Monday, August 2, 2010

Course Overload #4: "Snooze Blues"

Does anyone out there remember sleep? It was good, if memory serves. I seem to recall it involving something known as a “bed” and another thing called a “blanket.” I also have memories of a third object, called “handcuffs,” but I don’t quite remember what they do.

I also know about something called a “nap.” Well, I know what the word “nap” means, in theory, but I don’t really have an experience to connect with the word. The last time I took a nap was sometime in 2001, and even then, it was because I was run over by a beer truck on the way to class. All I remember is seeing a conspicuously insect-free place high above the clouds, filled with angels playing Playstation games. Then I saw a man with a long gray beard and a shining white robe. He took one look at me and started laughing. The old man gave me a thumbs down gesture, snapped his fingers, and the next thing I remember is limping to English 101 with approximately 20 pounds of extra steel embedded in my body. I guess the professor smelled the alcohol on me from the beer truck accident, and I spent the next 10 hours in the dean’s office trying to explain that I wasn’t drunk; I smelled like beer because an old man in the sky made me take a nap.

By now I’ll bet you’re wondering why I don’t get much sleep. The answer is quite simple: I’m in college now, so I know better. Studies have shown that as we grow older, our bodies need more sleep. However, millions of people from around the globe have died in their sleep, thus it’s only logical to conclude that too much sleep kills you. In fact, sleep is the second leading cause of death among college age adults, the first being death. All college professors know this, and in a genuinely heroic attempt to keep us college students alive, they give us lots of things to keep us occupied during those lonely nighttime hours.

I am very grateful to my professors for doing me such an admirable service. After all, the youth of today are tomorrow’s leaders, so it would be wise to make sure some of us stay alive. Otherwise, children in the future will have a very hard time playing “Follow the Leader.” The game will simply be reduced to “Follow.”

Yet, as great as living is, sometimes I wish sleep wasn’t so deadly. Often, after staying up well past 14 or 15 o’clock, my body begins to malfunction. For example, the sleep depravation has begun to affect my memory. I will honestly not remember writing this, and when I see it on this blog, I will be very excited that I wrote an article. About half way through, I will forget who wrote it, look back at the author, and become excited all over again. This process will repeat itself until someone takes the PC away from me or I have to use the bathroom. Hopefully, I won’t look for something to read while I’m in there, or the vicious cycle will start all over again.

Unfortunately, I’m a commuter, and sleep deprivation affects my driving skills. For example, I often set my cruise control and go to sleep on the way to school. I just let my Taurus bounce off the guard rails for 28 miles until I get to school, like those bumpers they set up for little kids’ birthday parties in bowling alleys. This usually works pretty well, but every once in a while I’ll wake up in a ditch somewhere in Maryland. When this happens, I turn the car around in the opposite direction I was going, turn on cruise control again and go back to sleep.

I’ve also discovered another problem: No sleep impairs my judgment. One time, I thought it would be a pretty good joke if I called the fire department and told them that my grandmother’s cat was stuck in a tree and that they needed to hurry over before she attempted to help him down with her shotgun. I also said the cat was on fire. And full of dynamite. So, a few minutes later, 37 firemen arrived and dashed from the fire truck, waving axes and fire hoses high above their heads. I ran up to them with a look of terror in my eyes, put my hand on the fire chief’s shoulder, and exclaimed, “Tag! You’re it!” About 150 hours of community service have since shown me the error of my ways, so I can honestly guarantee that I’d never do something like that ever again. Oh, while I’m on the subject of firemen, did you know that the fines for calling in a fake emergency are doubled if you do it more than once?

My attention span has been also affected. Sometimes, I’ll start a sentence and never

And other times, I startt mizspeling thinngz. When it gets really bad, I just begin to speak in gibberish. This makes it very difficult for my flapjacks to buy their pants. But that made me realize that I should donate all of my salt to the furtive monkey dishwasher. I hear it's amazing when the purple stuffed worm in flap jaw space does a raw blink on Hari-kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!

You know, as deadly as they are, I’m starting to think that I should just take my chances with this whole “nap” thing.

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