May 18,2007 00:00
Sleeping is my favorite part of this whole life thing, edging out hot fudge sundaes and foot lickings. I need about eight hours of sleep a day and at least that many at night. Friends calls me Sir Sleepalot.
Due to a tragic series of events resulting in corporate employment, my wife wakes up at six a.m. every day, regardless of when she fell asleep the night before. There should be a law against that kind of sweatshop mentality.
I told her: If the alarm clock wakes you up, you’re not getting enough to dream. Why would an employer want you to show up in that state? Yet clocks are beeping and buzzing at ungodly hours all over the world.
alarm, n. 1. Sudden fear caused by the portent of danger. 2. The conventional way to start the day.
Here’s the rub: Alarm clocks don’t wake up only the intended; they wake up everyone in the room. So every morning at six, I, an innocent bysleeper, am shaken from my peach tree by a sound much like the WRONG buzzer on Family Feud over and over until someone, sweet mercy, turns it off.
If that is where it ended, I would sink back into my feathers and forget. But my wife, instead of facing the fact that sleep is over and her life stinks, rolls over and hits … The Snooze Bar.
snooze bar, n. A device invented by Satan to torture those of us who don’t work for a sweatshop.
Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t sleep ten minutes at a time. When my wife hits snooze, I start to fidget, knowing that in 600 seconds, about the time it takes to nod off, I will suffer sudden fear caused by the portent of danger.
One morning I held a summit with my bedmate. I expressed concern for something I hold dear—our marriage—and explained how she could protect that concern by giving up the snooze bar. I even came up with a catchy slogan: “You snooze, I lose.”
She wasn’t big on slogans.
Claiming to have no recollection of doing so—every Alarmie’s excuse—my wife continued to roll over and buy herself ten more minutes of sleep. And I continued to dream of hurting small animals. So it goes.
If she couldn’t recall the crime, how could I prosecute? What a lovely ruse. Perhaps my wife should rob a bank in her PJs and, if the police arrive, wake up!
I had to do something. So one night, with a screwdriver, I chiseled the snooze bar right out of that wretched machine. You’d be surprised at how difficult it was (I nearly spilled my screwdriver). Sealing the hole with putty and coating it with nail polish, I was done. Insomnia makes strange bedfellows.
When my wife got home, there was a real family feud. I thought she might go marital, which is like going postal but not so warm and fuzzy. Because I withdrew to my happy place, I can’t relate exactly what she said; it had something to do with divorce, retardation, and nail polish stains on the comforter.
I tried to help: “Maybe it’s like a Band-Aid for those arguments we were having about sleep.”
My wife had another idea, which she explained in stark detail as one might a ghost story around the campfire.
“You see, my meddling friend, this particular clock has two alarms in case both husband and wife hold real jobs…”
She described how, instead of “occasionally” hitting snooze—a blatant lie—she would now set both alarms, ten minutes apart, so that the clock would go off twice no matter what. Guaranteed snooze!
I come to you with two choices: I can succumb to the new system, or I can accidentally annihilate the machine. I’m pretty sure that I can’t use nail polish without ending my life. And according to my wife, where I am going there is no bed, just a giant alarm clock that goes off every ten minutes for all eternity.