It’s not always fun having insomnia. Actually, it’s never fun. But if your name is Susan B. Anchovy, and you live in an apartment on West Alabama, well then, you really have it bad. Susan was not only a big insomnia gal, but she was also a hard-working bus driver during the daytime hours. Unfortunately, she’s been fired seven times in the past year.
If you think Susan hasn’t tried to cure her disease, think again. She’s seen all the doctors, taken the pills, and even tried some sketchy natural remedies. Nothing worked. She put lavender on her pillow, but to no avail. She popped five Melatonin tablets but still had so much energy that she went for a twelve-mile run at three o’clock in the morning. But when she gets to work, it all hits her. Falling asleep at the wheel is never great, but when you’re a bus driver, it really is a bad look.
One Tuesday morning she fell asleep at a bus stop. The bus was packed with people trying to get to work on time, so a young man named Hans Smirnoff (first week at Wells Fargo), took the wheel and drove everybody to their destination. And boy, did he do a good job. Made every stop, and he still got to his job on time. And nobody knew that Susan had fallen asleep at the wheel. But a video of her sleeping went viral on Twitter later that afternoon, and she was fired.
Susan eventually gave up hope, and you can’t blame her. When all of your pillows are doused with lavender, every book on your bookshelf is about sleeping, and all your music comes from Spotify’s Sweet Dreams playlist, it can be hard to persevere. She lay in bed, head on pillow, eyes wide open, and mumbled, “I give up.”
Now listen closely. This is not a sad story. Most of the time when you hear someone say, “I give up,” you think it’s a bad thing. But not for sweet Susan. She became the most productive girl I’ve ever seen. She started doing research on plant biology, started a business selling nail clippers, and she even wrote a book detailing her whole life. And she did this all during the nighttime hours. Now the only problem was that she would crash for about three hours every day when the sun came up. Since three hours is not enough sleep, her quality of work was somewhat lower than subpar (if you are an avid golfer, please understand that, while your understanding of the word "subpar" connotes an advantageous outcome, within the context of the present story, "subpar" has a negative connotation, being essentially less good than normal).
Her research essay on plant biology was proven to be entirely false. She claimed that through photosynthesis, plants produce the NBA instead of ATP. She also made bold claims, stating strawberries were the superior fruit, and apples should not be considered real food. The business that sold nail clippers- I’ll give her credit it’s impressive she made it happen- but they were driven out of business after three weeks. She sold twelve sets of clippers, which is not bad considering she lives in a town of thirty five residents (also a bit concerning that so many people didn’t own nail clippers).
Now, the novel she wrote. Her autobiography. That was the biggest disaster of them all. She was talking nonsense from page one. She started out talking about dropping out of high school, but didn’t even mention her experiences in adolescence until page 220. And around page 600, there was a four-page essay about why bananas tasted better than mangos. Susan was losing it, but she cared about fruit.
Looking back on it, it sort of was a sad story. Most insomnia stories are. It’s hard to win when you can’t sleep. Just tired all the time, moping around. It’s a struggle. So if you ever see Susan B. Anchovy, send a smile (and maybe a strawberry) her way because she needs it.
Phrases Explained (Part 3)
The bees knees – A scientist explaining the anatomy of a bee before getting fired
Hit the hay – when a farmer is mad
Cliff-hanger – Your sketchy “friend” who you’re pretty sure hanged his old college roommate, Cliff
Accidents will happen – said by people who are about to cause a problem
Excuse my French – When an idiotic tourist struggles to ask for directions in Paris
Dark horse – sorry, that’s racist
Fast asleep – When a fat guy tries to explain that he goes 7-9 hours without eating every single day
I was tired and confused, and I wished I didn’t have mud all over my face. After falling asleep for the entirety of Abe Lincoln’s remarks in Gettysburg, PA, I woke up annoyed. I lived a few miles down the road, but I really had no intention of attending this lousy event. I had planned to spend the day skipping rocks at the local pond to impress Suzanne (she often visited the pond, so I was pretty sure she would’ve seen me), but instead I had to “listen” to some guy talk.
My friend, well I wouldn’t really call him a friend, Roofus Topper, was the only real reason I showed up. He was all crazy about the war and thought it was just about the neatest thing he ever did see. I really didn’t care. If I don’t have to fight, then I’m not going to pay attention. But when Roofus woke me up, I was laying in the mud, and people were stepping on me as if I were some serf. Roofus started telling me about the speech. He said we were a nation under God, and today marked the birth of a new freedom. I don’t know what it means to be under God, frankly. My family practices Calvinism, but if you ask me, John Calvin was the biggest prick around. I’m supposed to believe that I am destined for Heaven because some fellow named John tells me so. I’m just not sure.
When Roofus saw Abe walking away alone, he pushed me over to run and see him. It was really a dreary day, so I was getting really angry that Roofus made me come to this event in the first place. When he ran back to me, he was holding a piece of paper in his hands. It had a tea stain on it. He kept yelling about how it was the speech Abe had just delivered, but I didn’t care. I was thinking about Suzanne.
When I finally decided to pretend to listen, he gave me the sheet of paper. It was written with a scarlet crayon, which I found off putting. My teachers always tell me to never write in red pen, and I can assure you, Crayon looks even worse. Once I got over the ludicrous color, and the pathetic attempt at cursive, I was able to read most the words. It said something about all men being equal, but based on our bathroom setup at school, I feel like somebody’s being a hypocrite. Then, he brought up the civil war, which I really wished people would just shut up about already. That’s all I hear nowadays. Civil war this, civil war that. Nobody’s taking about this bathroom situation. And nobody’s talking about the fact that our president uses Crayons. Once he started talking about dead people, I realized he gave this speech at a cemetery. That means when I fell asleep in the mud, I was probably sleeping on some fat soldier who couldn’t run away from the guns fast enough. I read a book about guns a few weeks ago, and I'm convinced we should go back to sword fighting. It was more efficient.
Abe later talks about how the world can never forget what the people did here. But I was never told what these dead people did in the first place. He talks about the unfinished work these men fought for, but honestly, I feel like Abe was just rubbing it in. If they’re already dead, you don’t have to emphasize the fact that they didn’t finish their job. He signed his name at the bottom, Abe the babe, which I found childish.
Reading this made me finally snap. I told Roofus to die in a hole, and I think he took the hint. Once he was out of sight, I started walking over to the pond. When I arrived, I started picking up the smoothest rocks I could find. I kept looking around for Suzanne, hoping she would show up and smile in my direction. She never showed. And who am I kidding, I didn’t have a shot with her. I didn’t even know how to skip rocks. I just chunk them at the pond and they fall right in. It’s like throwing a frisbee. I’ve seen other people do it, but when I throw it, it just flies way right, hitting the Johnson’s dog in the face.
I was getting ready to leave when I saw a tall, top hat approaching the pond. It was like seeing a shark fin. It gets your attention, but you only enjoy it from a distance. As it moved closer, I could make out the body underneath it. It was Abe the babe.
He stood across the pond. He smiled at me. It wasn’t a Suzanne smile, but I didn’t care about that dimwit anymore. I’d never seen a smile like this. It just warmed my heart. My heart grew three sizes like the Grinch, and I don’t even know who the Grinch is.
This smile was truly like no other. He had the most beautiful pearly whites in all the land. Toothbrushes aren’t exactly common, but this man had figured something out. They were so clean, I could see my reflection in them all the way across the pond. I could see my ugly smile staring back at me. It made me feel good. Respected. Loved.
Then I realized something.
Those teeth weren’t real.
It was all a scam. He didn’t care about cleaning his teeth. This was no honest Abe that the townspeople made him out to be. This was a man who had no respect for humanity. His smile that once warmed my heart slowly faded. He could see in my eyes that I knew the truth behind his artificial smile. He gave me a head nod, then reached his left hand into his mouth. His hands were massive. This was the first president that had been mistaken for a sasquatch. He reached in his mouth and pulled out his dentures, throwing them into the pond. It was disgusting. He started yelling at me, but he couldn’t speak because he had no teeth. He said something like, “Guary mool yuske ryisk warwar wah,” but one could say that it was more like, “Wulby haj yorfu wicker wam.” To this day, I’m still not sure which one it was. But it was evil.
Spit was flying everywhere, and his body was spazzing out of control. He threw his top hat into the pond, and then shouted “wuffer muffer!” before jumping in after it. His diving form was flawless. He was a pre-modern Greg Louganis. It got quiet for a moment. Dark clouds started to cover the sun. I stood still. Then before you could say “civil war shenanigans,” Abe Lincoln was swimming full speed ahead straight towards me. I didn’t know what to do. This had all happened so fast.
I had to trust my instincts. I threw off my shirt and my burlap sack, and I dove into the pond. I couldn’t see because the pond was disgusting due to pollution (another thing nobody’s talking about), but I kept swimming. I was going as fast as I could until my hand hit a top hat. I started wailing. Fists clenched, I started beating this man. I couldn’t stop myself. We were coming up and out of water, then back down again. I had a remarkable jab to the mouth that would have knocked some teeth out if he had any. That lying bastard. He was getting old, but he put up a good fight. He gained control of the battle when he grabbed my hair and held me underwater. I was fighting ferociously, but he was too strong. I heard a voice call out from above the water. It was Suzanne.
This girl was ready for anything. She jumped into the pond as well, but she had a sledgehammer and was wearing blue and yellow swimming goggles. She knew how to prepare. Abe got scared and started to swim away frantically, but Suzanne was too fast. She caught up to him and knocked him out with one strike. He didn’t die or anything, but he definitely wasn’t organizing any battles that night.
When I finally walked over to the bench near the pond to thank Suzanne, I looked her in the eyes for the first time. Her eyes had this gruesome yellow tinge to them. It was really unsettling. She said not to worry about it then asked me if I wanted to go on a date with her to see her friend play in a rugby game. I told her no because I had to go home to shower.
I was upset with myself, I’m not gonna lie. I had attempted to murder the president because he was a liar, but I was a liar myself. I was able to cope with it. Abe was a lying moron. But in my case, I just can’t look at yellow eyes. It’s gross.
Comments that Guarantee no Second Date
“Would you like to go to Soul Cycle tomorrow?”
“I thought we could start with some icebreakers.”
“Humans do not actually exist.”
“I don’t believe in washing your hands.”
“Who’s Paul McCartney?
“You’re totally a Virgo.”
“Ariana Grande has really brought something new to music.”
“There are certain situations when manslaughter is ok.”
“No spoilers!” (when you mention the film Titanic)
“Add me on Snapchat!"
Comments that Deserve No Response
“Truth or dare!”
“Can I ask you a weird question?"
“You see that girl over there?”
“I think I know you.”
“You look tired.”
"What time is it?"
“I didn’t technically cheat on you.”
“The urinals here are really cool.”
“I don’t think we should talk anymore.”
Just turn and walk away
“I’m pursuing an acting career, and I’d like to tell you about it.”
“I’m traveling around Europe for a few years to find myself.”
“You won’t believe this!”
“I just don’t know if he likes me or not.”
“What do you mean by ‘annoying?’”
“Nice to meet you” (when they have bad breath)
“Dude, I got plastered last night, you won’t believe what happened.”
“I had a ham sandwich for lunch” (when you ask them what they did over the summer)
“You haven’t seen Hamilton on Broadway?!”
“What frat are you in?”
©2023 Jake Schick