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Hangovers are bad enough when you wake up in your bed and are confronted with the reality of how miserable you’re about to be for the next 12 hours or so. But at least in this scenario you get to enjoy a home field advantage of sorts. If you have the foresight to do so, you can equip your residence and Panic Room with all the essential supplies and amenities to soften the blow of your hangover. Even if you find yourself lacking some things, you can make an easy trip to the store (or, depending on your condition have it delivered to you) to get what you need. There are certainly worse places you be. And short of waking up in a jail cell after a wild bender, an airplane is the absolute worst place to be while hungover.
If you travel anywhere that’s a fair distance away from your home for any reason whatsoever, it’s understood that the trip back is going to be the worst part. This is especially the case if you spent the last night out on the town partying, which, let’s face it, is 1,000% going to happen because we have no self-control and the allure of getting drunk in new and exciting places is too great to resist. Having to spend that return trip suffering all the fun symptoms of a hangover is only going to exacerbate that misery. I have the added bonus of always flying out for work trips on Sundays from where I live and I will always, without fail, end up going out and drinking like there’s no tomorrow on nights before those flights. Why I do that is beyond even me, but it’s almost always guaranteed to happen.
The misery starts before even boarding the aircraft. If you’re flying, you likely have to get to the airport early. You’re stuck with having to commute there, printing your boarding pass, checking your luggage, and going through security all while feeling like your head is going to explode. Then after you check in, you have to wait at the gate for hours as you yearn to just get the fuck out of that place. Admittedly though, if you’re in a bigger airport like O’Hare you have the advantage of a solid food and beverage selection.
The real fun doesn’t begin until you take your seat on the plane. Once you’re seated, you are trapped and have to share the pleasant experience of your elevated hangover with everyone on it. Unlike sitting in a car hungover, there is no escape to pull over to the side of the road or into a gas station to get snacks unless you want to end up like Dave Chappelle’s character in Con Air. I also find it difficult to sleep on planes (especially in the economy seats where I sit, because I am a peasant who is still climbing his way up the rewards program ladder), so catching some Zs is out of the question for me.
The beverage cart only gives you that one dinky cup of whatever complimentary drink you request which is barely enough to wet your whistle. And if those lovely hangover symptoms start to really kick in at any point– whether it’s sweating, the shakes, or nausea– then the only options you’re left with are to use the extremely limited resources on the plane to try and get over them, or just tough them out and hope the people sitting around you will tolerate your final, dying moments. Scaries on a plane? You could make a whole horror movie about those. You’re basically left to your own helpless devices, so you may as well just accept death’s sweet embrace in this situation.
The good thing is once you do get off the plane and finally make it to your home or hotel room you can relax. The sweet relief of making it back is one of the best feelings ever. You can jump on your comfy bed, lay out spread eagle, and get yourself some much-needed rest. It’s a nice feeling until the second round of Scaries hits you and you’re just as restless and anxious as you were before. But at least you’re not 30,000 feet up in the air anymore..
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