As you might know from my #FF tweet, I took my kids to Walt Disney World this weekend.
Following the advice of a 2014 unofficial guidebook (because it’s not written by anyone working at/for Disney) to arrive at the park early, I decided I had to leave my house at 3:30 a.m. on Friday morning, so that I could be at Epcot at 8:00 a.m., giving myself margin for rest stops, hotel check-in, and any unplanned event that might pop up.
On Thursday night, against my better judgment, I went to sleep at 11:00 p.m. tying up some loose ends. On Friday morning, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and finally left my house at 3:40 a.m., which is not bad considering that I had to get two very tired boys up and running while trying to wake up myself.
As soon as my kids hit the back seat, they went back to sleep. I found myself on the road, in the dark, and in silence as I didn’t want to put on the radio and wake them up. The first hour was ok. But after two hours of silent darkness (and only 4 hours of sleep) I started to feel sleepy, and I started wondering what I could do to stay awake.
I began to sing “Happy” silently. But this led me to yawn—unhappily— several times, and to the realization that I needed to find another solution, fast. My next move was to push my hands against the steering wheel and lock my elbows as if I were pushing away a kisser with really bad breath. But I kept yawning.
It then dawned on me that pain is the most effective sleep killer ever created. Anyone who has ever woken up in the middle of the night in pain can attest to it. Thus, I proceeded to hurt myself and painfully came up with this short list of the most effective sleep killers I tried:
1. Pull off pimple scabs. It feels like you’re pealing off a mini band-aid, except it’s your skin. Pimple scabs are stubborn. They take a long time to be pulled off. Keep at it, until you bleed. Allow blood flow to stop. Then, re-start process if any piece of scab is still present (which is often the case).
2. Scratch your head as if your hand were a brillo pad and your scalp were covered in baked-on grease.
3. Pound your thigh as if it were pizza dough or as if you’re undergoing an extreme anti-cellulite treatment at a French spa with a German masseuse.
4. Slap yourself as if you were a man vigorously applying after-shave lotion, or a woman slapping her husband after finding out that he’s cheated.
If at any point you need a break from these painful practices, there is a fifth thing that you can do that does not hurt, yet is very effective. You can emit gas from the anus by applying pushing pressure to the belly area, otherwise known as farting. Now, I personally didn’t try this because I never fart, of course. However, the smell that would sometimes seep into my car as I cruised on Florida’s Turnpike, made me think of this option as a possible solution.
So the next time you feel like hugging the steering wheel, as you’re driving 70+ miles an hour, try any or a combination of the above. Four will make you painfully aware, one will provide you certain relief. All will keep you awake.
On Wednesday, I will give you a few opinions of my Disney weekend. In the meantime, don’t sleep and drive. Actually, do sleep [first], then drive.