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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

A Day-Trip to Bizarro World

Man, was that a weird day.

It started out pretty weird, and settled into a nice, comfortable weird, and then just maintained weird throughout the whole day. It’s like the day took off from the weirdport this morning, and reached a certain cruising altitude of weird, and just hasn’t landed yet. I’m just about ready to put the whole bizarre damned thing to bed and try again tomorrow, but I thought I’d share a couple of the stranger tidbits with you before I hit the sackypoo.

The first odd thing that happened was that I heard my wife’s alarm clock this morning. Now, you might not consider this to be particularly out of the ordinary. After all, we sleep in the same bed; my pillow is approxitudely four feet from her alarm at all times. So when the bastard little thing makes a bunch of racket in the morning — just about every damned morning — you might think it only natural that I would hear it.

But I don’t. Not normally.

See, for one thing, my wife sets her alarm for an ungodly early hour. I think I’ve mentioned this before. I’m convinced that she’s got a secret life of some kind that she’s living entirely before eight am every day. I don’t know what the hell she’s doing — writing a novel, or fighting crime, maybe. Or doing crime, for all I know. Maybe she’s the one who turns the little crank to make the sun come up every morning — honestly, I don’t know. All I know is that the little machine on her nightstand starts squawking at a quarter till five in the morning. And yet, I don’t hear it. Not usually.

But another thing I know is that it takes my brain a while to wind down before I can go to sleep. And the later I stay up, the longer it seems to take to fall into sleepy-bye land. I’ve found that if I don’t get to bed by 4am, bad things happen. One bad thing in particular, which is that I actually hear my wife’s alarm before I fall asleep. So I always make sure to get to bed before four. Always.


But not last night. Last night, I schlepped to bed at a quarter after four. I was working, and writing, and watching bad late-night TV, and lost track of the time. By the time I wrapped up the work, and posted my entry, and… um, uh, found out how Buffy got out of her latest mess, it was later than I thought.

And of course, when I finally got to bed, I couldn’t sleep. I just lay there, thinking about how it was after four, and how if I wasn’t careful, I’d be awake when my wife’s alarm went off. All I could think about was how desperately I needed to fall asleep, so I’d miss the alarm going off. Because once I’m asleep, it’s game over — Dick Vitale with a bullhorn and jingle bells on couldn’t wake me up before eight. But that assumes I’m already asleep. Which I wasn’t. And I wasn’t getting there, either.

Finally, after a half-hour or so of that crap, I started to drift off. Which is when the alarm went off, of course. I learned that my wife wakes up to talk radio. How she wakes up to it, when it’s seemingly designed to put people to sleep, I don’t know. But it works for her, I guess. And, as soon as the thing actually went off, I fell into a dead sleep. I didn’t even hear her hit the snooze button.

So, that was strange enough. Anything that happens at that hour is weird. Much less talk radio. Just creepy.

Anyway, everything was cool until about nine thirty. At least, I assume it was cool — I was dead to the world until then, when the phone woke me up. I didn’t bother to answer it; the damned phone always rings around nine or ten o’clock in the morning. Some day I’ll actually be awake and annoy whoever’s on the other end with some of the shit I wrote about yesterday. Or I’ll just primal scream into the receiver, as a sort of ‘negative reinforcement’ deterrent to make the assbadgers stop calling my house. The imporant thing, though, is that I’ve been working on about four hours of sleep all day. Maybe that’s why things were so strange.

By the time I left the house, it was time for lunch. There’s this great little sandwich place near my old office — and on my way to work — so I decided to stop in for my ‘usual’.

(Chicken cutlet with onions, lettuce, and jalapenos, if you’re keeping track of such things. Now you know what to get me for Christmas, eh?)

The problem with this place is that there’s not much parking near it. Or rather, there’s a lot of parking, on all sides, but it’s all ‘Resident Only’ permit parking. So you risk a ticket any time you stop there for any length of time. But I’m cool with that — I’ve got a system. I go an extra block past the ‘hot spot’ area where the meter bitches swarm, and then duck a half-block down the next side street. I’ve parked there dozens of times, and never gotten a ticket. It’s damned near infallible.

So, of course, today that side street was blocked off for road work. I had no choice but to park on the main road. I was still a block down the street. There were plenty of spots. I would only be there for five minutes. Honestly, what are the chances that some pissant parking peckerette would happen by and leave me a ticket? Honestly? Chances? What?

Well, if you said, ‘one hundred percent‘, folks, you’d of course be correct. I even saw the sneaky little bitch in the sandwich shop when I was leaving. I wondered whether she might have seen my car on the way in, but I thought, ‘Nahhhhh‘. After all… what were the chances? Dammit, I should’ve spit in her hoagie. I knew she looked shifty. Gah.

Okay, last thing. I also had my ’employee performance review’ sneak up on me today. I wrote a self-deprecation… er, self-evaluation, that is — a few weeks ago, but I didn’t know quite what would come of it, or when. Well, apparently, what comes of such a thing is a one-on-one meeting with one of my (several) bosses. And it happens today. Eep.

Actually, it went quite well, unnerving though it was. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time somebody said such nice things about me. Hell, the toasts at my wedding were snarkier than that. My frigging resume doesn’t talk me up so much. And I lie on it! A lot!

So, it turned out to be pretty cool, I guess. Still, weird. The whole day was just goofy. And now I am, too. I’m not sure any of this boobered crap has made any sense. That’s what I get for staying at the office until eleven, and trying to write again tonight. And here it is, two thirty in the morning again. My circadian rhythm is shot. I’ll be drooling on my dinner plate, and snoring in my Wheaties, if I keep this up.

So, I’m bagging. Hopefully, there was something in all of this that was worth reading. I frankly don’t remember much of it at this point, so it’s a little hard for me to know. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m hitting the sack. There’s no way in hell I want to hear pre-five am talk radio two days in a fricking row. I don’t know how my wife does it. Crazy!

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