Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wake up call

A fair few years ago a friend of mine came to stay at my house. He was looking for a job in the big smoke, so I agreed to put him up for a week so that he didn't have to remortgage his home in order to rent a flea-ridden room in a hotel somewhere.
He was quiet and house-trained, and he also got on well with my dog, so all was peaceful.
Except for the snoring that is.
He was one of those people who could set off nearby car alarms with his rumblings, and as the spare room was right next to mine, I got the brunt of it.
The first night it happened, Pudsey and I sat bolt upright in bed fearing that a train had crashed in the back garden it was that bad, and nearing the end of his stay I was willing to try smothering him with a pillow to make it stop.
I blearily asked him one morning if he knew just how loud his snoring was, to which he cheerfully replied, "Oh it's not that bad, I'm just a very heavy sleeper. It doesn't bother me".
'Well it bothers me and my dog' I muttered under my breath, but as there was only one more night of it to go through I decided it wasn't worth getting banged up in Holloway, and resigned myself to another night of the sound of chainsaws reverberating my brain.
Over dinner that last evening, he informed me that he had an early start the next morning, as he was on an apex ticket and couldn't miss his train out from Paddington. Not wanting to go through another sleepless night I volunteered him the loan of all my alarm clocks so that he would be sure to wake up in time, but he declined saying that as he was such a deep sleeper, he just slept though alarm calls of any kind.
So I said I would wake him up.
He laughed, and replied that I could try, but no-one had managed to do so before.
'Right, you're on', I thought, and that night, to the sound of cows being strangled and accompanying outboard motors, I hatched my plan.
While he dreamt on in the Land of Nod, I gathered a few supplies, to whit -
  • A portable cassette player
  • A metal dustbin lid
  • A metal colander
  • A bucket of icy water
  • And a small sleep-deprived dog
At 05:40 hours, I crept into his room and set everything up.
At 05:45 I went into action.
First, I switched the tape player on so that Motorhead's Ace of Spades blared out at full volume, then I threw the icy water on him, and began to bash the colander and dustbin lid together whilst shouting at the top of my lungs, "WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!"
Pudsey joined in by jumping on the bed and worrying his feet and barking.
Hardly surprisingly, he did indeed wake up, screaming in terror as he did.
I was treated to a sight that would take copious amounts of brain-floss to remove, but it was so worth it.