Taken from A Hednonist's Guide to Life

Simon Munnery is an alcoholic comic and chronic melancholic with only one bollock

I hear them on the bus; the young with their tales of the night before – they can hardly remember what happened; but this morning the hangover and the pain of it provides the point of the story, the punch line: we celebrate our own suffering. And why not? It's all we have.

Suffering is the primary social currency. If you haven't suffered you haven't lived. If you're suffering now, I'm with you brother. Suffering is your ticket to the human race. Who do we tell our suffering to? Not our mothers but our mates. Your mum doesn't want to know you are hurting yourself.

We use so many phrases to describe the intoxication, which we then hardly remember:

— I was well gone; hammered; caned; rat-arsed; shitfaced; cunted; totally boughed; tanked up; smashed; cranked up to the ninepins; mashed; mullered; skidaddled; way tipsy; slaughtered; slightly inebriated; cowlooned; dandelion boots off; Ragtime Freddy....

— And how are you doing this morning?

— Oh mate, don't ask... I can't tell you.... really bad...

And so few to describe our suffering. Because suffering is only two doors down from holy. No words will suffice.

Famously there are three ways to avoid a hangover:

1. Don’t drink

2. Stay drunk

3. Drink plenty of water before turning in.

I never use option three. Why? Don't want to have to get up in the night. May have to anyway. When you are drunk enough that you must sleep, normally you've drunk so much that the thought of any more liquid is abhorrent. An alcoholic drink is firstly a drink; beer is mainly water; drinkers are drinkers first, alcoholics second; And drinking is the first pleasure. Drinkers miss their mums. And fear pissing the bed. You do the math.

When I wake up I like a cup of tea (milk two sugars), a joint and a hot bath. If that doesn't work I repeat the process. Sometimes it will be another 12 hours before I hit the sauce. I rarely have an aspirin. When I'm ready, I eat.

I drink for the hangover, to feel the pain of it, to live, for otherwise our lives would be a miserable ease. You have to conquer something. Everest's been done. So you conquer your own pain.

Content copyright of Simon Munnery

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