Bedbugs, early birds and worms worry the sleep out of our noggins

I came across an article the other day titled, “Energy, and how to get it.”

I didn’t read it. Too much effort.

I used to have energy. The pedal hit the metal by the time I was 2 and my energy didn’t ease off the gas until I was 22. Back then, I stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning. These days, I aspire to be in bed by 8 p.m.

The great fictional philosopher Michael Scott once said, “I am an early bird and a night owl… so I am wise and I have worms.”

Houston, the night owl has landed. Nor do I rise any earlier. Sure, the early bird gets the worm, but I’d rather eat Alpha-Bits for breakfast. Or I used to. That was back when I still had metabolism. Apparently, my metabolism eloped with my energy, because neither one is with me any longer.

To quote my dad, “My get-up-and-go got up and left.”

That’s an old joke, but I lack the gumption to make up a new quip.

To swipe another quote, this one from another great philosopher Winnie the Pooh, “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”

Or try to. I mean, try not to. Wait am I trying or not trying to do nothing? My head’s weary. I need a nap.

My wife says I babble when I get tired. Can you believe that? Me, lapse into a rambling stream of unconsciousness? Yes, I know the phrase is “stream of consciousness,” but that’s what it’s called if you’re awake. The pearls of witless unwisdom that tumble from my unconsciousness are unhindered by any form of cognizance whatsoever.

“The great philosopher Bill Murray,” I’ll tell Terry, “once advised, ‘Whatever you do, always give 100 percent. Unless you’re donating blood.’ Whoa. That’s deep.”

Or, “You know, if I cut that round hole large enough, I can pound any square peg you hand me through it. Isn’t that wild? Why didn’t anyone else think of that?”

It’s about that time that Terry nudges me toward the bedroom and coos, “It’s time for your nap, dear. Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

Suddenly, I’m jolted awake and shining a flashlight under the mattress. Stupid bedbugs. No wonder we don’t get enough sleep.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are chronically tired. Nearly a quarter of us nationally report problems concentrating during the day. That increases our risk of car crashes, medical mistakes, industrial accidents, nasty diseases, TV ads for law firms and chaotic humor columns lacking a point.

A third of Americans snooze for less than seven hours in a 24-hour period, and Ohioians are among the most sleep-deprived folks in the union, with up to 44 percent of us falling short — and possibly just falling over and snoring.

For my part, I pledge to boost the national average of sleep hours. I can’t do this alone, people. This national crisis will take a concerted effort from all of us. We’re woke no more. Please, grab your pillows and follow me.

Or if that’s too much effort, nap right where you are.

It’s for the good of our country.

Don’t let the bedbugs bite.

Cole’s wife says he’s babbling again and sent him to bed. Wake him at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at www.burtonwcole.com.


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