The Ding-Dong Wizard of Fate


Here’s the story of canny Harry, restless sleep, and accountants jumping over a fence.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with chasing two Jehovah’s Witnesses down a street with a fire iron in nothing but my pyjamas. I mean, I’ve spent 35 hours this week sat behind a computer and I get but one day where I don’t have to get out of bed, but oh no, this lot come barging up to one’s front door at eight on Saturday morning with messages of peace and love. I would pave the entranceway with some kind of fire walking setup, but I imagine it would be too much hassle. Equally, I think opening the front door and taking a run up with a harpoon is a terrible idea. I’d only get one of them. I don’t have any problem with Jehovah’s Witnesses. My problem is with people who think it’s acceptable to wake me up. My mum is the one who has the problem with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I recall one visit once when I was younger and mum was doing the ironing. Tap, tap, tap. “Jehovah’s Witnesses, open up!” They actually said that. “DIVE!” mum screamed, and, as such, we all hit the deck. As you’d expect, they did indeed come for a peak through the front window, but we were well hidden. “We know you’re in there…” one of them said. “No, we’re not!” said mum. In retrospect, I don’t think mum should’ve given the game away so easily…

The thing is, these salespeople only come knocking on the weekends because they know nobody is at home during the weekdays. I’ve long been an advocate of some sort of two-system doorbell, whereby, during weekdays, it gives off the usual ding-dong, but at weekends, it gives off the noise of a large dog barking. And, if that doesn’t work, it releases a posse of deranged clowns that would chase the menace away.

Some would argue I’m being harsh. Those flogging us a new driveway are just trying to get a bit of money. How are they any different to the neighbourhood ice cream man? I don’t like him, either. In fact, I really hate him. I have absolutely no idea why he plays a sped up version of Pop Goes the Weasel but trust me, if you think little girls slowly singing Ring Around the Rosy is terrifying, Pop Goes the Weasel on acid is much, much worse.

I think it’s coming off as if I don’t like people, and you’d be right. I often get this sense that most of the world’s population is deliberately trying to piss me off. I value my sleep and I’m not getting any with constant knocks at the door. You try your best to ignore it, but then you realise that, if it’s the postman with a delivery, he’ll probably just leave whatever it is behind the bins where the feral mutant foxes will take it to their secret underground labyrinth of doom. I honestly saw a squirrel making off with our bird feeder the other day. The animals around here are insane. Except Harry. Harry is our resident hedgehog. He is absolutely tiny and is also rather partial to our bird feeder. You see, the reason we love Harry is that the squirrels run away when we lay eyes on them, but not Harry. No, he just carries on eating. He’s like me with a bacon sandwich during a nuclear holocaust. I’m gonna die pretty soon, so I needn’t worry about clogging my arteries…

Dad named the hedgehog Harry. I don’t know why. I also don’t live in a zoo, in case you’re wondering. This is life in Yorkshire. You just get used to seeing foxes and squirrels everywhere. And hedgehogs. And lots of funny coloured birds. I even saw a parrot the other day. They’re not indigenous to Yorkshire, of course. It’s one of our neighbour’s parrots. It often wakes me up in the middle of the night. Did I mention I don’t like being woken up?

The problem is that I can’t get back to sleep once I’ve been woken up, which is fine, because once I’m asleep, the only thing that would wake me up, naturally, would be the need to vomit, and even then, the only time that happened I didn’t make it to the bathroom and threw up all over the duvet, immediately falling asleep in to it afterwards. I was very tired. I wasn’t going to force myself to stay awake, readers. It’s incredibly rare I get back to sleep afterwards, after all.

Every little thing irritates me. Oh wonderful, I’m awake, I have an early start in the morning, this just isn’t fair! Why does the universe hate me so much! What’s wrong with you, you cosmic bastard! This is the first stage of trying to get back to sleep. Pure anger. I also don’t know why my eyes won’t stop watering. You might think it’s unbearable to live with considering we all wake up throughout the night, but I never do. Never. Not even to pee. It’s only the drunken neighbour who wakes me up. I mean, she’s a nurse, I don’t know why she keeps coming home drunk. And her kids aren’t much better. I was woken up the other day by her seven-year-old, running around outside at two in the morning, swearing at her brother. “Oh, for ****’s sake you ******* little ****, why the **** did you do that for?” It’s a lovely family, it really is. You should see the impressive stockpile of cheap knock-off clothing the father has in the garage. I got me a cracking pair of underwear from Dolce & Banana…

The second stage is very much bargaining. Please God, I need my sleep, this is so unfair. If you ever loved me, you send me back to the land of nod! Why don’t you love me! I go to church once a week, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT! Surprisingly, this never works, so you turn to stage three. You don’t want to get out of bed. You say, ‘If I get up and walk around, I’ll be all awake, so I must remain in bed.’ So you do. You position yourself on your back, in a straight position, for some reason, and you shut your eyes real tight. Aha! If I stay here long enough, I’ll naturally drift off! Also surprisingly, this never works. Many drift off during stage four, the distraction phase. Let’s think about that planning meeting I have in the morning! Just think about all the fascinating PowerPoint presentations I’ll sit through! And all the wonderful conversations with incredibly interesting old men with characters best described as beige. AND THEN… zzzzzz…

Having sat through a planning meeting and then falling asleep during a planning meeting (seriously), I’m often surprised by the fact I never drift off during this stage. Stage five is the point where you are so desperate to get back to sleep that you resort to the old tricks. Warm milk. Never worked for any human ever. Whisky works better. Down a good bottle of that and you’ll be asleep in no time. Sadly, you’ll end up being sacked the next day after your efforts to start a conga at work don’t go down so well.

It’s at this point you probably start counting sheep, but… come on. Has that ever worked for anyone? NO! Of course not! Sheep aren’t boring, they’re inherently funny. You want this to work, imagine a long line of accountants jumping over a fence. Stage six is the one where we all accept that we will never, ever get to sleep ever again for the rest of our lives. That all is pointless. Life is worthless. What is the point of breathing when some arsehole wizard of fate thinks my untold suffering is FUNNY! That I must lie here with a duvet flopping around all over the place, getting in the way and generally being all annoying! The entire world is so against me even the pills aren’t working and neither is the… zzzzzz….

Yes. Acceptance. The best stage. Because when you accept you’re absolutely screwed and there is no hope whatsoever, that’s when you fall asleep. You might think it’s a great idea to jump straight to stage six, but no human can get there the easy way. You have to suffer all six, unfortunately. Still. At least you’re back asleep. You might have lost an hour… or six, and sure, the Sun has risen, but there you are, all toasty and tucked up in bed. Ah. Lovely. Heavenly bliss.



There’s a reason the doctor keeps telling me my blood pressure is way too high, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why…

British author, Sarah Lotz (b. 1971), once wrote: ‘If there is a solar flare or a nuclear war, a thousand cans of pickled turnips aren’t going to save you.’

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
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