Call me lazy if you’re offended, shiftless if you’re frustrated, “just not a morning person” if you’re my mom… but whatever you call me, please do so quietly if you’re doing it any time before noon. Even if I happen to be up before then, perhaps for one of the generally vile reasons listed below, I definitely won’t be excited about it, and if I can manage it, I’ll be sitting somewhere in a darkened corner, accomplishing nothing but cobbling together a vague plot to sneak in a nap before lunch.
Being a realistic person, however, I do recognize almost daily demands on my rising before noon, so my final line in the sand comes at 8 AM. That is when Night gives way to Morning, my friends, and I don’t care what your grandfather, snooty religious friends, pre-dawn joggers, or Buddha himself has to say differently. To even think of hitting this elusive mark, I have to make sure to cut my evenings off sometime shortly before Marines begin their morning pushups, and that in itself casts a dark cloud over the next day.
Unsurprisingly, most of this list was composed after midnight, as I pondered the reasons for waking up before Morning(TM) that would not necessarily drive me to a multi-state killing spree or hostage situation at the local sleep clinic.
1. You received a tip from Publisher’s Clearing House that they’re on their way – If you’ve got CallerID, and you for some reason already know the Prize Patrol’s business cell number for corroboration, sure, go ahead, I won’t blame you for putting on some pants to wait by the door. Personally, I’d just tell them to stick the enormous check between the doors, and take a picture of said check by my really cool, really surprised front door.
Or, if they absolutely need something so trite as a living, breathing grateful person, I’d tell them to stop by my neighbor’s house instead, present him with the check (making sure he doesn’t notice the To line), film the required reaction shot, and then tell him “Thanks” from me and that I may share $50 or so from my jackpot with him, IF he agrees to stop washing his car in those shorts. He’d know the ones I would mean.
2. There is a Fire in the House – This is an obvious, eye-rolling exception, except if you have a good reason to pretty strongly believe that someone else is, or may soon be, already up and handling the situation. They will obviously wake you, your wife, helpless children, kittens, etc. when, or if, you truly need to be awoken.
3. Your boss repeatedly demands it – If you are being hassled at work —nay, un-Constitutionally discriminated against for your clear disability— by an overbearing, old-fashioned, supervisor, manager, Chief Surgical Resident, executive, or Man, be sure to point out the 21st century’s finest (make sure to drip condescension on that description, you’ll thank me later) solution to this problem, telecommuting.
Should the telecommuting options for your particular job —such as janitor, professional athlete, telecommunications liaision, assembly line stamper, or firefighter— not make themselves immediately apparent, take the initiative and demonstrate the ways you will revolutionize their business model by lowering their facility-maintenance and pants-related expenses down to near zero. Make sure to begin accomplishing this by 9 AM, 10 AM at the latest, at least on this first day.
4. If you have slept nearly continuously for more than 24 hours – At some point, we can all agree: enough is enough. One cannot sleep one’s life away, and the world cannot fairly be expected to bend past a certain point to accommodate someone’s greedy bed-hogging. If nothing else, you should empty out your emergency jug (or jugs, for those who get thirstiest right before bed) as a courtesy to anyone who might check in on you and become dangerously curious as to why you would so urgently require large quantities of hot apple juice while recuperating from an unspecified illness.
But, in your defense, since we all haven’t yet technically agreed WHEN enough is enough, you cannot legally be judged harshly for keeping a good thing going until you hear otherwise. And hearing that alarm buzzing away and seeing single-digit numbers will likely just trigger a relapse for you, anyway, so it’s safest to hang in there until closer to noon, whether it’s Day 2 or Day 4.
Editor’s Note: Consider not topping off that last jug before exiting the bedroom, what with all the potential for spilling and sloshing in capping and transit.
5. You’re facing a fifth repeat of a year in school – This one is hard to argue with, but as usual, I’ll try my best. You’ve got to go to school, right? Not necessarily. The primary purpose of organized school is for indoctrination into modern institutional living. And even if you haven’t yet moved through all the grades, you’ve put in your years– there’s only so much they can teach you at this point, anyway. All you have to do is blackmail your parents into moving “out of the district” without registering you for school, and then you just lay low (perhaps, in bed?) until you’re 16.
While it’s true I probably learned those kinds of critical thinking skills in school, it’s okay, because I’m sharing them with you here, so that’s just another reason why you don’t need to get up and go out to learn them for yourself. Now get back to bed and stop making me look bad.