This post is dedicated to the dreaded hangover, the burden that follows nights of excess, the harsh reality after all the drunken merriment and fun has faded away, the vast plague that sweeps the nation on Saturday and Sunday mornings and delivers the population into the new working week feeling suitably sheepish and down. Well life can’t be all fun and games you know.
If you can relate to this article, I feel for you. If you are one of these freaks of nature whose only experience of a hangover is one that can be solved with a glass of water and brisk jog around the park then you should know that I, and all my fellow sufferers, despise you and cannot wait for the day you visit our apocalyptic, post-binge world. And to those who are young enough to shrug off a hangover like it ain’t no thang; be afraid, this will be your reality soon.
The Calm Before the Storm
You’ve just woken up; you have no idea of time or any recollection of anything. The only thing in your head is a sense of puzzlement, a nagging feeling that something is not right. The bubble has not yet burst; everything is ok in your little den of happiness and security. Life is good. Something will make you move though, something will strive to ruin this innocence, and more often than not, it is thirst. But it’s this inevitable trip to the bathroom tap and subsequent movement that brings reality crashing down around you. The memory of the night’s events come rushing back as you stand up and the desolation of body and mind becomes apparent. If only you had taken some water to bed and you could have prolonged the charade of safety for another five blissful minutes but you didn’t, and now you’ve set in motion the awful hangover machine.
The Day of the Dead
So the innocence has worn off and you are left with the truth; you are rougher than a badger’s bottom that’s next on the cull list. You have consigned yourself to a day of drifting in and out of consciousness while desperately searching for your one “comfy position” on the sofa. Everything hurts and everything makes you feel worse. No doubt there will be some overly loud sport on the telly with some rambunctious presenters consistently rousing you from your dozing. The sheer amount of exclamation marks on people’s excitable Facebook statuses offends your brain with its visual noisiness and causes spiralling annoyance and increased illness. You can only pray for a proper hangover film to come on to usher you through the worst of the day. You know the ones I mean; they either have to be a classic three-hour epic, or a kid’s film with slightly more going on than just colour and noise. Basically give me Mutiny on the Bounty or The Goonies and it’ll go some way to alleviating my suffering.
The Hunger Games
So you’ve battled your way through the sofa-bound, could-quite-conceivably-die phase of your hangover, owing a huge part of your success to that Harry Potter film being on TV, and now you are faced with a huge dilemma. The feeling of sickness has started to be replaced by hunger pangs but your fear and chequered hungover history makes the next step a huge one. Do you stick or twist? Ignore the hunger and be content in the knowledge that no (more) chundering will occur? Or gamble and raid the cupboards for the least healthy foodstuff to fulfil your craving for salt, sugar and hydrogenated fat, knowing full well what might go down if you over indulge? The choice is yours.
The Great Depression
By now you’ve probably decided to eat, been sick again for definitely the last time, and are now wishing somebody would bring you a KFC to draw a line under the whole thing and start afresh. The problem is, no one is going to bring one for you, and that makes you sad. Very sad in fact. And the depression keeps coming. In a whirl of memories and self-loathing, all the negatives from the night before rush back to you. That extra load of money you took out late at night and somehow blew through. The embarrassing run in with your ex when you were in your “a lot more drunk than I thought” stage. The tweets you wrote while half cut and for the whole world to see and remind you of at a later date. That, coupled with the knowledge of the damage you have done to your body and mind, and the fact that you have just wasted another full day of your life (just like you did last weekend) makes for one pretty sorry charity case.
The Happy Ending
I’m using the term happy ending loosely, and definitely not in the same way as a massage parlour might. The only positive to come out of your epic hangover comes in the final throes of your illness. So angered and upset by the horrible feelings of sickness and of time wasted that you vow to do something productive with your life. You WILL search for that new job you’ve been wanting for years, you WILL get in to shape and commit your life to fitness, you WILL go walk up a mountain, go to the beach, just be outside in some scenario instead of slumped in front of the TV. You’ll take photos of nature and everything will be really interesting to you (and more importantly Instagram). See how much desire and drive you have now? You’re like a new person, and all because you got totally hammered a couple of nights ago. In reality, you’re more likely to find that there are no jobs out there, go the gym once, and walk to the shop, but hey, it’s a start right?
So there you have it, another hangover, again sworn to be the last, done and dusted with enough time to recover before next weekend to start the cycle all over again. I feel pretty proud of myself for finishing this one, maybe it’s time for a celebratory beer…
I must admit I was quite excited. It might not be the coolest thing to be looking forward to, but the prospect of a new series of Planet Earth really appealed to my nerdy side. This time it would be live, an intriguing spin on the classic documentary, so in my mind I pictured David Attenborough, in some remote part of the world, sharing his knowledge with all of us simpletons stuck at home. Instead of Attenborough though, we are given, some might say a like-for-like replacement, Richard Hammond. Not me however, I would not say that at all.
I can picture the BBC team now, wrestling with concepts of how to freshen up the show.
“We really need to appeal to a different audience, y’know, one that is younger, or pretends to be, and cooler, or pretends to be. And we need to try and move away from the whole ‘nature expert’ idea as well.
“How about James May?”
“No, No. We need a person who won’t bore the audience with facts or relevant information, that’s not what people want to see nowadays. No, what we need is a simpler host, with a smiling face and a lack of anything about him. What we need, is Richard Hammond!”
The problem with this programme however cannot lie completely with the presenters. Perhaps the largest flaw has to be the fact that the only live part of the show is when Hammond and Bradbury tell us about what happened before the show, or when they flick on the night vision camera to show us some incredible shots of wildebeest sitting down. Here I was expecting to witness the quintessential scenes of nature play out in real time, the harsh realities of our world being broadcast simultaneously as the equilibrium of life is demonstrated, but instead, all we are given is three baby bears, two hungry lions, and a Hamster.
It would appear that instead of being exposed to the harshness of realities, the audience is shown the terrifying truth that is live TV. It’s not the BBC’s fault that nothing ever happens live, but after thousands of uneventful live-at-the-scene news reports, you would have thought they would know better. They soldier on though, cutting between Hammond and Bradbury in an attempt to create some excitement by seeing a different face on the screen, with both of them recounting in amazed tones how one the animals actually did something before.
Do you know what the worst thing about this programme is though? Not the presenters, or the fact that nothing is live, or the fact that very little happens, it is the constant lie that is perpetuated by numerous nature shows that animals think like us and are in fact just little Peter Rabbits and Baloos and Simbas. Simultaneously, Planet Earth Live is trying to demonstrate the ruthless characteristics of nature, and Disneyfying all of the animals to tug on the heartstrings of the public. Do they really think we are all so morally defunct that we can’t feel emotion for a starving lion cub without it being named and having its life anthropomorphized? They might as well have just dubbed a voice over the top and got Elton John to bang out a few tunes in the background. You don’t need to tell us that Harold the hippo gets a bit peckish around lunch time or pretend that animals are kissing or in love when they are just following their reproductive instincts and trying to sustain their species. You can’t try and tweak the storylines of that which has no script, especially when your forerunning programmes have taught exactly how nature works.
So there it is; the BBC’s new nature programme, stripped completely of anything credible, interesting, and informative, and where the only live thing about it is a man in a tent in Africa, struggling to cope. Brilliant.