I woke last night and tried in vain to get back to sleep. It reminded me of when I was young. I used to be a night owl and, if I went to bed early, I would lie there wide awake for hours. I knew every inch of my bedroom ceiling.
Anymore, I normally can get to sleep at a decent hour. The call of the wild may get me up once every night; however, I normally get right back to sleep . . . but not last night.
I decided to try counting sheep in hopes the monotony of the process would have the same numbing effect on my brain as TV award shows and I would soon fall back asleep. The problem I have, however, is every time I begin thinking about animals, I start imagining them as food.
For instance, I can’t travel up Herring Avenue across the river without glancing over at Cameron Park Zoo to catch a glimpse of the majestic buffalo steaks. This meant as I began counting sheep leaping over a fence, I remembered the few times I had eaten mutton; it tasted baaaadd.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the baaadd joke.
Whenever I think of an animal leaping over a fence I usually think of deer, so I began counting venison . . . I mean deer. This didn’t last long in its tranquil state before I began envisioning myself shooting each deer as it leapt over the fence. You deer hunters are going, “Yeah!” while the faint of heart are appalled. Next thing I knew I was imagining myself field dressing the deer and sticking the meat into freezers.
After I had stuffed about 800 freezers I realized my deer-hunting wasn’t having the desired effect of putting me to sleep. I had to come up with some other way.
It isn’t that I’m fixated on food. I’m just curious what different animals taste like in hopes of finding anything which could possibly taste better than bacon. You might think my quest would result in my body being the size of Jupiter, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. I look like an old guy with long skinny legs. The only thing large about me is my Buddha Belly. If the rest of me was as portly as my belly, I could paint myself gold and earn money making personal appearances.
Anyway, thinking about my personal appearance didn’t help me get to sleep either. I had to try something else.
I normally try to avoid thinking about politics while trying to go to sleep, but wouldn’t you know I did this time. First I thought about the horrendously poor choices we had in the last presidential election. It couldn’t have been worse if it had been a choice between the Wicked Witch and a flying monkey. Thinking about politics got me agitated. Where was Pat Paulsen when we needed him?
Trying to stop thinking about politics, my mind turned to religion. This was not helping me fall asleep either. I will spare you my hours of thoughtful dissertation about religion. However, for those of you who are curious, I’ll just say my beliefs lie somewhere on C.S. Lewis Avenue in the house next to G.K. Chesterton’s gate.
Avoiding the pitfalls of politics and religion, I rethought my New Year’s resolutions. The problem was I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. Between failing at my resolution of becoming a world-class race-car driver and millionaire before age 12 and the year I failed to bring about world peace by getting everyone to eat bacon sandwiches, I had stopped making them. My world peace idea was crushed when I discovered no one in the Middle East ate bacon. Could that be why no one over there gets along? If they ever experienced the tranquil effects eating bacon has on the soul, the plan might still work.
Thinking about this didn’t help me get back to sleep, but it did give me a hankering for a bacon sandwich.
John Kemp is a retired graphic artist and computer graphics instructor from Lacy Lakeview who now writes e-books. Colleagues on the Trib Board of Contributors have dubbed him the “Mark Twain of the Tribune-Herald.”