Monday, September 16, 2019

The Battle of Lights

The Battle of Lights
     16.  Count ‘em.  16 lights.  Not large lights, like the ones you find in the parking lot of Walley World, but just small LED types.  Some blinking rhythmically, some a constant glow, and then the pesky erratic ones with a mind of their own.  Like when your cell phone recharging cord isn’t really plugged in, but kinda plugged in.  Yea, that one.  Anyway, that’s how many lights adorn my $323 room in Las Vegas as I settle in for the night prior to a long week of business.
     So, if you were to ask my better 2/3 about my infatuation with light’s she’d call me faint hearted, weak, and well, quite frankly, a baby.  Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m one of those dudes who needs pitch black, I mean bottom of a two mile well black, when I zonk out.  Not a twinkle, glimmer, or a tiny stream of light coming in from anywhere can I have when transitioning into La La land.  You can fill me with melatonin, Nyquil, a triple dose of Ambien to promote the counting of sheep but I won’t saw my first “Z” if there is any form of light in the room.  Any form!
     Here is where the battle commences…  The full-on nuclear type.  I’ve towed the line with this Vegas brute on several occasions and have a bit of insight into what’s coming.  Lights 1 thru 6 are easy to combat with my roll of black electrical tape I have strategically placed in my backpack.  So, sitting there in my skivvies I go about portioning bits and pieces of stretchy electrical tape for the …. Blinking 12:00 microwave, the green flickering micro fridge light, the hair dryer light, the “call us if you’re drunk off your butt and you fall on your face” light (that one comes with its own little string BTW), the 96” TV front red power light and it’s blinking green light at the end of the power cord.  Taking a deep breath I gulp a bit of the $17 libation out of the mini bar.  I then forge on to improve my foxhole with two 2” long strips of tape to cover the 3 red glowing USB ports and two 110V outlets by the old school telephone.   For anyone who’s keeping track that’s 9 so far, and still counting.
     Now the Paleolithic phone requires an actual phone call to the front desk.  Why you may ask?  You guessed it.  The joker who stayed in my room the night before was part of the “Bachelor Party” crew and didn’t delete the 17 messages his buddies left him as they waited in the lobby ready to head home after a long weekend of drunken debauchery.  I work my way through the 6 prompts to delete the 17 “Hey man, we’re leaving without you” messages.  There goes 6 minutes I can’t get back.  But yet, when I hang up, the red light is still winking at me.  All righty #10, you get a piece of tape too you bastard.
     I quickly take an once sip of my refreshing drink costing me $1.41 and launch the final phase of my attack. The 3 sets of freaking curtains.  So, there I am staring out at the beautiful mountains, the effervescent skyline and the Bellagio water show as I gracefully pull curtain set #1 across the spotless window.  Being of the male persuasion, I first wonder what’s up with the see-through curtains anyway?  Don’t they defeat the purpose?  Nonetheless, I yank them from left to right and hear the clanking of the thingy’s on the curtain rod.  Now set #2 makes more sense, these are heavier in nature, match the room somewhat, and slide in from both sides.  Now #3 is a bit different.  Much to my chagrin, and expectation, these do not, I repeat, do not, meet in the middle.  They’re ¼ too short.  Who the hell designed these things anyway?  This is a problem.  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt (you need light to create a shadow BTW) this is a weak point in my defense.  The city that never sleeps is going to come barging through this opening all night in the form of a laser shot landing squarely on my pillow.  Not one of the other 7 pillows on the bed, but the one I’m actually using.  No doubt.  But guess what?  That’s why I brought a plastic Tupper Ware box full of all sized alligator clips!  Ranging from baby ones you use for a small term paper to the big honkin’ ones that can hold a battleship to the dock.  These things are massive!  It takes me 3 of these light blocking sentinels to get the ¼” gap shut.  The tension is so tight I know they can take an eye out if they inadvertently slip off and go ricocheting across the room.
     K, so that’s 11 light bandits eradicated.  12, 13, 14 and 15 light ninjas raid the room quickly as I plug in my 2 cell phones, laptop and noise cancelling headphones (please don’t push that button!).  I go hand-to-hand immediately as my tape goes back into action.  Zipping, tearing and sticking.  “They gone”. 
     Now my week long abode is lightless!  Thank God!  Time to hit the rack.  Hibernation here we come.  Whoop, whoop!  Tugging my gel filled sleeping mask a little lower I sense a shadow cross the door to my room.  #16!  How could I forget #16?  Damn.  The door to the hallway…  I stumble out of bed, split my toes on fancy chair in the corner then grope around the bathroom to find the massive pool towel.  With a personal vengeance only P.T. Barnum could have known stuffing his 22 clowns into the mini car, I jam the towel under the doorway as hard as I can. 
     The Battle is won.  The War?  Perhaps not…  I launch myself back into bed, bounce a few times, take a deep breath and quickly slide into the Rapid Eye Movement phase of my slumber.
      What?   Someone’s knocking on the door…  “Mr. Dean?  Good Evening Mr. Dean.  The front desk said your message light has been flashing, can we help you with something?”

Friday, August 23, 2019


     Seriously.  What is it about snoring?  Tell me if this scene is too far off…  TV is humming with the Sunday Night Football game or Netflix.  Name your program... 
“Why’d you wake me up?” says I, having the nap of my life.
“You were snoring.” says my better 2/3's with a sour look on her face.
“I wasn’t snoring.  I don’t snore.  Can’t a guy get a nap around here?” my standard response...
     Now this conversation can be a bit more hostile, it can happen across the globe in the 7,100 different  languages we have on this planet, it can happen at absolutely any time of day or night, it can happen on any mode of transportation.  It happens, period.  End of sentence.
     As Joe Friday would say on Drag Net “Just the facts Ma’am, just the facts.”  The cold, hard, unabashed fact is;  YOU SNORE.  Period.  If you're a prolific  log sawing Slumberjack your family has pictures, recordings, You Tube Video’s to prove it.  By Gawd, some of you are paint peeling, curtain ripping, freight train imitating snoring machines!
     Yes, there are some who are afflicted with deviated septum’s, sleep apnea, 18 months old’s with colic, all conditions rendering such room shaking noises.  But the rest of you?  No excuses!
     No really, what is it that we’re all afraid of?  This is a natural, and in some cases, a musical occurrence.  No joke, we have a regular Mr. Holland’s Opus in G Minor going in the living room after the tryptophan kicks in on Thanksgiving Day afternoon.  Have at it, belt it out!
     We shy away from boasting secretly knowing we are absolutely guilty.  Perhaps you have your own theory, but I tend to think it’s the vulnerability of being unconscious and having people staring at you with utter contempt, loathing, and a myriad of “How can he snore so loud and not wake himself up’s?” 
                Shouldn’t we treat our delightfully cute “heavy breathing” with more respect?  This natural phenonium of beauty is the eldest child in a family of three.  
     The middle child can be worn as a badge of honor though  A prolific example is the second graders back arching, gut-wrenching buuuuurrrrp in the lunchroom.  In some scenarios this auditory delight becomes somewhat of a competition.  As a matter of fact, in various countries, belching is a sign to the hostess with the mostess that he or she put on a superb culinary extravaganza.  
     The baby of the family?  Well that's the room clearing odiferous triumph we all share (or most of us) with our families and best buddies.  Now this natural sound of the human condition is often celebrated by the perpetrator.  The rest of its victims?  Not so much.  That’s just rude buddy.  Step outside with the smokers if you’re going to do that!
                Oh, but what about the clatter you are peacefully making while counting sheep, scoring the Stanley Cup Winning goal in overtime, or standing naked in front of a crowd ready to give a speech? Be proud of your cacophony!  It’s truly a miraculous thing to scare babies, embarrass loved ones, or get smothered by the closest pillow while you’re in lala land.
                I believe it’s time we Own this natural act.  Let’s change the way this country thinks Folks! 
Are you with me?  Let’s do it!