Monday, March 23, 2009

Let's Sleep On It

According to a television commercial I saw recently, there are 70 million Americans with insomnia. I can neither prove nor disprove this accounting, but since the commercial is for a mattress retailer, I have to assume they know about sleep, or the lack of it, and would have done their research.

This led down twisted paths of thoughts, this number 70 million. Imagine, on any given night, there are 70 million Americans who, instead of slumbering peacefully in their beds, are wandering about dark houses in search of a cure.

That's 70 million more light bulbs burning for illumination, 70 million more refrigerator doors open and 70 million more televisions running. It seems to me that curing sleep disorders might go a long way towards solving the energy crisis.

That's 70 million more sleep-deprived people with impairments to rational thinking who are watching infomercials. It's no wonder that infomercials are nearly the only fare on late-night television. This is their core audience. Keep someone from sleeping for several nights in a row and it's much easier to convince them that spray-painting their bald spots is just as good as a hair transplant or that they actually want onions diced into perfect squares of equal size, while making thousands of Julien fries.

Perhaps if we cured insomnia, these companies would go out of business and we would be spared the convenience of these inventions, spared the sight of one more aging celebrity who can't get any other job than declaring the efficacy of snake venom as a wrinkle reducer.

I gave up staying up late when Johnny Carson was no longer on the Tonight Show and Ted Turner bought all the great old movies that independent stations used to show all night. In the place of worthy reruns are infomercials. This is what 70 million Americans are forced to watch. We can't bring Johnny back, so we have to cure insomnia, folks. It's our only hope.

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