Stage 1 - STUPID

As you regain consciousness and begin to enjoy a flood of sensations only dimly remembered from previous hangovers, such as the pneumatic drill headache, cloying nausea and Guinness/Tetley/Baileys/(add tipple most consumed night before). You realise that you have lost not only several hours of your life but the ability to concentrate on anything. You are now officially stupid and will probably stay stupid until you get onto your third bacon sandwich.

Stage 2 - UGLY

Never entirely happy with the comic effects of the bathroom mirror first thing you are horrified to discover that you have now become even less attractive than you thought previously possible. Not only has the combined effect of the booze and smoky/sweaty atmosphere given you a glorious collection of spots but you are shaking so much that you now look like you've shaved with a sanding block! Unfortunately you are still too stupid to know better than to try and shave whilst shaking or to remember the necessary beauty tips to paper over the cracks.

Stage 3 - POOR

Having crawled out of bed and got dressed you are about to shamble out the door when you discover that the money you got from the cashpoint to last you the week is now missing from your wallet. Being stupid, you have no idea what happened to it but the smell of curry on your coat/duvet leads you to suspect that you may have treated an entire rugby team to curry and lagers at some point, alternatively your pocket will have been picked or you will have given the taxi driver a 20/50 note by mistake. Rationalising that you couldn't possibly have been that stupid and that you would remember being mugged, you come to believe that you were the only one who bought any drinks all night and start to loathe all humanity.

Stage 4 - MADE OF GLASS As you are now a stupid, ugly and poor sociopath, you embody most of the characteristics you hate in other people and your self respect plummets. You're already fragile physical condition is made worse by this until you think you are likely to melt or shatter if handled at all roughly.

Stage 5 - CIRCUS FREAK

Luckily, any non-hungover person can spot this condition and its cause from a great distance. Even better, they know that they can complete your misery by parading you in front of your colleagues/family/friends, shouting at you and insisting that you drink things with whole eggs and Worcestershire sauce in or eat greasy food as "its the only thing that will make you feel better". You are too stupid to know where to hide and too conspicuously ugly to get away with it, too poor to buy Alka Seltzer and too fragile to hit them.

Five Stages of Hangovers

One Star Hangover (*)

No pain. No real feeling of illness. Your sleep last night was a mere disco nap which is giving you a whole lot of misplaced energy. Be glad that you are able to function relatively well. However, you are still parched. You can drink 10 sodas and still feel this way. Even vegetarians are craving a steakbomb and a side of gravy fries from any Truck Stop USA.


Two Star Hangover (**)

No pain. Something is definitely amiss. You may look okay,but you have the attention span and mental apacity of a staple gun. The coffee you chug to try and remain focused is only exacerbating your rumbling gut, which is craving a Rootie Tootie Fresh-N-Fruity pancake breakfast from IHOP. Last night has wreaked havoc on your bowels and even though you have a nice demeanor about the office, you are costing your employer valuable money because all you really can handle is surfing Internet porn and writing junk e-mails.


Three Star Hangover (***)

Slight headache. Stomach feels crappy. You are definitely a space shot and not so productive. Anytime a girl walks by you gag because her perfume reminds you of the random gin shots you did with your alcoholic friends after the bouncer 86'd you at 1:45am. Life would be better right now if you were in your bed with a dozen donuts and a meatball sub watching the E! Fashion Awards. You've had four cups of coffee, a gallon of water, three Snapples, and a liter of Diet Coke-- yet you haven't peed once.


Four Star Hangover (****)

Life sucks. Your head is throbbing and you can't speak too quickly or else you might puke. Your boss has already lambasted you for being late and has given you a lecture for wreaking of booze. You wore nice clothes, but can't hide the fact that you missed a an oh-so-crucial spot shaving (girls, it looks like you put your make-up on while riding the bumper cars), your teeth have sweaters, your eyes look like one big vein, and your hairstyle makes you look like a reject from the class picture of Revere High, '76. You would shoot your mother for one or all of the following:

Five Star Hangover (*****)
(A.K.A. Dante's Fourth Circle of Hell)

You have a second heartbeat in your head, which is actually annoying the employee who sits in the next cubicle. Vodka vapor is seeping our of every pore and making you dizzy. You still have toothpaste crust in the corners of your mouth from brushing your teeth. Your body has lost the ability to generate saliva, so your tongue is suffocating you. You'd cry, but that would take the last of the moisture left in your body. Death seems pretty good right now. Your boss doesn't even get mad at you and your co-workers think that your dog died because you look so pathetic. You should have called in sick because let's face it, all you can manage to do is bitch about your state -- which is a mystery to you because you definitely don't remember who you were with, where you were, what you drank, and why there is a stranger still sleeping in your bed, unaccompanied, at your house. The only thing you can do is pass out. It's when you wake up a fwe hours later with a lesser star hangover that you eat a large pizza, an order of Kung Pao Chicken, a ham and cheese omelet, and a batch of Rice Krispie Treats.

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