Column: There must be a better way to start the day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Al Batt, Tales from Exit 22

Your clock radio goes off. It plays a funeral dirge. Some disc jockey’s idea of a joke, you suppose. You’d laugh, but that particular ability does not kick in until you’ve had that third cup of coffee.&160;The news comes on. Listening to the newscaster blather on, you come to realize that bad news, while it may travel fast, doesn’t travel fast enough.&160;Thoughts of smashing the clock radio cross your mind, but why kill the messenger?

&160; Mornings used to be so wonderful. The best time of the day.&160;Quiet. It was a time when a person could think. A time to raid the unsuspecting cookie jar. Those were the days. Then you started the first grade. Suddenly mornings became the time of the day when the outside world would snatch you from the cozy cocoon that was your home. Strangers began to yell at you, a privilege previously allowed only to family members.&160;Time has passed. People still yell at you. Sometimes people you don’t even know yell at you. To top it all off, you have become part of the target group for telemarketers. A member of this lower life form calls you during every meal and tries to sell you things you do not want at prices even Bill Gates would say were too high. Or they attempt to get you to change long distance telephone providers by throwing a bunch of cheap rates at you. After signing up, you discover that these cheap rates are good only on calls to Ireland between the hours of 2:47 a.m. and 3:14 a.m. on the fifth Tuesday of any month. They call so often you begin to wish that Alexander Graham Bell had invented the Graham cracker instead of the telephone. This is what awaits you the minute you get out of bed.

Is this why you find it hard to get out of the bed in the morning? Who doesn’t? Maybe Oprah Winfrey finds it easy. Who wouldn’t want to get up, be fussed over by obedient servants, go on TV in front of millions of adoring fans and talk about yourself for 50 minutes? But don’t get me started.

&160; You have good reasons for lying in bed as late as you possibly can. A person your age needs plenty of sleep. Isn’t some doctor some place always telling someone to get enough sleep? I think that’s because a lot of physicians have invested heavily in sleepwear stocks. It’s difficult to get enough sleep. I’m sure most of you are aware of the HBO conspiracy. Why does HBO insist on running a really good movie so late at night? They do it so more people will stay up too late, not be able to make it to work on time, losing their jobs in the process, thereby giving the newly unemployed plenty of time to sit around like a great lump on the couch and watch even more HBO.&160;Why not tape the show, you ask?&160;Do you really want to go through that again? Remember the agony of defeat you felt the last time you tried to record a critical episode of &8220;Desperate Housewives,&8221; only to discover that when you watched it that you had mistakenly taped &8220;The Lawrence Welk Show&8221; instead? It’s so embarrassing having to ask one of the kids to program the VCR for you. The first 13 or 40 times they showed you how were bad enough. The kids realize you don’t know everything, but you would like them to&160;believe that you&160;know something.

&160; Some folks get up and run early in the morning. Some of us refuse to jog on that bandwagon. The early morning runners are the only life form known to be even lower than telemarketers Š lower body fat, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure Š&160;well, you get the idea. That’s why they are so easy to hate.

&160; But why lie in bed? When was the last time you got breakfast in bed? You have already perfected your snoring technique. Then there is that guy from the temp service who has been eyeing your job. You need to catch him taking a paper clip home from the office. You might as well get up. There are a lot of people who depend on you. True, most of them do work for credit card companies or the IRS, but they have to get out of bed, too. Take solace in that knowledge.

&160; You struggle out of bed, telling yourself that it is a far, far better thing you do than you have ever done before. You shower, shave, choke down some breakfast, and head out the door, hoping you haven’t forgotten anything. You arrive at the office to find that you did forget one thing.&160;It’s your day off.

(Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Sunday and Wednesday.)