Sleep by Col. Stoopnagle

            Sometimes I find I simply can't stay awake.  This is largely caused by an overwhelming desire for sleep, which is what I often do if drowsiness overtakes me.  If, on the other hand, I find myself unable to stay asleep, I invariably wake up.

            Sleep is nicer when your eyes are shut, because then you can't see how you look when you are asleep.  If you could, you would try to stay awake.  Few people snore when awake, but if they could hear themselves when asleep, they'd snore only when awake, so they could do something about having it discontinued.

            A mighty neat way to get to sleep is to take a few of my patented green, blue and yellow sleeping-pills before you strike the straw.  Then when you dream, you dream in Technicolor.  It's a dite more expensive than black and white, but well worth the extra layout.  The colors you see are just (1) green, (2) blue and (3) yellow, of course, but if the dream happens to be about (1) envy, (2) sadness and (3) spinelessness, it's a perfect combination.

            Then there are people who walk in their sleep.  They are called "somnambulists."  They look a great deal like the rest of us except that they are vertical during slumber and move a greater distance than horizontal snoozers.  Opposite them, diametrically, are people who do not walk at all, even when awake.  They are called lazy-louts.  They look a great deal like the rest of us except that they are fat, rich, lethargic and have chauffeurs.

            A sleeper can be several things: It may be a person who's lying prone, snoring; it may be a Pullman car; it may be a little bunk of wood to help keep railroad rails in place.  But for my dough, it's Gloomy Gertie in the 8th at the Fairgrounds.  That filly's a sleeper at 60-1.

            They say a watch-dog sleeps with one eye open.  The strangest part about that is that the eye that's open is the one asleep and the one that's closed is awake.  Or maybe it's just the reverse.  At any rate, it's quite obvious that a watch-dog must be only half asleep.  But that also means he's only half awake, which makes it sort of even.  You'd think that an officeworker, for example, bawled out for being half asleep would be praised when he's found half awake.  It's a perfectly natural sequence.  But one condition that is just as bad as the other.  That's one of the troubles with our civilization -- there are so many consistencies.


[From "Vest Pocket Essays," Crown Magazine(?) circa 1944]


Page created November 15, 2006.  Copyright 1998-2006 by Richard D. Squires.