The Hangover Club

A hangover is a truly wonderful thing.

A good hangover strips the cotton wool and silver lining from your normally rosy view of the world and presents it in all its raw, realistic, painful detail. The little noise that your seat makes when you swivel more than fifteen degrees - fingernails on a blackboard. The soft, pastel, fluorescent office lights - white hot daggers in the back of the eyeball. The dulcet tones of your work mates - violin music played two octaves too high and ten decibels too loud.

I never use to drink and now I know why. A good hangover makes you appreciate that being sober comfortably cushions you from having to deal with reality too much. It's like a Hollywood movie - everyone is nice, the plot involves something to do with crazy teenagers and there's always a happy ending. A hangover on the other hand is first class French film noir, it's short, it's sharp and anyone that doesn't die in the end wishes they had.

I'm actually surprised that more hangovers don't result in more homicides. When you come into work after a particularly big binge and you have to sit next to that-guy-from-accounts-who's-a-bit-annoying you suddenly discover you've been sharing an office with a sadist that makes Vlad the Impaler look like a girl guide. They constantly keep picking on you in your feeble, vulnerable, post-inebriated state. Deliberately provoking you with malicious acts of brutality like speaking, not answering their phone fast enough and worst of all breathing out loud.

Inanimate objects take on their own life of too. All of a sudden that cooperative swivel chair turns into an instrument of torture, your computer monitor appears to have taken on a level of brightness and contrast normally only found in thermo-nuclear explosions and your phone smiles up at you from the desk with an evil little grin on it's smug face.

But there's no point in getting worked up, the only thing left for you to do is to sit back and enjoy the ride. Like a penitent monk, you're not actually supposed to enjoy the flagellation but if you've got a sense of humour you can appreciate the whole drinking-to-drunk-to-hangover experience. And if you're lucky you have a few friends you can share the experience with. You can exchange pasty faced, congratulatory grins in the corridor as you pass, safe in the knowledge that there is no way on earth they are going to do anything provocative, like speak to you.

And soon it will all be over, reality will come slinking back into your life and you can pretend once more that the world is really a lovely place to be. Until of course, you fall for the lure of cheap alcohol and an all night drinking session and you once again join the enlightened ranks of the Hangover club.