McKeithan Column|Sleep dont come easy… And some stuff about animals, too
Published 5:12 am Friday, July 3, 2009
As if I dont have enough trouble sleeping to begin with …
Lately, there has been a nightly barrage of incidents that guarantee a restful nights sleep isnt in my future. Recently, we were startled awake at 2:30 a.m., mind you by the shrill, goose bump-rendering, nerve-wrenching, Rosanne-like-singing, screech of our smoke detector.
Hunky husband! my beautiful wife screamed in her own upper-octave falsetto, We must have a fire! (Cue the high-pitched, violin pulses from the shower scene of Psycho.)
Gosh, I hope so, I said unaffected while fluffing my pillow, at least I wont have to change the batteries.
Ill admit that Im not proud that my first reaction wasnt to spring into action; but its happened SO MANY TIMES! I knew the drill: Spend 15 minutes looking for a battery; 10 minutes for the ladder; a 20 minute trip to Walgreens for ear plugs; 10 minutes for coffee to percolate; tote the ladder (husbands responsibility); place ladder under detector; fumble awkwardly til daybreak.
Then invariably the adventure ends with me swinging violently at the ceiling with a baseball bat.
I think our pets are also part of a mysterious underworld plot to deprive me of third-stage REM sleep. We have a cat named Marbles, which is ironic since he doesnt have any (neutered, if you get my meaning). Our dog, Abby, was a free dog weve had for a year (that has cost me $5,364.23 so far).
As I said; sleep dont come easy in the McKeithan home. Marbles may no longer have urges to reproduce, but he sure hasnt lost his hunting instincts. He ventures out into the jungle swamp lands known locally as Macswoods and often returns with some creature in the clinch of his jaws.
Like the big jungle cats of Africa, Marbles does his most effective hunting in the darkness of night. He brings his trophies to our back door to the triumphant howling of our admiring dog. Her incessant loud barking must be canine for Give me some … give me some … give me some … give me some!
Her woofing-pleas are so loud in fact that they awaken me each night (at precisely 2:30 a.m.). These barks also startle other loud dogs, the neighbors and their car alarms.
I, therefore as encouraged by my beautiful wife must go see what Marbles has and calm Abby down. What Marbles usually has is a half-alive sweet little animal. It becomes his play toy. You see, Marbles doesnt hunt for food; he does it for fun.
As I try to rescue the poor creature, Marbles will stalk it and suddenly lurch; much like me at the Pizza Inn buffet line. The difference is, when I take a bite of my chocolate chip Pizzert, I finish it. Marbles, on the other hand, will walk away leaving the mauled creature to fend for itself.
Guess who remains to take care of my beasts little plaything? Correcto. Me. Dr. Doolittle. Usually to no avail my patients have a zero percent survival rate.
The tiny rabbit I rescued last week was sure to survive I thought. I put him in a box with food and water and brought him inside to our utility room. We are all familiar with rabbits in magic acts. Pulling a rabbit from a hat is the oldest trick in the book. However, I learned its not the magician who is the master of illusion its the RABBIT!
When I went to check on our poor new pet, the rabbit had disappeared. It was no longer in the box, or the utility room for that matter! Poof! Gone! PRESTO-WHAMO!
Later in the day, determined to solve the mystery, I moved the dryer and found lil Bugs Bunny nestled in the corner, warming itself near dryer lint.
I have many more stories of nocturnal nuisances and sleepless nights, but Im too exhausted to write about them now.
Its time for an energy boost as darkness settles in. I think Ill go stalk some Stromboli at Pizza Inn.
Obligatory McKeithan column disclaimer: Fire safety is not a laughing matter. Smoke detector batteries should be changed at least twice yearly so late-night battery changing incidents wont be necessary.
Ray McKeithan is associate publisher of the Washington Daily News. Your negative comments about McKeithan or his writing may be sent directly to his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.