Food & Drink

The 8 stages of every hangover

8 stages of every hangover
Naomi Stark

In honor of football, drinking, America, and YOU, we proclaim the Monday after Super Bowl shall henceforth be known as National Hangover Day. It’s a day for hangovers to be celebrated, embraced, and combated in the most enjoyable of ways -- namely, eating delicious food, and possibly drinking more. The ultimate goal? Getting the entire country a day off work, a beautiful dream you can help make happen by signing this petition to our sports-loving President right here and tweeting it.

Everyone has faced it at some point in their lives. That horrible, dark feeling that comes from watching the Nancy Drew movie waking up the day after you've been slightly to aggressively overserved. So, to honor/desecrate that experience, we present the eight stages you go through during every single hangover: 

dry mouth
Naomi Stark

1. The dry mouth stage
As you wake up you experience dry mouth. Terrible dry mouth. Like, the Sahara on a six year drought with whatever the opposite of a humidifier is plugged directly into your mouth, dry mouth. The type where you pour water in, and it just tastes like you’re throwing said water at a sand castle. Where your tongue actually somehow sticks to the roof of your mouth, and you peel it off, and both are dry, and you feel like you do when you go to the dentist, and they use that weird moisture-sucking contraption, except this time you don’t get a free toothbrush and some cool new type of mouthwash you’ve never been able to afford. You just get really horrible breath that smells like profound disapproval and guilt.

Naomi Stark

2. The combination hunger/nausea stage 
Then comes the hunger/nausea. The type where you really don’t want to eat, but you have to eat or you are GOING TO DIE TRAGICALLY, so you end up eating something greasy and dirty, and that just makes you feel more sick and sad, and then, when you try and brush your teeth after eating, you gag. Multiple times. And then you realize you smoked upwards of 16 menthol cigarettes last night, and you don't even know people who smoke cigarettes.

ice pack
Naomi Stark

3. The inexplicable old man body aches
As you try and make your way around, your body aches like you’re an 87yr old man who never drank milk for healthy bones, and your muscles feel like you just did three consecutive Tough Mudders holding a hilariously oversized baby calf, but really all you did was sit on a barstool feeding quarters into the jukebox to continually play deep cut Chumbawumba tracks while talking to your buddy about your martyr-like tendency to play as the Dallas Stars in NHL '94 with the offsides off, mostly because of Russ Courtnall's underrated goal scoring tendencies.

Naomi Stark

4. The shut eye paradox
You finally get to your couch where you rest and realize that you want to close your eyes really badly, but, once you close your eyes, you just feel like someone is doing jumping jacks holding chainsaws in your brain, so you open them again, only to want to close them. And then you weep at the cruel cycle you’re caught up in.

Naomi Stark

5. The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad chills stage
Once you’ve positioned yourself on the couch, and come to terms with keeping your eyes open, you begin to realize that you suddenly have the chills, as if someone has replaced your spine with an Icee Freeze, and everyone in the world is simultaneously blowing on your skin. The only way to counter this is to immediately put on three hoodies, a Snuggie, a winter coat, your grandmother’s quilt, a woman’s peacoat, and several paper towels you warmed up in the microwave. None of these things work.

talking to others
Amy Lapetina

6. The stage of lost eloquence
At some point, another person will try and interact with you, and you will realize that your internal monologue -- that witty, snappy, clever voice in your head that sounds vaguely British -- is nothing like your external speaking voice, which sounds like Mamma Fratelli from The Goonies speaking into a voice altering machine that’s low on batteries. Attempts at humor will fail. There is literally nothing productive you can do with another person, so you have no choice but to shut your mouth and continue watching Prague: House Hunters International for the seventh time, even though you already know that they choose the second place which comes in slightly under budget even though they’re not crazy about the amenities and the master bathroom.

piecing it together
Naomi Stark

7. The uncovering clues from last night stage
Now that you’re at least somewhat functional, you will be visited by the Ghost of Yesterday Night's Past, who will provide you with alarming brief flashbacks to specific things you did later in the night, usually in the form of quick six-second scenes. You will immediately check your cell and social media and bank statement and dream journal for clues as to what took place, and then you will discover that you’ve given yourself helpful tattoos on your thighs so you can remember who to trust. Wait, no, I think that’s the movie Memento. You’re actually screwed.

Naomi Stark

8. The dramatic return to the wagon
Finally, once you’ve overcome the dry mouth, nausea, old man aches, pounding migraines, terrible chills, non-functional brain, and horrible flashbacks, you will be ready to face the startling reality that it’s likely just about time to start drinking again.

Kevin Alexander is Thrillist's National Food/Drink Executive Editor, and is currently in the throes of stage four. Quietly follow him to the bathroom @KAlexander03.

NOTE: The star of the photo shoot for this story is Thrillist food/drink staff writer Adam Lapetina, and his parents' finely appointed home.