April 01, 1998

Cooling off the Tubes

Cooling off the Tubes

Okay, it’s the morning after a hard night of drinking and you are recovering from the well-deserved похмелье (hangover). The appropriate refrain in this instance is упился медами, опохмелялся слезами (got drunk on honey but recovered through tears).

At this time, it won’t do much good to console yourself with the Russian folk wisdom that водка бывает хорошей и очень хорошей (there are only two types of vodka, good and very good). If the vodka was very good, but in excess, simply tell your household я вчера перебрал (I overdid it yesterday) by way of an excuse. And if you really overdo it, you probably deserve it if you are “teasing the loo” (дразнить унитаз – perhaps the best Russian equivalent for “worshiping the porcelain god”).

The satirist Mikhail Zhvanetsky, in his famous monologue on hangovers described this phenomenon in more sophisticated terms: “The body rejects any position... Got up in the morning... saw some knees on my hands... then I came to realize that these were my knees... When I went out on the balcony, two doves died on the spot, but then, I did yell at them to move awhaaaay....” (“Организм не приемлет никакого положения... Утром проснулся – смотрю в руках чьи-то коленки, оказалось – мои... Вышел на балкон – два голубя умерли сразу, а ведь я кричал им – отойдите-е-е!”)

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