During my forty minute battle each morning with the snooze button, many things seem clear, as I lie clinging desperately to the warmth and succor of my bed.
- We are not living in a democracy. We are instead living in an evil, tyrannical society run by The Morning People.
- The Morning People, to lack a more elegant term, suck.
- Despite my valiant effort to beat the damn thing into submission, my snooze alarm almost always wins.
Yes, unfortunately, I am cursed with being a night person in a morning person's world. I thrive between midnight and three a.m. When others go to bed, my creative juices are just beginning to flow. And when others wake up, so must I -- no matter how groggy I feel. Life in the world of The Morning People is just not fair. I don't ask for much, but at least give me one week a year when I can force The Morning People to conform to my schedule.
"Joe, how about we meet tomorrow morning at nine?"
"Oh, sorry, I can't make it, Sir. I'll be sleeping in tomorrow, but I think I can fit you in at midnight. How does that sound?"
I know it will be difficult for the Morning People, but so what? They've made me suffer over the years, and now it's my turn to punish them. If they are half as responsible as they like to think they are, I am sure they will have no problem at all. And as for the ones who can't adapt, we'll just get rid of them.
"Where the hell did Jones go? It's only midnight."
"Oh, you know Jones, Sir. He's one of those deadbeats who gets up at dawn every day. Probably went home to sleep."
"Well, let's fire him then. You know, we need more people like you, Joe, who can stay up all hours of the night. I'm giving you a raise. You've earned it!"
All right, my fantasy is getting increasingly unrealistic, but I can dream, can't I? (Well, actually, no -- thanks to The Morning People.)
As you would imagine, my complaints are mostly ignored. I am told I should just go to bed earlier. I am told I should just act like an adult, but I can't help staying up late. The world is so peaceful then. There are no distractions -- nobody on the phone, nothing but infomercials on television, nowhere to go. And then there's that beautiful pressure. Adrenaline surges through my body as I rush to get everything done before going to sleep. Happily, the day doesn't really end until the sun comes up on a new one. Even if it's officially three o'clock Tuesday morning, life is still considered a Monday. It's like a stay of execution on all your unfinished tasks. I love that.
The next morning, though, I love nothing. Is it all worth it? I wonder as I wander off groggily to work. Maybe I really should listen to all those people who tell me just to grow up and go to sleep early. Maybe Ben Franklin was right. Maybe early to bed, early to rise is the way to go. Of course, then I wise up and realize that Ben Franklin has been dead two hundred years and should have taken his pithy little sayings with him. I remember how much I enjoy the night, and soon even the grogginess of the morning doesn't seem quite so heinous.
"No, thanks, I like being groggy." I now tell people when they offer me coffee in the morning. If anything, I am a more productive worker then. Give me eight hours of sleep a night, and I can't motivate myself to do anything. Give me five, and I become a workaholic. It doesn't make sense, but it's true. On most mornings, I'm too tired to even think about goofing off. Work is all I can hope to contemplate at that hour. I may be exhausted, but I get stuff done!
And so I survive in the land of The Morning People, but I'm still bitter. I keep thinking there must be some way I can change the system. Sometimes I wonder if all us night people should just join together and go on strike, but then I think about it some more. There just aren't enough night people in the world for anyone to really miss us. And even if there were, we'd still have to get up in the morning for all that picketing. No, that wouldn't work at all.
Perhaps instead I could just sue my employers for discrimination. I'm a night person, and did they not fail to take that into account when determining my hours? Yes, that's it. Let's put my employers on the stand.
"Is it not true that you forced my client to show up at nine o'clock every morning when in fact you knew he was a night person?"
"Well, everyone has to --"
"Answer the question!"
"No further questions, your honor. I rest my case."
That's what I'll do. I'll take my case all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to, and I'll win! It will be a landmark case, and all the night people of the world will rally together and praise me as their ultimate hero.
Unless of course the Court decides to hear my case in the morning in which case I'm probably screwed.
Copyright 1999 by Joe Lavin
Joe Lavin's Humor Column is published usually on Tuesdays at http://joelavin.com
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