I have always been more than a little bit suspicious of strangers who boast they have no interest in football.
While I should be broader minded, whenever I discover that a gent of voting age neither gets nor cares about the Beautiful Game, I immediately write them off as oddballs who probably also leave cartons of milk on their mum’s windowsill and also keep their Hornby set handy in the loft.
While I am at it, I don’t have a great deal of time for those smugtards who boast that they have never, ever broken the speed limit, not even once. While breaking the limit is certainly not big or clever, the odds of anybody not ever once straying even a mile an hour over the legal restriction are as remote as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Jo Swinson arranging to go trick or treating together this Halloween.
But the people I really trust the least are those who claim to have never bunked off a day from college, uni and, especially work, due to the effects of a heavy night before. Duvet days following a monster session down the Nag’s Head or Chicago’s are a rite of passage for anybody with a pulse.
I don’t care who you are, if you like a tipple it is inconceivable that you won’t have swung the lead at least once due to being worse for wear. Although I now largely avoid anything stronger than Lucozade on a school night, I have form, albeit 20-odd years ago, for pulling a sickie after indulging in one too many of the best the local landlord had to offer.
There are days in everybody’s life when a dose of Phil and Holly, followed by Loose Women, is far more preferable to the prospect of not puking over the keyboard. Of course, ringing in sick when the culprit is Jaegermiester is not something that will earn you Brownie points with the boss. But now that could all change after a ruling in a German court that has seen a hangover being officially recognised as an illness.
The fact that this landmark verdict was made in the home of great beer and even better nights out is surely no coincidence given the average German’s love of a steiner or six. Judges ruled that manufacturers of a hangover ‘cure’ had breached strict guidelines which prevent German firms from claiming that their food or drink products can double up as remedy for illness.
The court ruled that hangovers are a bona fide illness on a par with ‘flu or tonsillitis, thus giving a boost to millions of Brits who, given the events of the past three years, really could do with a decent drink.
Whether or not the ruling will influence lawmakers outside of Germany’s borders remains to be seen but while this could prove a boost to the beleaguered pub industry, it could also turn out to be a malingerer’s charter. Many of our surgeries are already at breaking point and the last thing they could do with is a surge of real ale lovers, all demanding to receive medical treatment for their delicate condition.
The debate over whether or not the self inflicted nature of hangovers should ever warrant the sympathies of others will rage on for years to come.