Hangovers are an “illness” proclaims German court, just in time for Oktoberfest

Hangovers are an “illness” proclaims German court, just in time for Oktoberfest

It’s the self-inflicted party illness

CultureSeptember 25, 2019 By Will Brendza

Have you ever been so hungover, you just knew, there was no way you were going to be able to function in class or at work? Have you ever wished that you could call in sick, legally, because you’re too hungover to think in a straight line?

Well, in Germany, people may now have that option. A German court ruled on Monday, that hangovers are legally an “illness” — and they did it just in time for Oktoberfest.  

Don’t get ahead of me, though, because the Germans didn’t make this decision specifically for Oktoberfest (although the timing is suspiciously coincidental). They actually made this ruling because of a product that was advertising itself as a “hangover cure.”

We’ve all seen these alleged “cures,” or something like them: sometimes they come in plastic bottles; sometimes in little shots. Sometimes, when your Uncle Ricky makes his “hangover cure” it comes in a glass filled with raw eggs and other odd sludge.

According to the German court, no food or beverage product can legally advertise itself as a “medicine” which cures or relieves a health issue. Food and drink are food and drink and that’s that. Chicken farmers can’t sell their chicken eggs as “hangover relievers” (even though eggs are great for mopping up a hangover), just like fast food restaurants can’t sell their burgers as cures for anorexia.

"Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property," the statement from the court read. "By an illness, one should understand even small or temporary disruptions to the normal state or normal activity of the body."

By coming to this conclusion, this court (knowingly or not) made hangover’s a legal illness. And it’s one that is likely going to affect a lot of Germans as Oktoberfest comes into full swing. Hell, the hangover, might be the most prolific illness in the Germany, and perhaps even, the world at large.

And, realistically, a hangover is actually an illness — if a self-inflicted one. When you wake up after a long night of drinking and feel godawful, with a headache that’s splitting your head in two, you are experiencing brain damage. Really. Think about it: you have blurred vision, slowed reaction time and compromised memory. All of which are symptoms of a concussion.

Essentially, you’ve battered your brain with booze so bad, you done rung your own bell and now, you’re paying the price.

So, after the Oktoberfest activities simmer down and fizzle out, when every worker in the country calls in sick, German employers will know what’s up.

But, if you know any Germans, or if you’ve been to Germany, you understand that that probably won’t happen. Those people have a workaholic work-ethic. And they’ll show up on time and ready to grind, even if it means going into work "sick."

It’s the German way.