The Saratoga Sun -

Enter (and exit) the Sandman


There is a guy out there who, according to western legend, puts people to sleep by sprinkling magical sand onto people’s eyes. That guy is the Sandman.

He even has a famous song: “Mr. Sandman.”

Yeah, well, the Sandman needs to hire some Sandlings, because he has apparently fallen asleep on the job.

Some soporific servants might be a good thing.

He probably doesn’t want to add anyone though. I hear Sleep Stewards Local 101 is a tough union.

Of course, all this may be tied to the supernatural sedative sand shortage of ’16.

Whatever. I think it is a ploy to prop up the market perpetrated by the producers of late night infomercials since we all know that the only reason to buy any of that stuff is a lack of sleep.

...but wait, there’s more!


“For sincere advice and the correct time, call any random number at 3 a.m.”

—Steve Martin


Ticked off

Sometimes I think my bed hates me.

I will fall asleep on the couch watching TV and wake up thinking, “go to bed stupid.”

Of course the moment I exhaustedly hit the bed, my body says: “Just kidding!”

This exact thing happened to me the other day.

I had had a long day then drove a few hours to a friend’s house.

By 7 p.m. I was sitting in a comfy padded chair and blinks were beginning to be less “blinks” and more “minor naps.”

Pretty soon I was asleep sitting straight up.

Their dog scampered across the room and made a clatter—which startled me to a semi-wakeful state.

After that, I visited some more for a while then finally went to bed.


Of course sleep evaded me.


I always sleep fairly well at my friend’s house once I get to sleep—but not that night.


They have a quiet house and there was a clock by the bed.


That damn thing seemed like it was getting louder.


Just as I was about to smash the complaining timepiece, the heater came on.

The gentle airflow sounds muted the clock and I tried to sink into a slumber.

The only problem is, I know I only have so long until the heater cuts back off.

I roll over …

I roll over again.


I have missed my window of masking noise.

I normally sleep with a ceiling fan or air cleaner on just for the soothing “white noise.”

Sleeping by the gently crashing waves of the ocean, the tinkling of a stream or whooshing of a river works pretty well too.


I get up and decide to go to the bathroom just for something else to think about for a second.

When I turn on the light, I see the clock says 5:30 (apparently they have those in the morning too).


I have to be up by 6:30 to make the car appointment I have the next day.

I go to the bathroom, then go grab my cell phone charging in the kitchen.

When I turn it on—and my eyes adjust to the jarring glare—I notice the phone is displaying the time as 2:15.

Now I really hate that bedroom clock.

Eventually I made my heater “window” and got to sleep just after it kicked on again.


“I asked my wife, ‘Last night, were you faking it?’ she said, ‘No, I was really sleeping’”

—Rodney Dangerfield


Seven minutes

at a time

I know I said my bed hates me … just not in the morning.

In the mornings, bed, blankets and pillows conspire to keep me in their tender loving embrace.

I, for my part, try to reciprocate their affection by smashing their mortal enemy … the dread alarm clock.

The alarm clock’s only defense is a shield called the “snooze button.”

I don’t really know if I love or hate that button.

On one hand, it stops the alarm and allows me to get the deepest sleep of the night (morning) … seven minutes at a time.

On the other hand, I have been known make myself late for things by extending my time in bed for hours … seven minutes at a time.

Why seven minutes though? What sadistic bastard programmed my alarm that way?

Why not 10 minutes?

Or 15?

I bet it’s a Sleep Stewards Union (SSU) regulation.


“The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won’t get much sleep.”

—Woody Allen


Magic in bed

Have you ever seen someone pull a tablecloth out from under a full table setting and leave the dishes and such mostly in place?

I can do that in bed.

I have no idea how, but I can go to bed with three covers on me and wake up with the outer one and the inner one in place ... but the middle one is now on the floor.

Probably those sleep invoking union bastards trying to mess with my mind (not a hard task).

They know I have been complaining.

The real trick though would be getting your covers back from a cover thief.

If you have slept with someone who rolls themselves up in the covers only to leave you uncovered and shivering, you can relate.

I have grabbed corners of the covers in this situation and put my feet in their back for leverage and pulled … all to no avail.

Screw it. They are getting woke … and not the enlightened kind of “woke” either.

I realized I should have said “awakened”—but that is more polite than what they are going to get for their blanket transgression.

Steal my covers … deal with my crankiness.


“There is no sunrise that is so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”

—Mindy Kahling


Keep calm and dream on

There are any number of things I can colorfully add to a column about sleep—and I most likely will in some future column—but until then let’s urge our president and representatives to ease restrictions on Magical Sand mining, deal with the SSU and create some new Sandman jobs!

Until then, sweet dreams.


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