The New Yorker on The Cure For The Common Hangover

This week's New Yorker includes a piece on the history and future of the hangover cure.  It's a pretty comprehensive survey: From the hair of the dog, to drinking a lot of water, to McDonald's cheeseburgers, to RU-21 pills — it's all there.  I thought Fake Angeleno readers might get a kick out of the article.  It's worth reading for this choice Kingsley Amis citation on the ravages of what he termed "the metaphysical hangover."

Hangovers also have an emotional component. Kingsley Amis, who was, in
his own words, one of the foremost drunks of his time, and who wrote
three books on drinking, described this phenomenon as “the metaphysical
hangover”: “When that ineffable compound of depression, sadness (these
two are not the same), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear
for the future begins to steal over you, start telling yourself that
what you have is a hangover. . . . You have not suffered a minor brain
lesion, you are not all that bad at your job, your family and friends
are not leagued in a conspiracy of barely maintained silence about what
a shit you are, you have not come at last to see life as it really is.”
Some people are unable to convince themselves of this. Amis described
the opening of Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” with the hero discovering that
he has been changed into a bug, as the best literary representation of
a hangover.

The article finally comes to the conclusion that a true hangover cure won't be coming any time soon: Just think about the process of getting a national charitable trust or the federal government to sign off on costly research into ameliorating the after-effects of moral profligacy!   In the meantime, the only sure-fire method for avoiding a hangover remains — wait for it — abstinence. 


  1. Laura
  2. Jerry Large