Every now and again a line from a movie leaps out of the screen and plants itself so firmly in my mind, it could have a tenancy agreement. It happened this week, during my favourite hangover pastime (pizza and Bruce Willis movies).
The film: Die Hard With A Vengeance. Willis’s Detective John McClane, shirtless and bleary-eyed, is woken by the police with the news that he (and only he) must save New York. McClane replies that the inspector has ruined “a perfectly good hangover”.
“E tu, Brute? Sorry, Brucé?” I say to myself. Because I thought I was the only one who secretly enjoyed the frazzled aftermath of a big night out, who sees their limp hours in bed as more luxuriate than languish, more wallow than wither. I’m sure it’s chemical – a temporary mental regression that means I cannot overthink about what run, chore or other self-betterment I should be doing because I am too busy finding everything hilarious and telling my cat I am lucky to know her.
Of course, this only applies to hangovers on days off. There is no romanticising the paranoid office afternoons catastrophising about whether the higher-ups have noticed, or fighting nausea through a family commitment because the guilt of cancelling would turn my stomach even more.
I am sure that the re-emergence has something to do with it; that as we blink back into the outside world, as productivity propaganda works to cram our diaries full and Fomo declares, “I’m back, baby!” I can’t help but appreciate days spent eschewing it all.
Of course, a truly winning life lesson would be figuring out how to achieve such self-kindness without lightly poisoning yourself beforehand. I’m still working on that. But in the meantime I shan’t let pressure to do, do and do ruin a perfectly good hangover.