Tag Archives: sleep

1971. Oh sugar!

Pamela was a sound sleeper. She lived alone. She locked the house thoroughly each night before she went to bed. The neighbours were a bit strange – especially the wife. She was a bit of a recluse. Pamela had met her just the once. Word had it that she had been in and out of psychiatric care centres throughout her life.

It may have been because of this that Pamela was nervously suspicious. She had suspected for quite some time that strange things happened in the night. She was always meticulous about things, and sometimes she noticed that some household items had been moved ever so slightly, or even that she ran out of tea bags faster than she should. In fact she counted the tea bags. She used two tea bags a day. The seventy-eight tea bags in the box should last for thirty-nine days. She marked the date on her wall calendar.

Ashley, the neighbour, was a bit strange, but not as strange as his wife. He would come over once a week to Pamela’s for a cup of coffee. Pamela had never warmed to him. But a neighbour is a neighbour and it was after all only about thirty minutes in her week that his visits lasted. His wife never came with him.

Now the doctor had told Pamela to go easy on the sugar, so she filled the sugar bowl (in case visitors came and took sugar) and put the sugar bowl high in the cupboard. That was the last time she used it. It was a lot easier to give up sugar than she had expected.

When Ashley came over next she filled the conversation with the usual small talk. She had given up sugar. Did he still want sugar in his coffee? Perhaps he would prefer a cup of tea?

“Oh,” said Ashley, “I think you’re out of tea bags.”

1779. The days were drawing out

The days were drawing out. Summer was approaching. Spring had not fully run its course, but the sun was definitely rising earlier and earlier. Soon it would be the summer solstice.

Young Grant was about to turn twelve. His birthday was on the last day of spring. “The start of a new beginning”, his mother would say. “Grant’s birth was the start of a lovely summer.”

Grant asked his parents if he could watch the sunrise at the solstice. “Of course you can,” said his mother. “What a silly question! There’s no school tomorrow.”

The next morning, the day after his birthday, Grant watched the sunrise. The day had dawned cloudless. It was a perfect start to summer.

Grant wasn’t the only one watching it. His parents were there, as was his older brother and younger sister. It was a family affair!

After the sun rose, Grant went to bed. He was dog tired having stayed up all night. The rest of the family were fine. They had gone to bed, had a good night’s sleep, and simply got up early.

1385. Sunday afternoon snooze

It was not unusual for Danny to have a full-scale afternoon snooze every Sunday afternoon. This wasn’t a gentle doze in front of the television; this was a get-into-bed affair. His wife and kids would hear him snoring away for an hour – sometimes for an hour and a half. Then he would get up and life would return to normal.

“Work for your parents tomorrow,” he would say to the kids. “And school for you.”

This particular afternoon the children decided to play a trick. They adjusted all the clocks, even the clock in the car. They convinced their mother to wake their father up.

“Hurry up, dear!” said mother. “You’ve overslept. You slept all the way to Monday morning. You must’ve needed it. You’ll be late for work.”

Danny leapt out of bed.

“A quick breakfast?” asked mother. The kids were all sitting around the breakfast table eating morning cereal.

“I’m not hungry,” said Danny. “I’ll grab a coffee on the way to work.”

Off he set in the car for work at four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. The kids were ecstatic about their trick! It worked!

Twenty minutes later, Danny reappeared. “I’ll get you lot sometime soon,” he grumbled. “I want everyone seated in the dining room in five minutes.”

The event began. “I’ve got these family tickets to Disneyland,” said Danny. “We’ve always wanted to go, and now we are.”

The kids didn’t believe him. “You can’t fool us with this one,” they all said. “We don’t believe you.”

“I knew you’d think that,” said Danny. But that was Danny’s real trick. They didn’t believe him, and they never knew they were really going to go!

1166. Worries

Vernon was a worrier. Every night he lay in bed, wide awake, and worried.

He worried as to what he would do if his wife died. Would he cope on his own? Would he sell the house and move to something smaller? Would he…?

He worried that his pet canary might escape its cage and fly into the world outside. What would it eat? Would it sing in the trees? It would get cold and probably die in a couple of days. Poor thing. Oh the poor thing..

What if he died before his wife? Would she be alright? What if the car broke down after he’d died? He should really make arrangements to join some Automobile Association so his widowed wife could simple phone up and say “Help!”

What if his dog barked too loud and the neighbours phoned the city’s Animal Control people and they came and took the dog away. It would be so lonely. It would whimper. It would be awful; just awful. People can be so cruel.

What if there was a knock on the door in the middle of the night and it was the police saying that one of the kids had been killed in a car crash? These things happen, and regularly.

What if North Korea dropped a bomb? What if he lost his job? What if? What if?

And tonight was the worst of all. The bed was hard. His every joint ached. Not a wink of sleep all night. He was glad when morning came. He had tossed and turned and worried in case he was getting some sort of alzheimer’s. He couldn’t remember what he was worried about.

1165. Grinding

Each evening Nerissa would grind the coffee beans and tip them into the coffee machine in preparation for early morning. Nerissa rose at six and the first thing she did was to turn on the coffee machine. Her husband, Charlie, didn’t rise until seven and usually had to reheat his coffee in the microwave.

Charlie had an annoying practice. If he had an important meeting that demanded an earlier rising, he would not set an alarm clock. Instead, before he went to bed, he would tip out all of Nerissa’s ground coffee beans into the trash so that the noise of Nerissa grinding a fresh batch of coffee in the early morning would wake him up.

“What’s wrong with just asking me to wake you?” said Nerissa.

“This way is just as efficient,” said Charlie.

Nerissa had had enough. The next time it happened, she got in the car and drove to the Early Bird Café. The coffee wasn’t as nice, but it was a lot more satisfying.

919. Letters to the editor

919sleep

To the Editor of the “Farmers’ Monthly”

Dear Sir,

Do goats ever sleep? Every time I see Billy the Goat, he’s out eating. Only today, for example, I saw him at 3 o’clock this morning happily eating.

When does he sleep? Or don’t goats need to sleep?

Yours sincerely,
Farmer Jack

919line

To the Editor of the “Farmers’ Monthly”

Dear Sir,

Do humans ever sleep? Every time I see Farmer Jack, he’s out looking. Only today, for example, I saw him at 3 o’clock this morning checking to see if I was eating.

When does he sleep? Or don’t humans need to sleep?

Yours sincerely,
Billy the Goat

618. To bed! To bed!

© Bruce Goodman 20 June 2015

618tobed

Finn had gone to bed early. Tomorrow morning he needed to rise at 5.00 am to catch a bus.

And so it was “to bed, to bed, you sleepy head” at 9 pm.

Finn woke at 1.30 am. He wasn’t the slightest bit tired. But he had to sleep. He had to sleep. He tossed and turned. He turned again. It was now 2.45 am.

He visited the bathroom. He straightened the bed sheets and blankets. He lay there. It was now 3.25 am. He re-arranged his pillow.

He could see the time in the dark on the digital clock. How slowly the minute numbers changed. Perhaps if he read a bit from his book. It was now 4.14 am.

He read for five minutes and turned out the light. He had to sleep. He had to sleep. Only ten minutes now before 5 am. Then he could get up. What a relief that will be.

Only five minutes left!

Only two minutes!

Thank goodness! It’s…

Zzzzzzzzzzz…

533. Yes, doctor

533sleep

Yes, well you’re the doctor and know. But your tips on how to get to sleep without sleeping pills don’t seem to work.

It’s a question you said of sticking to a regular sleep pattern. Well I do that, as I’ve said. I get up in the middle of the night to let the cat out. And then later, I get up to let the cat back in. Then I have to pee. Four times. It’s all pretty regular.

I don’t smoke before bedtime. In fact, you know I don’t smoke at all, but I used to. I know now that it’s caused breathing problems.

But I like the bit about not having a TV in the bedroom. So I think it should be moved out. Just keep the bedroom with a subdued light reserved for sleep and sex, you said. Well, is that a hint? I sleep with the cat on my feet.

But to be honest, it’s your bloody snoring that keeps me awake.