Notes from down table

When your tongue tastes like a tram-driver's glove ...

Apologies for not posting for a while but it's been a week of leaving dos, with half a dozen loyal Evening Beast employees heading prematurely for the scrap heap thanks to the ineptitude of successive managements.

This has resulted in a number of hangovers, which in turn have led to a complete lack of desire to do any work. Indeed, such is the ennui that I can't even be bothered to write about the hangovers, instead handing the job over to the genius that was the Daily Mirror's legendary columnist Cassandra, real name William Connor.

"A hangover is when your tongue tastes like a tram-driver's glove. When your boots seem to be steaming and your eyes burn in their sockets like hot gooseberries. Your stomach spins slowly on its axis and your head gently swells and contracts like a jelly in the tideway ..."

You can follow the link to read the rest of this wonderful piece down below, or you can do the decent thing and go and buy the book of Cassandra's best writing recently republished by Revel Barker of the gentlemenranters website. Also available from the bookshop are newspaper classics such as Slip-Up, Anthony Delano's updated tale of the Ronnie Biggs saga, The Best of Vincent Mulchrone, and Ian Skidmore's Forgive Us Our Press Passes, which should be made required reading for every child-in-a-suit populating what passes for our newsrooms these days.

 

On Hangovers ...

On hangovers

About 1937

 

He found that he was suffering from what he (counsel) said was vulgarly and commonly known as a 'hangover'.'

'A what?' asked Mr Justice Hawke.

'I am just as ignorant as your Lordship,' replied counsel.

Mr Justice Hawke then severely rebuked people who laughed at this.

  • Court Report

 

May I hasten to help his Lordship? A hangover is when your tongue tastes like a tram-driver's glove.

When your boots seem to be steaming and your eyes burn in their sockets like hot gooseberries.

Your stomach spins slowly on its axis and your head gently swells and contracts like a jelly in the tideway.

Voices sound far off and your hands tremble like those of a centenarian condemned to death.

Slight movements make you sweat, even as you shiver from the deadly cold that is within you.

Bright lights hurt the eyes, and jeering, gibbering people from the night before seem to whisper in your ears, and then fade with mocking horrible laughter into silence.

The finger-nails are brittle and your skin hangs on you like an old second-hand suit.

Your feet appear to be swollen, and walking is like wading through a swamp of lumpy, thick custard.

Your throat is cracked and parched like the bottom of an old saucepan that has boiled dry. The next moment the symptoms change, and your mouth is stuffed with warm cotton wool.

When you brush your hair you are certain that there is no top to your skull, and your brain stands naked and throbbing in the stabbing air.

Your back aches and feels as though someone is nailing a placard to your shoulder blades.

Knee joints have turned to dish water and eyelids are made of sheets of lead lined with sandpaper.

When you lean on a table it sways gently and you know for certain that you are at sea.

Should you step off a kerb you stumble, for it is a yard deep and the gutter yawns like a wide, quaking trench.

You have no sense of touch and your fingertips feel with all the acuteness of decayed firewood smeared with putty.

The nostrils pulsate and smell the evil air.

You believe that you are in a horrible dream but when you wake up you know that it will all be true.

Your teeth have been filed to stumps and are about to be unscrewed one by one from your aching jaw.

You want to sleep, but when you close your eyes you are dizzy, and you heel over like a waterlogged barrel crammed with old, sodden cabbage stalks in the Grand Junction Canal.

When you read your eyes follow each letter to try to spell the words, but in vain – no message reaches your empty, sullen brain.

Should you look at a simple thing like a tree, it will appear that the bark is gradually crawling upwards.

Lights flash and crackle before you and innumerable little brown dwarfs start tapping just below the base of your skull with tiny, dainty hammers made of compressed rubber…

O Death, where is thy sting?

Tags: 

Sign up for our free weekly digital magazine, Press Gazette Journalism Weekly, and daily newsletter
To contact Press Gazette with a story call 0207 936 6433
or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk
To advertise, please call 0207 936 6764.