Humor by John Christmann

A Loud Winter's Nap

picture of a megaphone sleeping next to a woman in bed

This is the time of year when I like to sleep. In fact, I would hibernate for the winter if it weren’t for all the little things in life that require my attention. Things like work and kids and NFL playoff games.

But for six or seven hours each night I get to curl up under a toasty comforter next to my warm wife and hunker down to a deep, dreamless, winter’s sleep.

And when I wake up, my legs are black and blue.

My daughter tells me that when you get hurt in your sleep you go to the ER in a Somnambulance. My wife tells me that when you get hurt in your sleep it means that you have been snoring.

Let’s face it; snoring is a biological fact of life. Like the hiccups, snoring is a physical reflex which long ago transcended its primary function. While no one is quite sure what benefits ever accrued to hiccups, researchers now understand that snoring was vital to man’s survival: the loud noises that emanated from our nasal cavities as we slept prevented us from being devoured by dinosaurs and other man-eating predators.

Evidently this has proven quite effective, for in the most recent millennium not one human being has been consumed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex while sawing logs in bed, although recently a man in Omaha choked to death in his sleep after inhaling a large salamander.

Apparently some amphibians are deaf; this according to his wife’s defense attorney.

I would take this notion a step further and suggest that the dinosaurs became extinct precisely because they couldn’t sleep at night due to all the loud noises emerging from the beds of cavemen. It is a very real fact that snoring keeps others up at night, which is why so many men wake up to find themselves alone, or worse, choking on a salamander.

It is easy to laugh because snoring is a problem which afflicts everybody else on the planet but us, even though we all have to deal with it. In fact, snoring was never really considered much a problem in society until the 18th century when women started dragging their husbands to the opera. It rose to the forefront of our consciousness after transcontinental airplane flights were introduced ensuring that passengers would be in close proximity to large, martini-drinking men with multiple chins for prolonged periods of time.

Personally, I don’t believe I snore. Too loudly. But I know people that do snore. It wouldn’t be proper to identify anyone specifically; but my brother-in-law, Bob, whoa boy, he can be dead to the world in the privacy of his own room and wake up my whole family. Even the goldfish. What makes him exceptional is that he lives 3,000 miles away in California.

It does give me some degree of comfort, however, knowing that he will never be mauled by a hungry pack of Velociraptors in his sleep. Unfortunately, however, snoring can be genetic, which means that I am in serious danger of being related to my bother-in-law.

The word snoring is imitative in nature, and probably comes from the German word snoren, which means “go sleep in the other room”. Snoring is caused by rushing air that vibrates the soft tissues along the nasal passages. Although considerably louder, snoring is similar in principle to the inner workings of a tuba.

The most effective cure for snoring is a pillow or a salamander placed firmly over the air passages by a sleep partner. This, however, can cause side effects like dying, and is usually not recommended by doctors.

There are medical treatments for snoring, but many physicians encourage natural solutions such as not drinking, not aging, not being overweight, and not being a man. Most of these physicians, I should add, are humorless women in need of sleep.

Some specialists with a little more common sense suggest sleeping with your head up. I can attest to the efficacy of this treatment because I have come across many people, usually in corporate offices, who sleep in a chair with their eyes open all day without making a sound.

I even know of a few intrepid men who swear by earplugs as the answer to snoring. This may be an acceptible solution if you trust your sleep partner is squeamish wielding deaf amphibians, but it is not so practical if you have to outfit, say, the entire audience at Carnegie Hall.

But if you ask me, the best solution to snoring for everyone concerned is to book a hotel room somewhere on the north coast of Greenland. As my wife has often suggested.

Hmm, I wonder if Greenland gets cable?