Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ponder Post 3

Has any reader ever used one of these things? I don't believe the no-hangover claim. Hangovers happen, it is the way of things and I can't see any reason why inhaling alcohol should make any difference. Yet the Christian Action League of North Carolina - motto 'Somebody really should do something' - has persuaded the state to ban the inhalers precisely because they don't cause hangovers. Plainly the hangover is seen as God's way of telling us not to drink quite so much. Unfettered by the morning after, all humans, not just students at provincial universities, would vomit, shriek and wreck town centres. People who claim not to have hangovers are usually exceptionally enthusiastic drinkers - ie journalists. Keith Waterhouse used to claim this, but then he gave up drinking for a week and realised he'd had a hangover for 38 years. The physiological impact of alcohol - inhaled or drunk - is unavoidable. But even if it had no such impact, I suspect the hangover would still happen. Getting out of your head necessarily mean you have to get back in. That is the real hangover. Anyway, this leads effortlessly to a another Ponder Post. How different would the world be without hangovers?


  1. Puritanism - The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

    I doubt Mencken would be surprised that it is alive and well in the 21st century.

  2. How different would the world be without hangovers?

    George W. Bush would probably never have been elected President of the United States.

  3. I see this ingenious device was first tried in 'a bar in Bordello' - where's Bordello? Maybe they mean a bar in a bordello - that I could understand... Anyway, there's something rather lovable about a really good hangover isn't there? Would you really want to be without it?

  4. Susan B., not sanguine about hangovers,June 23, 2007 3:22 pm

    Those who don't get hangovers easily are more likely to become alcoholics, or so I read not long ago in _Scientific American_. Very interesting article therein about the genetics of alcoholism supplied a good number of facts. Here's another one: Most Asians and Africans have a gene that makes it very difficult for them to break down the sugar in alcohol (I forgot what that type of sugar is called ...ethanol?). Hence they often flush and get very hot --have an allergic reaction basically. For most, this turns 'em off alcohol, and is a built-in preventative for the disease.

    Alcoholism is the scourge of my family though not, amazingly, for me. Hence, it fascinates (and often frightens) me. You, Bryan, have obviously never gone a round with the Demon Addiction (sometimes known as the Demon Rum), or you'd not be so blithe about hangovers. Lucky you, Calvados Appleyard.

  5. i've never had a hangover in my life, despite having put away a fair amount of booze. i think it's because i can't sleep if i feel at all drunk, so when i do drink to excess i stay awake, drinking gallons of water & reading till it's dealt with. Or maybe i'm a living & ghastly example of what the world would be like if no one had hangovers. You'd all be like me. Tremble, ye drinkers.

  6. Calvados is, indeed, my weakness. And, Elberry, the sleep alcohol problem is a serious. Sleeping it off has never been an option for me.

  7. I imagine a world without hangovers would be something very much like heaven. Or alternatively, something very much like hell.

    And Nige, while some hangovers are enjoyable in the same way the boredom and melancholy can sometimes be enjoyable, that is true only of the very mild variety. The biggies only prove - as if further proof were needed - that if there is a God, He's a bastard.

  8. Well, now I appear to have got one - and it seems to be of the wooly, niggling, half-arsed, mind-blanking type - not what I had in mind at all...

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