Mike Brown’s Top 5 Hangovers

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I once read somewhere that to be a great writer it helps to have a drinking problem. I definitely do my best writing when I'm hung over, so I feel this advice holds somewhat true. And since I'm hung over right now, and SLUG's all about top fives this month, I figure it's only natural to write my January article about my top five hangovers of all time. I'm also assuming that the amateur drinking night known as New Years Eve has rendered more than a couple SLUG readers hungover for a day or two.

Illustration: Robin Banks

People have all these good stories about shit they did while they were wasted. There's not enough good stories about shit people have done while they were hung over.

Hangover Number 5: This was in the summer between eighth and ninth grade. It was my fourth or fifth time drinking and I was at this kid Adam Butler's birthday party. Adam was kind of a douche but his parents would let us drink; his mom even did acid with a bunch of my friends one time. Anyway, I made out with some girl who I guess kind of looked like me. But what did I care? I was hamburgered that night and would have made out with almost anything.

The next day marked my first real hangover. But I didn't care because I was so pumped on making out with this chick. See, this was the first girl I ever kissed. It wasn't all special like some girl I had a boyhood crush on and we rendezvoused in a beautiful meadow, holding hands and shit like that. This was when skateboarding wasn't cool and girls in Junior high and high school didn't really like me. I can't even remember the broad's name. I do remember getting teased by all my friends for making out with my twin while having a vicious headache.

This hangover makes the top five mostly because it was the first time my body felt like shit and I had that, "Oh fuck, what did I do last night?" to accompany the discomfort. Since then, I've had many, many, "Oh fuck, what did I do last night?" nights and they don't get any easier, kids.

Hangover Number 4: Certain hangovers have rendered my enjoyment of certain spirits useless. Such is the case with wine. I can sip it, but it all tastes the same to me. As far as my palate and liver are concerned, there are only two types of wine, red and white. Red leaves the most devastating impact.

Ask anyone who drinks a lot and they will tell you there aren't too many things in this world as vicious as a wine hangover. I learned this the hard way my junior year of High school on Halloween night. It was a school night but for me Halloween has been one of those holidays where I have a relentless determination to get fucked up. I was hanging out at this kid's house and just pounded six big glasses of his mom's booze in a box. Boxed wine goes down faster than a Thai hooker.

I ended up at the apartment of this kid we called Chunk's apartment and proceeded to vomit profusely off of his third floor balcony and into an empty flowerpot. I apologized by trying to carry the puke-filled flowerpot to the bathroom but I was spilling everywhere. Chunk freaked out because his mom was coming home any minute and made me walk home about five miles.

This hangover was so brutal I didn't drink for about five years. Seriously. I didn't want my dad to know that I was drinking so I had to go to school but I was too fucked up to change my puke-covered clothes. All my friends thought it was pretty funny. And to this day, boxed wine just creeps me out.

Hangover Number 3: This one represents one of the only times I've ever truly blacked out. For some reason my metabolism won't let me have a true, "I have no idea what I'm doing right now" blackout. Sometimes shit gets a little hazy or I have the whole, "I don't remember spitting in your face" thing but I usually pass out before I get to that point. I've got a handful of friends that have been so drunk before that they only know what happened that night by what's written on the police report.

For word count purposes, and lack of details, this story is a little incomplete. It has to do with my buddy Penrod who comes into town from Denver about five or six times a year. Penrod is really good at drinking, and it's not like peer pressure or anything, but when you get wasted with him it's like your just trying to keep up.

Basically, the night went like this: We start with sake at Ginza, then move on to a constant waterfall of beer and whiskey at the Rancid show last year, me getting us kicked out of the rancid show for supposedly throwing beer on the band, moving on to the titty bar until they close and ask us to leave, and then the night has us lighting off M-80s and bottlerockets at three in the morning. I don't remember anything after that.

I woke up fully clothed and with blood stains on certain parts of my body. Both my knees were swollen and my shoulder hurt like a motherfucker. I just laid down on my couch the next day, hid my weed and planned out what I would say to the cops when they came. They never came.

Hangover number 2: This one's not from alcohol, but from pills. I don't really like pills of any sort. Sure, snorting Ritalin was fun in Junior High, but I'm a grown man now. I can't pop any sort of 'script unless I'm in a brutal world of physical pain.

This hangover's origins started in Denver, where I was road tripping with a couple girls I knew. We went to a punk show in Fort Collins and needless to say, got really drunk. The next day on our way out of town some generous punk rocker gave me a couple Percocets for the road. I thought the downers would be a good way to even out the hangover and the boring nine-hour drive home. I also figured that if I took some pills it would get me out of any sort of driving duties.

I was instructed to only take one, but I felt like the first pill wasn't working so I took the second one. For a couple hours I was rendered useless in the most beautiful forms of fucked-up-ness I've ever encountered. My body was completely shut off but I could hear and process everything the girls in the front seat were saying.

As soon as they dropped me off, the puking began ... so did my hatred of pills and any other drug that has to go through a lab before it goes in your body. They were weird violent pukes, too. But it taught me a lesson. Booze and pills – no bueno.

Number 1 Hangover of All Time: I'll spare you the details of the night before. This one took place in one of my genuine favorite parts of our great beehive state, Ogden.

Freshly 21, and on a skateboard mission to Washington with my best friend Tim, we stopped in O-town to gas up. I smelled of a gin/vomit combo and didn't shower or nothing. I walked into a gas station and grabbed a gallon of water, a box of soda crackers, a Jack Daniels bandana (classic hangover purchases), and went to the counter. The clerk was a methed-out, younger blonde chick with a couple front teeth missing. She asked me if I needed anything else and I said, "A pack of Camel Lights please." Then she said something that I couldn't understand due to my fuzzy condition. So I said, "No," bought my cigs and water, and walked out of there.

As me and Tim were walking to the car, Tim looked at me and said, "That was weird." And I go, "What was weird?" Tim asks me if I even heard what the clerk asked me as I was buying cigarettes. I said not really and then Tim goes, "She asked you if you were old enough to smoke, you said no, and then she sold you cigarettes anyway."

I'm not too sure why I think this but I feel like that's the coolest thing that's ever happened to me while I've been hung over. And it's also why I love Ogden so much.