Last weekend was my birthday and I was in hungover bed the next day, all day. I wasn't even drunk, quite tipsy, but not drunk.
I have two issues with getting older. One is an existential angst that smothers me as I gaze into the pointless abyss of nothingness that is filled only by my pleads of "WHY IS THERE NOT MORE THAN THIS!" and the other, is that my hangovers get worse. Thanks to Dharma the angst is much better now thanks but ever onwards, year by year, my hangovers become crippling ordeals that last all Sunday, even if they began on Saturday morning.
In my twenties I could party-hearty, turn up at some all-night-tavern beneath a meat-market (a real meat-market, I wasn't being sexalist) and drink on through, like a champion. These days, even my 70 year old dad recommends I go to a doctor to get it "checked out," as he nurses his lack of hangover.
I wouldn't mind so much if I was going out and getting smashed but it's the fact that I am just getting quite tipsy that makes it so unfair. Oh yeah, poor me, bring on the somber marching band. But there is no charity for people with Age Related Alcopocalypse Syndrome, no Earth Day for men who suffer from an unfair beer related fun to suffering ratio. Men like me are on our own, even our mothers refuse to help us.
As a lone wolf, I have tried to defeat the beast. I have search-learned (ie spent not very long becoming a shallow expert on the subject thanks to the the free (for now) internet) about the subject of hangovers. I have learnt that there is a process called "ageing" which makes the way our bodies do things do them not as well as they did. Moreover, I have discovered, using the search-learning technique, that this "ageing" process is not homogeneously applied to homosapiens, we age at different rates and - this will blow your mind out of the water that is your experience - we age in different ways.
Last night I decided to drink Bitter rather than Lager. This is not quite a paradigm shift (that would be the creme de menth switch) but it was a significant change of drinking technique. Bitter is considered the drink of old men, I knew this last night, and it is right; Bitter is the drink of old men because it is an actual hangover preventative.
It works! This morning I could have jumped right back in to the fray, probably even Flaming Zambucas with my Sugar Puffs. It may even be the case that Bitter actually prevents hangovers the next day and for weeks afterwards, but more research is needed.
Is it all good, now?
Assuming that the curse has been lifted once and for all, some less male readers may well consider my problems over. They are not, there are issues that still need to be solved before I can really, with any dignity, ask for a "pint of bitter" all night.
I will end this revelation with a poem:
I have argued elsewhere that we cannot really know with accuracy any of the sayings or events of the Buddha's life or teaching. At best we have shadows of shadows.
We might expect that the Last Word’s of the Buddha would be exempt from this lack of certainty and authenticity but, alas, this is also not the case. There are countless translations and interpretations and suggestions as to the Last Words and no way to know if any of them are authentic.
What we can see is that the meaning of the Buddha’s last words, in all various instances, can be divided into categories.
The first grouping of meanings captures the centrality of Impermanence and the necessity of diligence with regards to Dharma. This meaning of the Last Words comes from interpretations of the Maha Parinibbana Sutra and has such examples as:
The Second set of purported Last Word takes a more radical tone, especially when compared with the rigid orthodoxy of Buddhism as it is today. In this version the Buddha's Last Words implore a global scepticism (As in the Kalam Sutra) and self-guided path towards one's enlightenment and happiness.