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Kathryn Spira

The Hangover Now and Then

Last week Herman and I saw “The Hangover,” as a friend of ours leant us the DVD. This film chronicles a wild night in Las Vegas involving four guys who can’t remember a thing about their partying. You don’t actually see what went on, you just learn about what happened as the characters try to re-trace their steps.

The film is actually laugh-out-loud funny and very surprising. Three of the four friends wake up with a tiger in their bathroom, a tooth pulled from the dentist and an unnamed baby in the closet but without their fourth friend, who is the groom-to-be. This was to be their bachelor party, but from there it gets even wilder.

I certainly don’t recommend this type of behavior, but I can remember the heyday of my own party days—bartending until 4 a.m. and then going to what’s called “after hours bars,” going to breakfast on no sleep and finally getting to sleep mid-morning. I would then crash with just enough sleep to get up that evening and do it all over again.

I’ve woken up in strange places with strange faces and don’t really want to go into detail. Suffice it to say, I could relate to not being able to fully grasp the where and when of a night’s events.

The horror of the friends’ events makes this movie a cautionary tale, while still being funny. Herman tells me his definition of a scary event is something that is funny when told ten years later. But at the time, it is just plain awful.

When I was bartending, people would ask me for what was the best hangover “cure.” I would first recommend sleep and hydration to help move the alcohol out of their system. However, in the short term, I would strongly recommend “the hair of the dog” in the way of a bloody Mary or a mimosa. The mimosa is a combination of orange juice, champagne and a dash of orange liqueur.

The four friends were hit with the “date rape” drug aka “roofies” slipped them by the brother of the bride who is a ne’re-do-well.

When I was bartending, alcohol and drugs went hand-in-hand as the thing to do. As I became more enthused with running and a healthy lifestyle, I grew tired of tending bar and the night life. In retrospect, I’m glad I’m on the other side of those silly endeavors.

I look back now at my frenzied activities and realize nothing would have slowed me down until the MS, which stopped me in my tracks. The MS gave me a whole new perspective on life and still does today. But unlike the friends in the movie, I do remember a lot of my days with friends I still have today. Those friends and memories are the most important parts of those days.


About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site

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