Conference partying is well and good, but its wages are, if not death, still pretty grim: I always wake up on the last day feeling like I've been beaten with a stick. My lower back aches from hours of standing around gabbing in heels. My shoulders are cricked from an equal number of hours hunched over a notepad. My skin is ghastly from too little sleep and too much drink and overly rich meals out on the town.
Maybe this is why so many of our departments provide so little travel funding: like taxes on cigarettes, it's intended for our own good.