Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Shameover

For years I've noticed that my hangovers have moved from mere physical discomfort to a more disturbing state of emotional distress.

Aged about 18 (the first time I got REALLY shitfaced in a pub as opposed to sneaking it from the parents' wine box) and I would simply have a thumping head the next morning, sleep in till lunchtime and then fuck off to the corner shop for a 4-pinter of full cream milk.

Aged about 25 onwards and my residual state of decay after a night or day on the ale was an emotional rollercoaster of almost epic proportions

I've blogged about this before and the best way to sum it up is to say "Laying in bed in a foetal position ALL DAY. Only getting up to piss and/ or drink water. Feeling guilty for things I did when I was about 7".

I never had a name for this state of misery but found out last week that it's called a shameover.

In younger souls this will possibly be who they slept with/ made out with. In older types this will every bastard thing we may or may not have said, whether people will think I'm a perv and if anyone was offended by anything I said or didn't say.

My paranoia goes through the roof and I can wander the streets or sit in front of my computer ALL DAY feeling like the last egg in the fridge on pancake day.

Having travelled for the last 9 months to Greece, Australia and New Zealand I didn't drink very much, if at all. A pint of beer in Oz is about $11 which equates to roughly 6 British pounds. Way over what even our overtaxed beverages are**.

I didn't become teetotal but I coasted on the utter freedom of doing exactly what I wanted and disciplined myself to eat what I needed to, cut out sugar and go for very long walks to see awesome stuff every day.

I arrived back in Plakias, Crete, Greece last week and I met a group of young people who come and visit every year. They are part of an organised tour party with the same two leaders as the last time I saw them in 2015, along with a new guy. We said hi, had a laugh and a joke at the local pool bar and I got offered some Sangria (sp?). Struck up a conversation with some of the guys, had some good chats. Later...aware of the fact that these folk like to sometimes do their own thing without outsiders present I asked if it was OK to hang out with them and they said that was fine. We drank a few beers and watched the sun set over the bay and then went drinking, playing beer pong and dancing and generally getting riotously pissed. One young lady walked up and stuck her tongue down my throat outside the bar and announced on several occasions that she didn't have any underwear on. I also recall her biting me at one point and grinding her crotch up against me on several occasions.

A good time had by all.

Next night and I went to their digs to see if they were coming down to meet me and a mate for a drink. As I walked into the bar area the young lady was there and I went "Hi, you wearing any underwear tonight?"

There came a sudden silence...from her and the other ten or eleven people present.

For best effect imagine that someone was playing an old vinyl album on a turntable and the needle just skidded across and the song stopped halfway through, at exactly the same moment everyone stopped talking.

Or better still, imagine that scene in An American Werewolf In London when the backpacker says "What's that star on the wall?" which causes the bloke playing darts to miss his throw and the entire pub to stop talking.

One of the leaders then gave me a clear speech (in front of everyone) on how that wasn't appropriate, that I was substantially older than they were and while I was still welcome to hang out with them, he would appreciate if I kept my interactions at a more acceptable level. He pointed out that my language may have offended, and that I wasn't part of their group. He then suggested we move to a quieter area to chat in private where we talked a bit more (I was both extremely drunk and very embarrassed by this point so don't remember much of it), shook hands and we moved to the local bar.

In the boozer I spoke to another leader from the group about why a remark that would have been fairly mild during last night's shenanigans was now deemed so offensive. He replied "At the end of the day we're leaders and we have to look after this group. That's our job."


I spent the next two sodding days with a shameover about this.

Having got so drunk that I had apparently been smoking cigarettes (something I never do unless hammered) AND fell off my bar stool, my hangover the following day was magnificently appalling. My shameover however outlasted the hangover by a good 24 hours at least.

My emotions on the subject ranged from indignation over the perceived hypocrisy of the situation to being desperately concerned that the group now considered me a pervert. I overanalysed the exchange (which lasted a MAXIMUM of two minutes) again and again and again, comparing his change in personality upon hearing me enquire about the underwear, as similar to Bucky being turned into the Winter Soldier in Captain America: Civil War after hearing certain code phrases.

I was narked off that he'd used me as an excuse to "sell" the protective, older brother aspect of his role to the people under his care. I was also annoyed that his reaction was straight out of a training scenario role-play, right down to the vocabulary used to convey the message.

I then felt respect for how he'd handled it, noting as an ex cop that he had dealt with a spontaneous incident very well, being calm and addressing an issue while remaining level headed.

I finally realised, once my shameover finally fucked off, that none of this really mattered at the end of the day and the worst thing that could ever come of this would be him and the group not wanting to hang out with me the next time they're in town.

My brother doesn't get shameovers. He likes a drink like I do but things he does while pissed, he says sorry for and then moves on, not dwelling on the past.

I managed to turn one, drunken, silly remark into a Shakespearian tragedy to rank up there with Macbeth...all in my own head.

Glad I finally found out what this type of hangover is called.

Shame, over.  


**Although a litre of factor 50SPF suntan lotion is about £5...go figure.

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