Sorry I'm a couple minutes late, class...
''Sixteen minutes, Mr. Cole.''
OK, I'm a tad tardy, Todd, but the stupid alarm clock...
''Let us guess, it didn't go off again.''
It went off, Jennifer. And off and off and off. What a horrible racket to suffer at such an hour. Yes, Sarah?''
''Isn't that the whole point of an alarm clock, sir?''
Who knows? It's probably some torture device dreamed up in a medieval dungeon. It kept ringing even after I heaved it across the room. I snatched my glass of water off the nightstand and threw it at it. Then the lamp. Finally, I hurled the whole nightstand. Clocked it good. The alarm quit but I nearly slept through the fire.
Never throw a lamp where you've thrown a glass of water. An alarm clock is piercing enough, but try sleeping through fire sirens. Anyway, what lesson were we supposed to cover today? Yes, Roger?
''How night owls can transform into early birds.''
Why would anyone want to become a morning person? On purpose?
''Well, Mr. Cole, most jobs start in the morning. You need to show up to get paid. To show up, you need to get up.''
That's why I work a night shift. It's impossible to turn yourself into a morning person. That's insane. Yes, Mary?
''It's possible. You just need to reset your circadian cycle.''
So like the cicadas, I'll only be buzzed awake once every 17 years? Sounds sweet.
''Not cicadas, the insects. I said circadian cycle. It's like a 24-hour biological clock. It determines when you feel awake.''
Please, it's too early in the morning for cruel jokes. What do you want now, Todd?
''I've been reading up on it. Actually, reading a book at night is one of the retraining methods. You lie down and read to relax.''
That didn't work. It was a mystery. I didn't find out whodunit until 4 a.m. The butler really did it.
Yep. Poisoned sleeping pills. So what else have you got?
''The book says set a proper bedtime, then turn off the TV, laptop and everything else two hours before then. Make it quiet and dark.''
That didn't work either. I plopped in my easy chair and snuggled under an afghan. Then I saw the spider on the wall. I watched for hours as it spun a web. Then I unraveled the afghan to see if I could tie the yarn into the same pattern. Got tangled up in my web by 3 a.m. Took me until 4 to get free. Then I had to hide the remains of the afghan before my wife woke up. It was her afghan.
''Mr. Cole, you ... Never mind. So when the alarm goes off early in the morning, pop out of bed and exercise.''
At my age, Todd, getting out of bed IS exercise. By the time all my joints finish snapping, crackling and popping back into place, and I stop limping and creaking, I'm so exhausted that I need a nap.
''Anyway, sir, eat a good breakfast full of protein...''
I do. At noon. Or 1 p.m.
''No, no, no, at 6 a.m.''
Hold on. There's a 6 o'clock in the morning too? I knew there was a 6 p.m., but never a 6 a.m.
''Mr. Cole, I'm getting a headache.''
Well of course you are. It's only 9 a.m., far too early to be awake. For homework, everybody go home and go back to bed. That's how to become a morning person.
---- Yawn with Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.