Rhetorical Analysis: Man Repeller's The 5 Stages of a Hangover

By Sunday Scaries

Do you think Stephen Hawking reads elementary literature on blackholes just so he can personally hype how smart he is in that subject matter? Because that's how I feel when people write about hangovers. I'm like the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours guy of hangovers, which is why I jumped all over this article when I saw it on my Twitter feed.

While Man Repeller's Kelsey Moody did a serviceable job in describing the basic stages of a hangover, I'm not here to critique her. I'm here to supplement and offer my support because everyone knows that Scaries love company.

As always, original article in italics:


Stage 1: Denial

Your first reaction to waking up on top of all your covers — spooning your laptop, crusted pasta sauce remnants sitting in a bowl on your floor — will be, this is not happening. Someone else decided to eat late night pasta. Someone else decided to wear flannel-lined pajama bottoms and open all of the windows in your bedroom. As you run around closing said windows in an inside out and backwards “going out top,” you agree firmly: This. Is. Not. Happening.

This defense mechanism shields you from the harsh reality of day until the next stage blinds you with rage once you realize your wallet is empty.

The worst wake up I've ever had consisted of my dining room table being covered in an exploded bag of wine, an apple-turned-bong turned upside down on the stairs, and a Lord Of The Rings Burger King glass chalice broken in front of my bedside TV. And in true denial fashion, I refused to believe that I was the prime suspect in all of the aforementioned crimes. Like where did I get the bag of wine? Why would I make a bong out of an apple when 22-year old Scaries didn't even smoke weed? Why would I break that chalice? Okay okay, I totally broke that chalice. I was probably getting after a Final Final.

Stage 2: Anger

As denial begins to fade, the stinging pain of reality reemerges. This will happen after the fetal position but before the attempt to put on day-pants. The main slots in your wallet are empty:

1. License

See: The Worst Things To Lose When You're Drunk.

2. Credit card

See: The Worst Things To Lose When You're Drunk.

3. There’s no third thing. You never carry cash because hello, it’s 2014 and you’re a broke 25-year-old.

Lately, I've been carrying around $100 bills from housesitting purely to put out a successful vibe. Not really working, to be honest. If anything, it's just making me spend more cash. God-fucking-dammit.

How could this have happened? Why do you insist on making drinks to drink and then drink them and get drunk?! You have no one to blame except for everyone you have ever met because this is all their fault. Help.

Eh, I don't know, Kelsey. If you're anything like me, you know that peer pressure can be a hell of an influence, especially when you're already under the influence. I don't think you can really be that angry over this.

For example, the night before Thanksgiving, Tube Socks (ask Amelia about him, pretty sure she's having an emotional affair with him) got really into doing tequila shots. I'm too old to casually do shots. Not because I'm too mature or anything, my liver is just beat up. Anyway, he took his $5 in change and shoved it into some girl's mouth before hanging me one of the shots. Power move of the weekend. Did I want the shot? No. Am I angry about it? No, because Tube Socks rules.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Helplessness and vulnerability have taken the wheel. If only you didn’t go out. If only you decided to work late instead. If only you stayed in and re-watched Harry Potter, numbers 5-8. (Goblet of Fire kinda sucks, gotta start with The Order. You’re hungover, not a moron.) And shots of tequila? Why?

Confession: I've never watched a Harry Potter movie and I have zero intention to. I read half of the first book when I was in 8th grade only to ask my best friend how it ended just so I could finish my book report. And quite frankly, a deep love for Harry Potter is begging to make my list of dealbreakers.

Oh, and those shots of tequila? #TubeSocksLife.

Dear God, Dear Abby, Dear Prudence, Dear John — anyone! If you make this feeling go away, we all promise to do better.

Dear Kelsey, I don't know who any of these people are.

Stage 4: Depression

You won’t do better. You are the worst. In this period of grief, sadness and regret dominate your every thought. Why did you even think to chose “Stay” by Lisa Loeb as your karaoke song when you know damn well that Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” kills every time? Every time! Perhaps, all you really need is a hug…maybe with some cream cheese, bacon, and tomato in the middle. With a bagel on the outside. You need a bagel. What you need now is actually a bagel.

Welcome to my wheelhouse. I'm not even going to touch on this from a Sunday Scaries standpoint. I'll just send you to The 8 Stages Of Your Sunday Anxiety.

But I can explain why you chose Lisa Loeb's "Stay" in favor of "Like a Prayer." You probably watch Girls and this is clearly a song that Marnie would choose, especially after her "What I Am" video. And whether you like Marnie or not, she clearly affected your judgment here. Plus, it's just an awesome fucking song.

Additionally, one of my goals over my New York trip was to figure out the meaning behind Jewish/bagel jokes but that didn't happen because I got irresponsibly intoxicated the entire time. So maybe we should just grab one of the bagels you mentioned and trudge through this depression together.

Stage 5: Acceptance

With food, love and elastic-waist pants, you too can find acceptance. Whether it eventually takes the form of a 45-minute hot shower, a 12-hour nap or a Good Wife marathon, you’ll find solace at the end of a hangover. Misery loves company, Bloody Marys can substitute a meal if there’s bacon in it, and Sundays are only scary if you let the terrorists win. Enjoy your last hungover-free hours like an American and eat some goddamn ice cream.

Pump the breaks, Betsy Ross. Let's not compare Scaries and hangovers to terrorism and traitors. After all, you're the one who wishes she watched Harry Potter (England) instead of doing shots of tequila (Mexico). Hangovers have nothing to do with patriotism unless it's July 5th.

That being said, I didn't start the best elastic waistband hashtag for no reason.