For the avoidance of doubt and the calibration of suffering across all the Twittersphere, I propose a universal ratings system for hangovers. This would be a ten-point scale with severity ranging from one as the least severe to ten being the most severe. See below for an in-depth description of each severity level. The scale is envisaged as being logarithmic; that is to say, each level is an order of magnitude more uncomfortable than that previous. Peer review and feedback is welcomed!
Level 1: “I don’t get hangovers”
Drinking was engaged in the previous evening with no perceptible ill effects. Potential for a little bit more of a lie-in than normal. Being over the age of 23 will make it almost impossible to land on this level if drinking more than one small glass of wine or equivalent.
Level 2: “I’m a bit thirsty”
Dehydration upon waking. Potential for mildly disrupted sleep patterns. Passes quickly with a bit of a lie-in and a coffee.
Level 3: “Didn’t sleep very well last night”
Weariness due to disruption of normal sleep patterns as well as noticeable thirst. Potential for dull, non-localised headache. Coffee and breakfast will eradicate all symptoms.
Level 4 “Well I feel a bit shit”
Pronounced, localised headache, weariness, thirst. Potential for mild nausea. Coffee, hearty breakfast and painkillers required to remove symptoms.
Level 5 “Send coffee and bacon”
Difficulty/unwillingness to stand. Hunger/nausea, severe headache, deep weariness, pronounced thirst. Quantities of coffee, animal fats, protein, and painkillers will still take several hours to alleviate symptoms.
Level 6: “I’ve got a bastard behind the eyes”
Migraine-like headache, unquenchable thirst, deathly weariness due to almost complete lack of normal sleep rhythms. Inability to get out of bed. Potential for flu-like symptoms. Standard hangover cures (coffee, bacon, Neurofen) will not totally alleviate symptoms if over the age of 26.
Level 7: “I could hear a moth fart at 500 yards”
Level 6 symptoms with the addition of sensitivity to light and sound, with probability of flu-like symptoms also. Standard hangover cures will lessen but not alleviate symptoms even for the under-26’s. Prescription painkillers required to lessen symptoms for over-26’s.
Level 8: “I feel like Death on stilts”
All Level 7 symptoms increase in severity with the addition of flu-like symptoms and potential nausea and gastrointestinal distress. If you are over 26 the fatigue will last for more than one day and nothing short of opiates will completely remove the headache.
Level 9: “I could die, and I’m OK with that”
Level 8 symptoms increase in severity, with crippling headache and high probability of gastrointestinal distress and nausea (especially if you’re suffering from gastrointestinal distress). Only basic cognition possible. If you are over the age of 26 a three-day duration of fatigue and malaise symptoms is to be expected.
Level 10: “…avenge me…”
Critical life functions severely compromised, including the ability to tweet. Exorcist-like symptoms, including projectile vomiting and aversion to religious iconography. Each individual ray of light burns the retina with the heat of the Sun. Sounds have the ability to make your skull physically shake. Dehydration has shrunk your brain to the size of a tangerine and it’s at risk from coming unglued from the inside of your head. Even the idea of bacon makes your stomach churn. If you’re towing your twenties this will take the thick end of a week to recover from, if indeed you ever do. Because this will change you as a person. You will not be the same.