Monday, September 5, 2011


We've all been there. Some of us more often than others. Some of us lost in the deepest depths; ensnared in its slimy and disgusting tentacles, others floating happily on the surface. It can make a weak man mighty; it can bring a mighty man to his knees. It can provide you with a day's worth of entertainment. It will sometimes bring you to the darkest, most twisted and depressing corners of your hazed mind. It can make you laugh and cry at the same time. It is a paradox that is somehow allowed to exist in reality, bending the otherwise iron-clad rules of the space-time continuum. Perhaps you are grappling with one right now. Or maybe – if you're lucky – you're enjoying one. Maybe you have a loved one who has been afflicted by this dark and terrible phenomenon. You may have recently shared with friends the joys that this condition sometime brings; all of you paddling happily down the same glorious river. I speak, of course, of the hangover.

All of us experience the hangover in different ways. In fact, it is my belief that we all endure two main types of hangovers (some scientists believe that each main type has several subsets – though there won’t be time to delve into that phenomenon in this space). I’m referring to the “happy” hangover and the “depressing” hangover.

The former will often occur on a Saturday afternoon in which the hangoveree has few or no commitments on the horizon. Perhaps he is at the cottage with friends, sitting around lazily in the sun, or floating idly on a small lake. He is drinking cold beer, and engaging in ridiculous and inane banter with friends – the kind of chitchat that is only funny when one is riding the high of the “happy” hangover.

The latter is a much more serious condition. Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness and isolation, low levels of self-esteem, and a general lack of drive and desire to forge on. This hangover often occurs on a Sunday, or holiday Monday. The subject might have come to the realization that summer is over, and the days of working part-time in a dead-end job with an unrealistically high salary, and responsibilities that are low and therefore equally impractical are over. The real world beckons. The hangoveree can hear its siren call. He pulls the pillow over his head, hoping to drown it out, but it only gets louder. He longs for the days of simplicity and LOLz. Unfortunately, those days exist only in the proverbial rearview mirror of life.

Sometimes a hangover can have an effect on an individual who is not even dealing with one. Let me elaborate. Yesterday I received a call from a good friend (and fellow blogger). He was hungover and wandering the streets of Toronto, attempting to find a brunch spot where he was to meet friends. We engaged in a long conversation in which nothing of substance was said. With my help, he conducted an informal poll of Toronto residents. The question was “If you were to make a lasagna, would you put meat in it?” The results are as follows:

Yes: 6
No: 3
Depends: 1

Indeed, very interesting results.

A few months ago, in search of a remedy to the conundrum that the hangover often presents us with, I set out to find myself an assistant. The idea was to have someone there to help me through the troubles of the “depressing” hangover, or alternately, to share in the joys of the “happy” hangover. I made a job listing and posted it on Craigslist. I received some interesting responses. I was threatened by one individual. In hopes of being hired, another man forwarded his date of birth, social insurance number, and full name (I have since ruined him financially). Months after the posting went up I even managed to secure a date with a model who found my work humourous (she also, unfortunately, thought that it was a real job…things didn’t work out). Most of all I learned two things. Firstly, there are some seriously weird people trolling the general labour section of Craigslist’s job postings. Secondly, not very many people understand my sense of humour.

Anyways, dear reader, I’ve decided to share the posting here on Latch Out Loud, as it was removed from Craigslist before it could be enshrined in the hallowed Best of Craigslist. So, without further ado:

Hey there folks.

Having woken up one too many times with a debilitating hangover from a previous night's shenanigans, I've decided that I desperately need to find myself a personal assistant for the hours/days which I find myself incapacitated by the dehydration, headaches, stomach pains, depression, hopelessness, and hilarity of a hangover. I can't bring myself to miss another sunny (or work) day writhing around in the bed of my tiny apartment, desperately begging the sun to stop shining so brightly and offensively on my unshaven, hungover face -- it gives me a headache. So, I've come to Craigslist hoping to find an ambitious and dedicated ally in the fight against pain and unproductivity.

Now I know some of you are saying "hold the phone, Boris... you can't be serious!". I assure you, Craigslist job hunters, I absolutely am. This is important to me.

Anyways, a bit about the job:
It will be on a casual, on-call basis, meaning that the candidate must be ready and willing to work any day of the week at any time. For the sake of clarity, the hours will mostly be confined to Saturdays and Sundays between 9am and 9pm. However, depending on the season, you may be able to pick up extra shifts here and there (e.g. Christmas season, summer holidays, road trips, etc.). You can also likely count on a couple of weekday shifts each month, though you'll likely not get much more notice than an incoherent phone call at 4:00am telling you to be at work by 9:00. (I realize this is less-than-ideal, so we can perhaps work out some sort of compensation for short-notice on-call shifts like this).

Key qualifications:
- Patience and the ability to empathize with the bearer of a difficult hangover.
- Teamwork, motivational skills, and the ability to build the self-esteem of the employer.
- Ability to screen phone calls from would-be debt collectors, angry friends/family/colleagues/employers, and annoying telemarketers.
- Basic knowledge of coin-operated washing machines and dryers, and
the ability to fold clothing.
- A sense of humour and the willingness to listen to "I-guess-you-had-to-be-there-to-find-this-funny" stories
- Ability to water plants, compile a grocery list, make a to-do list, as well as an interest in basketball, electric guitars, jam bands, and nonsensical banter are all considered assets.

Key duties/responsibilites:
 - Basic duties include household chores such as: doing dishes, washing laundry, sweeping the floor, feeding the cat, and going to the store for various items.
- You'll be in charge of staying on top of my appointments and responsibilities. If I am hungover and need to be at an appointment, it is imperative that you make every effort to get me there. For this reason, it is considered an asset if the prospective Hangover Assistant owns a vehicle (gas mileage will be paid where applicable/when I can afford it)
- Depending on the level of drunkenness attained the previous night and the severity of the consequential hangover, it may be necessary for the Hangover Assistant to apologize on my behalf to the recipients of drunken dials/texts and inappropriate booty calls. Phone/text apologies are the norm, though in-person apologies may be used on an as-needed basis.
- In rare instances the Hangover Assistant may be required to visit several bars in search of items lost the night before (typically cell phones, jackets, ID, dignity, etc.)
- Some travel may be required, especially during the summer months. I'll do my best to cover travel and accommodation expenses, although anything that I deem "fun" (i.e. concerts, baseball games, wine tastings, trips to the zoo, haunted houses etc.) will have to be paid out-of-pocket by the Hangover Assistant.
- You may be required to go to work for me if I'm too ill to make it (meaning that a doppelganger, stunt double, likeness of myself, etc. will be looked upon favourably in the application process). If this isn't feasible, you will at the very least be required to call in sick on my behalf. I will provide you with the requisite telephone numbers.
- While at work, the Hangover Assistant is expected to maintain a cheery demeanour and a generally positive outlook on life. This means that cynical comments made by the employer should be playfully deflected and turned around to reflect the positive direction in which the employer wishes his life was going.
- Under no circumstances should the Hangover Assistant agree when asked if the employer should "never drink again". Everyone knows that's crap.

Although I can't promise this job will always be sun and rainbows, there will be jokes, funny stories, friendship, and a general good atmosphere about the place of work. On some instances it might so happen that the Hangover Assistant is him/herself hungover. This is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged in some instances. Anyone who is worth their weight in gin knows that a pair of desperately hungover sloths can have a grand old time burning the day away watching Curb Your Enthusiasm and spouting off unintelligible jokes that any clear-headed Tom, Dick, or Harry would take as pure idiocy.

So, as you can see, I'm not trying to start the next Kramerica Enterprises or any other sort of cottage industry, I just want to make it through the day and ensure that my dishes get done, I maintain steady employment, and have clean clothes for the next time I decide to venture out of the house -- whenever that may be.

If this job sounds like something you might be interested in, please apply via e-mail with your resume, social insurance number, bank account information, and a photo of yourself. I promise to read all applications and to undertake a fair and thorough review, however, only a select few candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Thanks for your time and best of luck!

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