19 October 2011

Six hangovers

P.G. Wodehouse, best known today for depicting pre-war English, upperclass society in his Jeeves and Blandings Castle novels and short stories, was the first to document the six original varieties of hangover in his novel The Mating Season.
"I am told by those who know that there are six varieties of hangover — the Broken Compass, the Sewing Machine, the Comet, the Atomic, the Cement Mixer and the Gremlin Boogie, and his manner suggested that he had got them all."

They have been described by others in the following way:

1. The Broken Compass
"The Broken Compass attacks the senses of balance and direction and its symptoms include stumbling, colliding with objects which under normal circumstances one would find it easy to avoid, falling, tripping, disorientation, dizziness, aimless wandering, and the sudden and crippling inability to find one’s way home. In extreme cases such as the one illustrated, the victim becomes so disoriented they fall to the ground they know not where, unable to move.

A rare variant of this form of hangover is known as Shatner's Compass. This affliction causes a peculiar sense of detachment from reality, giving its victims the sense of floating outside themselves."

2. The Sewing Machine
"The Sewing Machine affects the nervous system and its symptoms include shaking, the inability to move one’s limbs in the direction desired by the brain, the physical inability to talk due to jaw malfunction or other nervous defect, and sudden involuntary movements.

An oft-experienced aspect of the sewing machine is known as the Carpet Layer - a curious malady that causes the sufferer to feel as though the inside of their mouth has been carpeted over by a mysterious gnome."

3. The Comet
"The Comet has been praised by philosophers for its simplicity, which is often said to be beautiful in a mathematical sense. It has only a single symptom, which is the forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth."

4. The Atomic
"The Atomic attacks the brain and, although its effects can contribute to one or other of the metaphysical hangovers, the Atomic itself is strictly physical. Its symptoms include many varieties of headache and, in extreme cases, deafness."

5. The Cement Mixer
"The Cement Mixer attacks the digestive system, and its symptoms include abdominal pains and abnormal lavatorial experiences. The Cement Mixer often becomes apparent after its victim has begun to eat something."

6. The Gremlin Boogie
"The Gremlin Boogie is the only one of the eleven hangovers which has the peculiar distinction of being enjoyable, and is thus sought out by hangover connoisseurs. It is a psychological condition that enables the sufferer to revel in their hungover state* and to draw a peculiar kind of energy from their circumstances. It is almost always experienced in groups and its symptoms include an unfounded sense of wellbeing, hysterical laughter, the desire to buy goods which at other times would be deemed unnecessary and a masochistic enjoyment of the other types of hangover. Most commonly, it fuels within the sufferer a rampant desire to continue drinking, the victim becoming so caught up in the joy of the communal hangover that he or she cannot bear for the experience to end. Indeed, it is generally wise to allow the Gremlin Boogie to run its course."

These were categorized on GreeneHighway, so go have a look to note wonderful recent additions as "The French Horn", "The Happy Chef", "The Fear", "Mr Batey", and my favourite: "The False Dawn".