Tuesday 22 September 2009


When recently, I appealed to the Sandman to bring me a dream - and make her the cutest that I’ve ever seen, I now suspect that (A) He was on Facebook at the time grooming the tooth fairy (B) He had popped outside for a cigarette or (C) The idiot had fallen asleep himself and didn’t hear me. Because the riposte that arrived shortly after 2am was not in the genre that I had wished for.

Because like the spores from an unrelenting fungi of dry rot, commercialisation has finally infiltrated the haven and tranquillity found within the inner sanctuary of the human spirit. That wonderful diversion and anaesthesia from life’s daily struggle, that we call sleep.

Exceeding even the mega sized KFC Colonel logo in the Nevada desert that’s visible on Google Earth, or the concept of Saatchi & Saatchi using powerful lazer beams to project the Cheddar Cheese brand name onto the surface of the moon.

The Sandman, purveyor of fine sleep dust and dreams, who even had a hit song by The Corvettes named after him, has finally gone commercial and is now selling corporate advertising slots during peak periods of snoozing.

Although there has never been any official sighting of the Sandman, strong evidence such as the ‘sleep’ in our eyes upon waking (the result of sand or sleep dust sprinkled in our eyes) suggests his existence is more than likely and furthermore, witness statements suggest he is quite a seedy little fellow unlike modern folklore would like us to suppose.

As it happens one night earlier this year, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of something or somebody shuffling around in my bedroom. I was terrified and I lay there dead still, like a kid with an ogre under his bed.

A feeling of foreboding pounded heavily upon my chest cavity until finally, in my quandary I somehow stumbled upon enough courage to open just one eye, very slowly, revealing to my horror what resembled a rather dwarf like creature pulling up his trousers. And it was at this point when I think I must have past out.

Circumstantial evidence more noticeable the following morning in the light of day, left me convinced that I had actually been visited by the Sandman himself, who had interfered and meddled with me while I was sleeping.

What’s more, with his dream story-lines and plots deteriorating rapidly, repeats are being re-run far too often. Far too frequently, I’ve woken up quite disheartened and thought to myself, “Mmm . . . I’ve had that dream before”.

As if some of my dreams aren’t already bad enough. On this recent occasion, I believed I’d woken up with my head on back to front.

This was not only both realistic and genuinely frightening, but opened up an entire new genre of rational thinking making me appreciate just how blessed we are that evolution has positioned our heads pointing in the same direction as our feet.

Mealtimes were particularly messy. When my girlfriend and I went out for dinner I spent the entire evening with my head facing the wrong way in the direction of a couple sat at the table behind me, resulting with the husband accusing me of staring at his wife’s breasts all evening and asking me outside for a fight.

So there I was, out back in the car park stumbling tentatively around with all the co-ordination of a handcuffed crab. Like a plasticine freak in a pre CGI Sinbad movie, stepping backward to move forward and vice versa, swiping at thin air, when suddenly in all my confusion, an uppercut came from nowhere and caught me hard under my chin.

My feet left the ground and I took off, landing heavily and pessimistically in the recovery position several metres away and it was at this instant, when my nightmare suddenly paused - and cut to a commercial break, including one for cat food, Weetabix and an insurance supermarket website.

Other examples of malpractice by Mr Sandman include falling asleep in the middle of a good film, on a bus passenger’s shoulder, sleep talking, sleep walking, wet dreams and gross misrepresentation of the widely used term ‘beauty sleep’.

It’s no wonder then that complaints to the UK Sleep & Dream Ombudsman and Watchdog have risen so steeply over this last decade calling for the Sandman to be struck off the register of practicing certified sleep specialists.

Curiously enough, whilst writing these last few paragraphs, I have a profound feeling of impending doom, as weariness takes hold of my entire body and I feel as though I have consumed five large mugs of Horlicks.

Obviously then, that malevolent perverted feral dwarf, in seeking retribution for my libellous gibes, is clearly riled and having tiptoed up behind me with his usual unfailing guile, has most likely sprinkled my coffee with one of his more stronger sedatives with the intention of then erasing this composition from my computer file.

Or more worryingly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s extended his repertoire and has managed to obtain the same substance that unscrupulous men slip into ladies’ drinks in night clubs, and he has something more ominous planned for me when I fall into a deep sleep. Now that really would be the mother of all nightmares!