Thursday, December 10, 2009
Transcript: Managing a Devastating Hangover
The following is a transcript of a televised episode of Stu Callow's Ideas and More that first aired Jan 7, 1992 on WYBE in Philadelphia. All rights are held in perpetuity and any public dissemination without the implied oral consent of WYBE and its subsidiaries is expressly forbidden.
Cue music; camera, voiceover...
The following is presented by a generous grant form the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Marvin Hagler Association for Ecumenical Research; and viewers like you.
Announcer: Tonight, on Ideas and More, Stu explores the world of the devastating hangover. His guests for this discussion are writer and essayist, Martin Amis; writer and journalist, Hunter S. Thompson; writer and drinker, Charles Bukowski; bass player for Molly Hatchet, Banner Thomas; writer and philosopher, Richard Rorty; and, of course, your host and arbitrator, Stu Callow.
Stu: Thank you Tim. Tonight we look into the painful, lonely business of the hangover. Not the "I had that third glass of Merlot at the Christmas party and let Garrett from accounting touch me" kind of hangover, but rather the far more devastating variety attendant to the type of drinking experienced by the members of our panel today. And to our panel we turn. Martin Amis, how much did you have to drink last night?
Martin Amis: Oh, I don't really, er... by the way, thank you for having me on your show. I don't really deal with numbers so much as with bank statements. When I checked the ATM this morning I had apparently spent 485 pounds, and that seems about right for a Friday.
Richard Rorty: Today is Wednesday.
Stu: Yes it is, Richard, and you have done a great deal of research in this area. First at the University of Virginia and most recently at Stanford. What have your studies found?
Richard Rorty: When one is hungover one must resist the temptation to play with one's eyes.
Banner Thomas: Oh, God yes.
Richard Rorty: Right. Mine was a pragmatic study designed to provide strategies for the advanced drinker. I am so tired of all the abstract, rhetorical nonsense that you get from publications like Modern Drunkard and all those other Derrida infected drinker's journals.
Stu: And, aside from the important bit about the eyes, what have you found?
Richard Rorty: Well, if you lack the stamina or time to simply get drunk again, you might want to consider soup.
Hunter Thompson: Not just any kind of soup, though. I mean a lentil soup would be useless to you.
Richard Rorty: That's right, Hunter. Too many people make that mistake and with terrible consequences. Spinoza, my research has found, made...
Stu: Let me stop you right there. Charles, you are shaking your head. What is it?
Charles Bukowski: Let's be honest here. Spinoza couldn't handle his drink. He...
Richard Rorty: Well, I don't think that is a fair...
Charles Bukowski: Hey Buddy, I let you talk. I'll tear your fucking...
Stu: Gentlemen. Mr. Bukowski!
Charles Bukowski: Thank you, Stu. In his book, Spinoza: A Life, Steven Nadler observed that on several occasions Spinoza was found wandering the streets of Rijnsburg, drenched in urine and vomit, bloodied about the mouth, and unable to find his way home. And, and yes this is documented, and this was usually after two small glasses of Pernod. So...
Banner Thomas: In all fairness, Spinoza hasn't exactly been treated properly by the drinking cognoscenti. When we, uh, Molly Hatchet that is, when we were on tour in '78...
Stu: Gentlemen, we are getting off track. What our viewers would most like to know is, what do YOU do when you have a monster hangover? Hunter, please.
Hunter Thompson: A lot of food and a lot of pornography.
Charles Bukowski: Oh, yes.
Martin Amis: Good heavens, yes.
Richard Rorty: Yes.
Martin Amis: And you really have to balance the two. Too much food and the pornography is useless, but too much pornography and, all of a sudden, half the day is gone.
Richard Rorty: I prefer woman on woman.
Stu: Of course you do.
Richard Rorty: That way I don't have to expend any energy on imagining myself doing anything.
Charles Bukowski: You are just there watching.
Richard Rorty: Right. In reality and in the fantasy. It is very relaxing.
Hunter Thompson: I can't stress this enough. No more than four bowls of soup and no more than four hours masturbating.
Richard Rorty: Anything more would be indulgent.
Banner Thomas: I find video games help.
Martin Amis: Yeah, my son Louis has me playing a game involving mushrooms, dinosaurs, and Italians. It can really take the edge off.
Hunter Thompson: The sheer visceral thrill of beating a hooker to death with a baseball bat for $300 is indescribable. Grand Theft Auto is just a damn fine piece of work.
Charles Bukowski: I think I did that once at one of my readings. It was a fucking mess.
Banner Thomas: But you had handlers, right?
Charles Bukowski: Yeah, but I still had to walk through that shit to get out of the green room.
Stu: Gentlemen, we seem, again, to have moved a bit off topic. Now, I know this is a delicate subject, but The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article on the efficacy of the Bloody Mary in the treatment of the "Writer's Curse." Would any of you care to comment on it?
Martin Amis: As you know, much of my recent work has been devoted to an examination of cliche and the consequences...
Hunter Thompson: Here we go!
Martin Amis: And! And the consequences attendant to it.
Charles Bukowski: You fucking Jews and your...
Martin Amis: I am English.
Charles Bukowski: Same fucking difference. You condescending Limey bastards have never had a proper respect for Vitamin C and it shows in your goddamn deformed spines.
Martin Amis: The Bloody Mary is a damned cliche!
Hunter Thompson: You cannot be serious!
Banner Thompson: Mama got the voodoo little bones/Daddy got a mojo nobody knows/Can't get started till the night/The stars come out and moon is getting bright...
Stu: Banner, please.
Hunter Thompson: It was a double blind study, for God's sake.
Charles Bukowski: The New England Journal of Medicine doesn't fuck around, Marty.
Banner Thomas: It's science, man.
Martin Amis: Yes, and I am deeply indebted to that journal for many reasons, but I do believe they made a crucial misstep when they acquiesced to the Green Olive Lobby with their obvious pro-Bloody Mary bias.
Charles Bukowski: You and all your conspiracy theory bullshit.
Martin Amis: You TELL me that Green Olive isn't in the pocket of Big Bloody Mary!
Richard Rorty: I like olives.
Martin Amis: Cunt.
Richard Rorty: I had three Bloody Marys before this interview and I feel like Margaret Fucking Thatcher!
Stu: OK, OK, OK. Please. On a lighter subject. What is your favorite drink?
Hunter Thompson: Wild Turkey, straight. Accompanied by several large grapefruit and a bottle of ether.
Banner Thomas: Ahhh, the full body drug. I like Southern Comfort and Fresca.
Charles Bukowski: A gigantic mug of Pabst Blue Ribbon, with a raw egg, a shot of Old Grandad, and the tears of a woman I have punched all thrown in.
Hunter Thompson: Doesn't Fresca have grapefruit in it?
Martin Amis: Tanqueray and Tonic.
Richard Rorty: I love a good Mojito. That isn't gay.
Banner Thomas: I like Southern Comfort and Fresca.
Stu: You already went, Banner. And we, once again, appear to have strayed off topic. Of course, we could go on like this forever, but we only have about thirty seconds left. Is there any bit of advice you feel like sharing?
Martin Amis: For God's sake, don't try to read anything when you are hungover. Your just hurting yourself and the author.
Richard Rorty: Oatmeal is good, too.
Hunter Thompson: Lemon juice. Hot sauce. Sourdough bread. Res ipsa loquitur.
Banner Thomas: I want to re-emphasize what Richard said. Do not play with your eyes.
Stu: Charles, you get the last word.
Charles Bukowski: Don't obsess about death, it'll just make you fat.
Stu: OK, I would like to thank my guests, and urge you to join me next week when the topic will be: Two thousand years of Christianity; What the fuck!?!
Cue music, title sequence... out.