We've all read those articles that tell us how to avoid a hangover, but what use are they? Who really remembers to drink a glass of water between each proper drink, take a bottle of water to bed with them, and drink within their limit?
For everyone who has woken up in the bath half-dressed, clutching someone else's shoe and wondering why a pig would shit in their head, here's the real and definitive way to survive a hangover...
1. Vomit. It's not pleasant but it's an important thing to remember. Hurl chunks at the very first opportunity you get. Once you've finished shaking and sweating, you will feel so much better.
2. Drink some water. If nothing else it will get the taste of sick out of your mouth. You may want to carry on drinking water for the rest of the day, but, in all honesty you'll need something better and more filling.
3. Climb back under your duvet. Stay there forever. Or at least until early evening, when you'll be brave enough to venture downstairs to watch The Simpsons.
4. Phone in sick. Do not under any circumstances go into work/college/school/dole office. You'll be neither use nor ornament, so write off the day (and possibly the next, depending how well you drank) and stay under that warm, comfortable duvet.
5. You need vitamin C. This is most important. The science bit states that alcohol strips the body of vitamin C. However, don't bother with fresh orange juice or oranges. You need a nice can of Tango. It's orangey, so there's the vitamin C, and it's fizzy, so will help settle your stomach. It also comes in a nice cold can, which you can hold against your painful forehead.
6. Have some pain killers. I'd suggest something like Nurofen. Wonderful tablets. Even better, get the cold and flu ones, as they also contain a super chemical that gives you a bit of a physical boost.
7. DO NOT GO INTO YOUR KITCHEN. It's going to be a mess from the drunken attempts to make yourself a little snack when you got in last night. It will only scare you, so steer well clear. There'll probably be cheese everywhere.
8. Do not leave the house or let anyone except the closest of friends see you. You'll be a mess. There's no way round this, you will look like the bastard love child of Medusa and a Swamp Monster. For your own vanity, stay indoors and draw the curtains.
9. Listen to the radio. It's the only way you'll be able to be sure the world is still turning.
10. Do not give anyone who claims that it's all self inflicted the time of day. Unless you are going to vomit on their shoes. Of course it wasn't self-inflicted, how were you to know that you would feel THIS bad after just a couple of quiet drinks with your friends. You have been poisoned and it's all the fault of the evil pubs, not you.
11. If you have to venture out, then get a banana milk shake as soon as possible. The potassium in the banana will give you energy and the milk will help settle your stomach.
12. Have a cigarette. You'll be feeling quite delicate and there's nothing better to soothe those jangled nerves than sweet nicotine. Obviously if you don't smoke, don't do this. It'll make you vomit again, but not in a nice way. You'll just have to find something else to help.
13. If you have to work, sit quietly at your desk and do not speak to anyone. Except to ask to be sent home.
14. Hire someone to be a slave. It works a lot better having someone else bringing you milk shakes, cans of Tango and applying cold wet flannels. You can't be expected to do all that yourself.
15. Have a nice long hot bath. You won't be able to keep standing in a shower so it's better to lie down. It'll also get rid of that stale smell that's attached to your hair.
16. Do not attempt to remember anything you did last night. All you need to know is that it was embarrassing. Just remember that you were the life and soul of the party and that everyone considered you to be the wittiest person they had ever had the joy to meet. You can face the bitter truth another day.
17. Eat something. Do not be fooled into that greasy fry up, it's a trick to make you feel worse. Nibble on some dry bread and biscuits until you feel ready to have some chocolate. It'll help get your blood sugar levels back on track.
18. Have a proper drink. Nothing too much, just a pint of something. Once you get a bit of alcohol back in your system, your body will thank you.
19. Find someone else you were drinking with and call them. You can then spend some time commiserating about how ill you feel and compare hangovers. A misery shared is a misery halved.
20. At the end of the day, as you crawl back into bed with a tot of rum for an early night, congratulate yourself upon surviving and ponder on how it wasn't as bad as you feared and start to plan your next night out. It'll be a blast and, hey, hangovers are a breeze...