnapps
    2) I shouldn’t make margaritas that strong, and, most importantly,
    3) I should never see the taint of a male friend up close even if it DOES have a shiny bit of metal jammed through it. That leads to bad things.

  • I think the worst hangover I’ve ever had was the day we went from Nara to Kyoto, so in February 2010.
    I was staying in a ryokan in Nara with 2 Americans, an Aussie and a Russian, good friends from my uni in Tokyo. Stan, the Aussie, for whatever reason in that big noggin of his, decided it would be a good idea to set me, the Scot, against the Russian in a drinking contest. We said fine, and he produced a litre of whisky for me, and a litre of Vodka for Dmitri (how Russian is that?).

    I remember eating dinner, but that’s about it of that night. Apparently I had my whole bottle of whisky and a good bit of Dmitri’s voddie before I got put to bed.

    The next morning, oh my goodness. I had to be in Kyoto, an hour and a half’s train away, but 9:30am at the latest, or I would miss church and be in trouble with the mate I was meeting.

    I think the worst bit was when I bent down to tie my shoes, the whole world just went away from me, and I had no balance the whole day. The disorientation was uncomfortable more than anything else, though it did provide the highlight of the day, least from my mates’ point of view; I suddenly lost my balance walking alongside the Imperial Palace, and ended up in the moat!

    The only other time I thought I had a bad hangover it turned out I actually had food poisoning, so the Japan hangover was definitely the worst. Bloody good weekend that though :)

  • One more that always makes me chuckle:

    My friends from high school used to throw a big party on 12/23 called Angstmas. We’d get together and consume mass quantities of alcohol and watch the worst porn clips found during the year.
    That sounds bizarre, yes, but it was the kind of ridiculousness needed if you were going to be stuck with family for 2 days with no hope of sneaking a cigarette without the disapproving glares of your parents.
    So, anyway, one Angstmas I had to go slow with the party as I had to leave very early the next morning and drive to Louisville, KY where my parents had flown to spend the holidays with my sister and her relatively new husband. Practicing restraint at a party is not something that comes naturally, if at all, to me, and the night quickly spiraled out of control into a lysergically-soaked rumfest.
    I woke up the next morning i my empty house. I’m not proud that I didn’t crash safely at the party, but there it is. Anyhow, I woke up with a sizable headache and a healthy bit of nausea since I apparently neither puked nor consumed enough water to offset the tens of gallon of rum my stomach swore it had been subjected to. I looked at the clock and it was 4 hours later than I had planned to leave.
    And I had to drive 9.5 hours.
    In adverse weather conditions.
    After hallucinating the night before.

    Still one of the worst days of driving in my life. I had to pull over 3 times to empty my stomach and twice because in going around the long sweeping curves of Interstate 64 through West Virginia I thought the back end of my car was breaking loose and swinging out of control. Suffice to say it wasn’t, but I had to pull over and settle my nerves and brain stem regardless.

  • Riding my bike 13 miles to the Friendy’s I worked at, then washing dishes for six hours, including soup pans, in a stinky, steamy dishroom was definitely my worst hangover experience ever. (And that may be the worst sentence I’ve ever constructed. On second thought, not even close.)

    I was so wasted I still don’t remember the whole night. What I do remember is walking into a friends house without knocking, almost sticking my hand on a hot pan to make a grilled cheese, and puking in my Moms car right after telling her I wasn’t drunk.

    The next day, my parents woke me up and pointed to my bike saying, “Go to work.”

    Lesson learned, I’ve only been really drunk once in the twenty-two years since then. And never, in the last 15 years.

  • My worst hangover was of course my first drinking experience. I was maybe 15-16 and my family took a trip to see our cousins up north in Alberta, Canada. Ok, so my Uncle Mikey is what you’d describe as a man with Grit. He’s a farmer and has that old man strength. The kind where you don’t look like Vin Diesel but you’re pretty sure you could level Vin in a fight, and a hand shake with him leaves crushed bones. Ok so we all decide its time for me to try out my first drinking experience and have a party outside, because hey, if I’m going to get drunk anyways it might as well be in a safe environment.

    There’s a bon fire and the radio blasting and its a great time. My cousin Levi is a terrible influence of course and is shoving beer, vodka and anything else he can at me, and being a noob I fell for it and drank it all. Now my stomach didn’t know what it was doing but it felt GREAT! So after about a 6 pack of beer, and a metric fuck ton of vodka (was drinking it straight saying It tastes like water!), I go nuts and pass out.

    I woke the next morning feeling ok, but thirsty. So I drink a bunch of water and everyone is looking at me with a smirk. I ask, “What the hell happened last night? How did I get here to the couch?” I found out that not only did I sing, dance, and make a stupendous ass outta myself, but I broke 4 chairs, almost fell in the fire while taking a piss on it, ran inside and grabbed the kids toy (a stick with a horses head on it) and rode it around the fire like a madman, and mooned everyone while doing so. Apparently the Aurora Borealis was showing that night with a killer looking moon but I don’t remember it.

    So I’m sitting there, feeling ok, then it happens. I walk to get to the sink and don’t make it. A littleral waterfall spews forth from my gapping maw and goes all over the floor in a continuous stream. In the background I hear Mikey say, “Just let it run it’s course, eh.” After that first spew I feel better. They offer me Cream of Wheat, and I puke again. I try to make that vile paste taste better by adding fruit loops to it. Mikey looks at me doing this and smiles not saying a word. I take one bite and spit it up. Then dry heaving starts. Later I get about half a bowl of fruit loops (by themselves) down and then on the drive to the horse stables I spew again. I feel so miserable that I ALSO miss out on horse back riding…

    It was the worst Hangover I’ve ever had. I still can’t touch Vodka most days without my stomach rolling a bit. I may have missed out on some things, but I’ll never forget my crazy canadian visit, even if I only remember pieces of it.

  • Drinking 2 vodka martinis and then waking up with my halter top down around my waist, fact down in a snowdrift. Fiancee got me home somehow and I woke with gravel in my eyebrows (???) and a haircut appointment. Perm fumes do not make hangovers better. Haven’t had vodka since.

  • All you folks saying you don’t get hangovers, you’re just not trying hard enough!

    One Fourth of July I was at a party. I got epically shitfaced, blacked out, and came to while it was still light out. Some time between blacking out and remembering shit again, there was a band playing, and this bitchy neighbor came outside and squirted the band with a hose. My best friend and I led a party-wide singalong of “God Bless America” until she went back in her house. Yeah, don’t remember that.

    The next day was my first day at a new job, and I had to drive to work with a plastic bag tucked into the front of my shirt like a bib, in case I barfed.

  • I’m also in the never-gets-hangovers camp, as well as the high-alcohol-tolerance-for-no-apparent-reason camp. Did successfully get puking drunk for the first time this year after the spectacular failure of a work proposal I’d been honing for weeks – “we’re going in a different direction” are my least favorite words in the universe – but woke up the next morning just a little thirsty, and went back to work.

    These stories are great, though. :D

  • I won’t tell you about my worst hangover. Pretty sure the statute of limitations hasn’t run out on that, yet and some things you just don’t discuss on the internet.

    But I will tell you about the worst one a friend of mine had. And yes, actually, a friend. Not me. I do a lot of stupid shit but even I have a sense of self-preservation. Occasionally.

    So he gets a phone call from a buddy of his a while back who opens with, “You wanna see god?”

    This should have tipped him off right there that it was a bad idea. At the very least he should have asked which god.

    Turns out his buddy has come back from Mexico with a bottle of tequila that has been laced with peyote. Being adventurous souls willing to try a variety of different substances In The Name Of Science, they get together, crack that puppy open.

    And drink the whole thing in one sitting.

    They don’t even bother with shotglasses. Just pass the bottle back and forth chugging this shit and waiting for the Great Snake to ride forth from the desert carrying the Jaguar God and Jim Morrison.

    One of the things that peyote does besides twist your mind like it’s in a taffy machine run by meth-smoking monkeys is to cause, shall we say, gastrointestinal upset.

    They spent the next 12 hours puking from the soles of their shoes and the next three days in bed shivering and dry-heaving.

    Put my friend off tequila for 9 years. Poor bastard.

  • My worst hangover ever was after my close friend’s bachelorette party. We thought we were oh so smart, holding it the weekend before the wedding, instead of the day before, so as to avoid the need for us all to hobble through the ceremony, but the issue came up when the bride’s mother scheduled the bridal shower for the day after our little party. But hey, no big deal, right?

    But my god we drank so much. We drank before we went out. We drank at dinner. We drank at dessert. We drank after dessert. We drank all the way home. We drank when we all got to the house we were staying the night at. We drank cocktails and shots and jello shots and shooter and gulps from the various bottles within reach.

    We went a bit overboard, is what I’m getting at.

    The next morning I woke up in a bed upstairs unsure of how I even got there, and the other girls were on the floor, draped over chairs, one was in the bathtub for some reason we’re still not entirely sure of. (Yes, I took the bed and apparently didn’t let the bride have it. What can I say?) And we all woke up with just enough time to throw on some clothes and speed over to the bridal shower.

    It was the worst drive.

    We had to keep pulling over so someone could throw up, everyone was dizzy and in so very much pain. And then we had to go be bright and chipper and sociable and proper and eat tiny sandwiches and cake and it was pretty much torture. But at least we were in it together?

  • The advice given at the club house party was to eat something before consuming alcohol. The menu: Mexican food. The thrown-together, self-serve bar: Weak in choices. The drink of the night: 7up, Whisky, and Praline Liquor. A sweet drink, a girly drink, but after the fifth one in quick succession, who cares?

    Worst hangover began four hours later, not after the headache began, not because the music turned reggae/disco, and not because of the alcohol sloshing around with all those cheesy, sour creamy enchiladas. No, mine began within minutes of plunking myself down in the club house 102-degree Jacuzzi with eight other people. The bubbling, the splashing, the churning, the nonstop motion of the water back and forth and back and forth; something had to give.

    I give you six hundred gallons of watery Mexican stew followed by an early morning spent lying in a parking lot not caring if I was driven over or not. The words and taste of Praline Liquor are forever forbidden to cross my lips. Take heed.

  • My Worst Hangover Story is the reason I no longer drink beer AND can’t abide the smell of brandy, let alone the taste.

    I was visiting family in eastern Canada and we had a party in the basement (as kids do up there), and it was fun until I ran out of beer – I’d had 6 at that point. They were a special winter brew with higher alcohol content, sold for Carnaval. A friend loaned me another one and life was happy. The music was good, friends were there and I loved my new blue sweater.

    Then, this chick who I THOUGHT was my friend invited me to play a drinking game, but I drunkenly explained that I was out of alcohol, so sad…sorry. She then very kindly said she’d share her brandy with me upstairs. I had never had brandy, so I decided to try it out. That stuff tastes awful!

    I don’t remember how much I had but apparently I was speaking French and English while playing the drinking game (which I also don’t remember) and then later somehow I was back in the basement sitting by myself when I looked down…and there was puke on my awesome blue sweater. All the way down to my hands. I had puke in my hands, and my first thought was “How’d that get there?”

    That was basically my last clear thought as I began vomiting everywhere. People were cursing me, and trying to help but I was a Puking Limp Noodle. The party ended abruptly. I recall whacking my forehead on the bucket they brought me, I remember falling to the floor and cracking my head on the hardwood a bunch of times but not really feeling it.

    I woke up at about 5 a.m. and crawled up the stairs. At one point I realized I had no pants on, but I didn’t care that much. Never in my life has my head hurt so bad. Also, I was freezing. I put on 5 layers of clothes, my scarf, gloves and a hat and got into bed and shivered for about 2 hours. Total misery. I was still drunk later that night when I finally got out of bed.

    The next day, I played in a volleyball tournament and I’d swear there was still alcohol in my system and I kept seeing blue and yellow stars when I looked up to hit the ball. Not the best volleyball of my life. I have had no more than a couple of sips of beer since then, and I can barely gag it down. Oh and I should also mention that I had an impressive ring of bruises on my forehead from smacking it on the bucket repeatedly, and my temples were swollen and bruised from collapsing onto the floor. This story is famous amongst my family and friends up there who think it is hilarious because it didn’t happen to them. I am still barely civil to the gal who gave me the brandy, even if it wasn’t on purpose.

  • It was my roommate’s birthday and we decided to celebrate in style with something called chocolate cake shots, which consisted of Frangelico and two other liquors that I still cannot recall. I don’t remember anything after the fourth shot, but the next day I woke up practically naked in my roommates bedroom and my phone ringing incessantly. My head felt like a bunch of elephants doing jumping jacks on top of it and my stomach threatened with non-stop vomiting. I answered my phone and it was my boss. At this time, I was a 411 operator and we worked double shifts or overtime. I thought I had requested the next day off but I must’ve forgotten. Anyways, I woke up my roommate, who was recovering herself and pissed at me for something I did during the night, and asked her to drive me to work. She carried me to the car, carried me to my cubicle and pulled a trash can near me because after I sat down to work my stomach chose that time to punish me for my last night’s fun. I vomited all day in between or during calls for about half of my 12 hour shift. I stopped drinking for a while after that.

  • I don’t really get hangovers, apart from annoying dehydration – all my crazy stories come from the actual drunk portion of the deal. There’s even a video tape floating around from the very first time I got drunk at 14… luckily my sister doesn’t know how to put a high-8 tape on the internet. XDDD

    However, I saw you say you were in Bethlehem – One of my very best friends lives there! He’s even occasionally a bar tender in his uncle’s bar! SMALL WORLD.

  • @David– the complex toilet dance can be somewhat avoided if you have a trashcan in the bathroom…then you can effectively explode from both ends… :D No noxious blend of smells then :D

  • Actually, the getting drunk part is probably the better part of the story but it’s a bit long. Suffice it to say it involved several bottles of rum, strippers, a naked bachelor (not me), sharpies, some duct-tape and a couple of Tennessee State Troopers. I loved living in Nashville.

    The morning after our outing, I woke up in the downstairs toilet, wedged between the toilet and the wall. I sat up and realized I hit everything but the toilet, so I spent ten agonizing minutes trying to make the room somewhat presentable before venturing out into my friends apartment. I had no idea when we had gotten home as the last thing I remembered was paying someone to write “ball and chain” directly on the bachelor’s forehead with permanent marker; they were leaving for the wedding in Jamaica the following morning. I thought it only appropriate.

    I stumbled into the living room to find some other members of our party passed out on the couch and floor, and rather than wake them I thought it best to go home. After all it was Thursday – still a work day.

    I opened the front door and found the screen door had been pulled out of the wall and was laying across the stairs down to the front walk, which was easy enough to walk around. However, I later found that I had attempted to be a gentleman by opening the front door as they carried the bachelor back into his apartment only to pass out and pull the door off the wall. My bad.

    On the way home (yes, I drove, shame on me) I stopped by Sonic and got two grilled cheese sandwiches, two orders of fries, and a large water, then proceed to consume them before I got home. Wasn’t a good idea – it all came back up. So, I got dressed and went to work.

    On the way to work, I stopped by Sonic and got one grilled cheese sandwich, one order of fries, and a large water. They stayed down, thank god.

    Finally, at work, I sit down at my desk and thought to myself, “what am I doing? I feel like shit.” We worked in an old house that had been converted to offices, so I walked up three flights of stairs to the attic and proceeded to lay down under one of the drafting tables and passed out.

    About an hour and a half later I peel open my eyes to see the owner of the company standing over me laughing. Not just kind of laughing, but tears-in-his-eyes laughing.

    He said, “Brian. What the hell are you doing here after the bachelor party last night? Go home.”

    “I thought I’d be able to make it in today. I guess not.”

    I drove back home, did NOT stop at Sonic, and went straight to bed and sleeping until the next morning, still in considerable pain.

    One of the best part, however, is that the bachelor was worse off than I was. I hadn’t been the only one that had convinced the strippers to write all over him with markers; it took two days and a lot of red skin to get it all off. He was so piss-drunk they had to put him into the back of his own truck, on top of the luggage, and wheel him in a wheel chair to the plane so that they could get to Jamaica. He finally came to about an hour before landing and was so disoriented it took ten minutes to calm him down (this was way before the TSA existed).

  • Any time I have a hangover that a bit of ‘hair of the dog’ then makes worse. I remember mixing a bit of rum in my coffee just to make the tuba player pounding behind the left side of my temple quiet. Instead, the tuba player called in all his friends, and Satchmo lead them with a muted trumpet that crawled down the back of my brain stem and made my spine twist.

  • It was Boston, springtime. Our friend was graduating from the college where my friend Dave and I had started.

    It was a weekday, it was really beautiful weather. Cool, but nice. And I do know we started at a bar above a Chinese food place. I also know we started with some kind of drink in a giant coconut-type cup — two straws. Maybe a kamikaze?

    I don’t know, but my last coherent memory was Dave and I ordering another and another, and at some point “sword fighting” with the long straws. Who knows if that’s what got us kicked out of the bar.

    There was time in someone’s house — someone playing *guitar*, so it wasn’t a perfect evening.

    And that really is all there is to remember. I woke up in the house, on the floor. There were other people in the room. I knew a couple of them. Couldn’t find Dave.

    Took me about ten minutes to get my jacket on, stop at the toilet for a nice, cleansing puke, and then another five to make my way downstairs. My friend Jodi and I realized we couldn’t find Dave, and we spent the next fifteen to twenty minutes searching for him.

    Nothing, nothing. We worried he’d gotten lost somewhere in Boston, some weird suburb. On the “T”.

    Finally someone thought to look outside. There he was: face down on the grass.

    He was alive, but we spent the rest of the day arguing about who had the worse hangover, him or me.

    It was totally me.

  • The night ended with me drinking red wine like a hobo: straight from the bottle while sitting in a parking lot, leaning against the wheel of a large truck.

    The morning began with me sitting in a hotel bathroom that looked like an abattoir, only instead of blood, the room was covered in slightly used red wine. The way my head felt, I wished it was blood.

  • Husband once had to make the 10-hour drive home from our favorite spot out in Big Bend (Mexican border desert of west Texas) with his hoodie cinched around his face so only his nose and mouth were showing. Groaning. The whole time. (This was as a passenger, luckily for the rest of us.)

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