Pete Davison: What a Headache

Posted on April 25, 2011 by


There are few ailments more infuriating than a headache. Actually, most ailments are particularly infuriating, especially ones which don’t just go away. But headaches are the kind of ailment that seem to steadfastly resist any attempts to make them go away.

And we, being inventive, resourceful humans, come up with a variety of methods to attempt to make them go away when we don’t feel like gorging ourselves on pills and potions which often don’t work. There’s the time-honoured “bury your head in a pillow and wail” approach, which doesn’t work. There’s the “hold your head and moan softly and/or grunt a bit” approach, which doesn’t work but usually attracts the attention of anyone in the same room as you enough to go “You all right?”

There’s the “I heard this thing on TV once” approach, where you decide your headache is the result of dehydration/starvation/withdrawal from caffeine/withdrawal from nicotine/withdrawal from chocolate because of something you heard in passing on a medical drama once, so you decide to drink several gallons of water/eat lots of cake/drown yourself in coffee/smoke yourself into a miasmic fog/cover yourself in chocolate. That doesn’t work, either.

In fact, very few things seem to work. Attempting to kill the headache by dulling your senses with alcohol doesn’t work. Hitting yourself in the face with blunt objects to distract yourself from the dull thumping behind your forehead doesn’t work. Cutting off your own arm doesn’t work (and then you’re missing an arm, which is just inconvenient).

In short, you’re probably going to have to resort to those pills that live in The Pill Cupboard. Everyone has a Pill Cupboard of some description. It might be part of your bathroom cabinet. It might be in your kitchen. It may share its purpose with something else. It may be a drawer rather than a cupboard. But it’s still a Pill Cupboard.

You then have to proceed through the Krypton Factor-esque puzzle that is choosing the correct pills for your ailment and hope that you don’t inadvertently sterilise yourself or anything (unless, of course, you want to sterilise yourself, in which case, go ahead, and what are you doing with sterilisation drugs in your Pill Cupboard anyway?) Said puzzle is made all the more difficult by the fact that by the time you decide to resort to pills, your headache has probably reached the point where it feels like an alien is going to burst out from behind your forehead, leaving your lovely clean walls splattered in blood and brain goo. (It probably won’t happen. But it feels like it.)

Then you have to actually swallow the damn things, which always proves inconveniently difficult when you really need to swallow them, and you end up half-choking yourself with a pill lodged halfway down your throat and no amount of water-guzzling shifting it. You resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to have a literal lump in your throat for the rest of the evening, and you climb into bed to have a sulk before passing out from sheer boredom.

In other news, I have a headache.

Posted in: Pete Davison