Sleepless In Shithole

February 18, 2006

Last night I got bored with the darkness and the tossing and turning I do just about every night, so I turned on the TV. They had that mattress infomercial on, the one that I hate, the one that makes you think, “What the fuck, couldn’t Comedy Central afford to put on, like, an old Richard Pryor movie or something? Anything? Do they really have to whore themselves out to a mattress company?” The one where they try to convince you that you’re an insomniac for being up so late, and that you need this mattress that you can jump on without knocking over a glass of wine. Y’know, for those people that leave glasses of Gewürztraminer lying around on their beds.

The spokeswoman was rambling on, and at some point she mentioned that Einstein needed 10 hours of sleep to function. (I like how they use Einstein to sell a mattresses, like I used him to sell my math grades when I was 12. “Yeah, but Einstein failed math! And he invented the atomic bomb. So this C minus? Not a big deal.”) Really, that’s a lot of sleep. And he was Einstein. Maybe he had it figured out.

But then there’s Napoleon…the French midget who worked his way up through the ranks to become Emperor, the military genius who schooled Europe in warfare, the guy who once said “Six hours of sleep for a man, seven for a woman and eight for a fool.” (Oh yeah, well maybe if you got four more hours of sleep you wouldn’t have had that shitty idea to invade Russia! Bitch.) He built his empire, was kicked out of France to be imprisoned on a small island, escaped the island, came back and fought until Waterloo, all on 6 hours of sleep a night. Nicely done.

Well, I got up today to check my e-mail and Sam had sent me a link to this dude who supposedly went 33 years without sleep. I have to call total bullshit, as it’s not like “Thanh Nien Daily” is what I’d call a reputable source for news, but can you imagine that? Even a year without sleep — a year without a break from reality? If I were that guy, I’d run to the nearest undetonated American landmine and pounce on that fucker. I’d slit my wrists with bamboo shavings. I’d run around screaming to the local police that “communism is dead,” begging to be shot. I’d do anything but keep on living.

But what IS the right amount of sleep? 6? 8? 10? None? I really don’t know. For me, it seems to be “whatever feels good,” and that usually leads to complications, like sleeping until 2pm in the afternoon like I did today. I’m what Napoleon would call a fool.

Unrelated to most of this crap is something I found morbidly funny. I was searching for something about sleep and came across a page about Chris Farley’s death:

With his growing fame, his problems got even bigger. He didn’t want to be the “fat guy who falls down” any more. But Chris had several other problems, too, namely with alcohol and drug dependency.

He bought an apartment in the John Hancock Building on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. His apartment was on the 60th floor.

He spent his last day primarily with a hooker named Heidi.

John Hancock building? You mean the Herbie Hancock building.
Haha …What, you haven’t seen Tommy Boy? Well, fuck off.

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