Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
On a recent business trip after a vehement and somewhat violent disagreement with a Chicken Francaise I'd eaten some hours earlier, I found myself both totally exhausted and absolutely unable to fall into a slumberous state. I'd tried all the usual old tricks; not counting sheep, nor acts of sexual perversion, nor counting smaller, somewhat fluffier sheep did the trick. I'd all but given in to despair when I discovered a terrific game that changed my evening, and possibly my life. By making it a lot more scary.
Say you're at a hotel across the street from the convention center in Atlanta, or even on a solitary vacation by The Great Wall -- part of the beauty, you see, is that this game can work anywhere, even your own home, provided you're not sharing a bed. You close your eyes and wait for sleep like a patsy, but that hideous bitch goddess is out whoring around as she sometimes is. There will be no loving embrace from the entity that is restfulness, and you're considering watching The 700 Club
until you can justify sneaking a cup of coffee. Here is what you do:
Close your eyes. Tell yourself that you refuse to open them, no matter how strong the impulse, until morning comes. Lie flat on your back or stomach, whichever is most comfortable. Take long, slow, relaxing breaths. Feel your chest rise and fall. Wonder, subconsciously, over the beautiful life form that is you -- body, brain, and soul. Be aware of your own importance in this vast and strange dimension. Feel your littlest toe fall into a peaceful state. Revel in the sensation. Now let all of her evolutionary-anomaly bigger brothers and sisters join her in this nirvana. Focus on the bliss as it crawls onto the mainland of the foot, up the calves, over the aching knees, through the defeated hamstrings, and up over the entirety of your physical being.
At this point you should find yourself in a completely relaxed state. If you do not, repeat the above steps as needed, or bash head with large mallet. Now, keeping your eyes closed, gesture with your head toward the corner of the room you can visualize most poorly, saying either aloud or in your head, "Except for that guy over there,..." and finish the sentence with your own improvised and unique clause. Examples that most easily come to mind are, "Except for that guy over there, I am the most interesting person in this room," and, "Except for that guy over there, nobody would know it if I just died right here and now." Also not to be forgotten is the extremely popular (read: overused), "Except for that guy over there, not a single person in the room has committed several brutal murders of people who, perhaps coincidentally, happen to be of my particular ethnic background."
Continue until you've urinated in the bed out of fear or have laughed yourself to sleep. In the case of the former, embrace the warm hug of your liquid waste. You'll be catching zees in no time.
As marvelous as this game is, it is imperfect. You're three times more likely to choke to death on a pillow if you've fallen asleep laughing than you are if you've fallen to sleep in nearly any other condition. And if it's the summertime and you've left the air conditioner on, you may well catch pneumonia from the freezing urine by morning. Also, you will find it absolutely impossible to stop playing until you're unconscious. Even when you try to -- even if you stop mentally saying, "except for that guy over there..." you will continue to focus on him and what he's up to until you are technically unable to do so.
There are those who complain that the game is more Poe than Parker Bros. These fools belabor a moot point. Has anybody ever found it easier to rest after a game of "Sorry!"? I thought not. The mere punctuation of the title alone suggests heightened activity. "Monopoly"? Forget it. You're better off pinching yourself to sleep. Don't even get me started on the perils of "Yahtzee." Yessir, if any game can put you to sleep, it's "Except for that Guy..." Just ask That Guy.