You Know You Are An Insomniac If

After witnessing the popularity of recent book titles such as “You Might Be a Redneck If…”, “You Might Be Rush Limbaugh If…” and “You Are Most Likely Stuck In Someone Else’s Trunk If…” I decided the time has come to write my own words of wisdom about some of my quirky personality traits. My first thought was to write about being a computer geek. While I saw a lot of potential in this aspect of my life, the real inspiration came to me at 5:30 in the morning when I was watching “Invisible Mom 2.”

Now I don’t want to go ruining the surprise for those readers out there who have “Invisible Mom, the prequel to Invisible Mom 2” on video tape and plan to watch it later on in the week. The basic plot is that the mother in the family can for some reason turn completely invisible. The only way the other characters know she is around is through seeing the movement of otherwise inanimate objects, hearing her voice, and looking at any recently consumed food in her digestive tract. And sometimes she became visible at just the wrong moment for reasons I don’t understand. I fully expect that aspect of the movie to be completely explained in the next film in the series which is tentatively being called “Invisible Step Mom.”

So what is so important about this movie? In all honesty, the movie itself is only half of the equation. This movie, and countless others come on in what I refer to as the “golden hours” of the night. It’s too early for HBO to start showing their children’s programming, but it’s too late to spool up another soft porn movie. This seems to be the time when I get the most productive work done. And please keep in mind that the phrase “most productive” is relative to the rest of my day. Sometimes just doing less damage to the world in general can be productive.

If you are anything like me, you wisely spent this “golden hour” wondering why telephones and calculators have their numbers in a different order. I’m not a brain surgeon, but I suspect these types of random thoughts running about freely in my head while I’m sleeping may contribute to my somewhat abnormal sleeping habits. Well, maybe not having a steady job for the past year might be a contributing factor.

Just to set the record straight, calculators have the 1,2,3 row on the bottom row while telephones put it on the top row. I’m not really upset about this arrangement, but the fact that it took me 27 years to figure it out bothered me. The 4,5,6 row always seems to be middle and zero is always at the bottom. Why couldn’t everyone agree on a common format?

After quickly dismissing the idea of getting “everyone” to agree on this, I started thinking which system is better. If you start typing numbers in a word processing document from lowest to highest, the lower numbers would appear to be higher on the screen. However, if you gathered up a bunch of people at a party and arranged them by height you would have the shorter people closer to the ground and the taller ones closer to the ceiling. While it proves a point, this does not make for a very amusing social get together. You know you are at a bad party if someone does this and it becomes a highlight of the evening.

Of course I haven’t even gotten into zero yet. No matter what, zero appears at the bottom in a row without any other numbers. That doesn’t seem to be very fair to the other numbers who are forced to share. It seems that since zero and one are neighbors on the number line that they should be close together everywhere else. Now every where I go I look to see which order numbers appear. Calculators and full sized computer keyboards put the lower numbers at the bottom. Telephones and remote controls all seem to put the low numbers on tops. Automated Teller Machines go both ways. But I digress. From what, I’m not sure.

While I couldn’t possibly write down every single thought that I’ve had tonight, here are a few of the other questions that I have been pondering. How much do my lava lamps add to the electricity bill? Should I go out and say hi the person delivering my newspaper? What is Kathleen going to dress up as for Halloween? How long until the mustard in my refrigerator goes bad? Why is the ceiling in my apartment more bumpy than the walls? If you are asking these questions as you stay awake all night, you just might be an insomniac.