Friday, March 14, 2008

A rude awakening

The other day I had to drive 4 hours to a client's site for a 2 day visit.

The trip down there was awesome, due in part to the very generous gift I received from Phil. A few weeks ago he mentioned he had an extra copy of a CD he burned of the "Top 25 Songs of 2007" and asked if anyone wanted it. I jumped at the chance and Phil promptly mailed it off to me. I spent the entire drive rocking out to a very energizing collection of uplifting tunes. I called it the "soundtrack of my trip." Thanks Phil... I needed that.

The drive home wasn't quite the same though. After an exhausting 2 days of working 12 hours a day, I began my trip back home at 6 p.m. I was extra tired too because the bed in the hotel I had been staying in was extremely uncomfortable, the room was stinky and the temperature was too warm - so I had only slept about 4 hours each night I was there.

About 45 minutes into the drive I started nodding off (most likely because I wasn't listening to Phil's CD) and began looking for the next exit so I could take a break. Fortunately a few minutes later I saw a sign that read "Next rest stop - 22 miles." No problem. I can do 22 miles with my eyes closed! Which is pretty much how I did it.

By the time I got to the rest stop I was so freaking tired I pulled into a parking spot, reclined my seat, closed my eyes and instantly fell into a coma - without even turning off the car.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but when you fall asleep that quickly after driving, something very unusual happens...

... your brain doesn't realize you're only taking a nap.

That's right. Exactly 10 minutes later a little subconscious passenger tapped on my forehead and whispered softly, "Hey Jeff - you do realize you're driving down the interstate and you're sound asleep. Right?... Jeff?... Jeff?... Don't you feel the engine, the gentle vibration of your car?... Jeff?...
HEY JEFF!!! WAKE THE F*@% UP!!! YOU'RE DRIVING HEAD ON INTO A BRIDGE ABUTMENT!!!"

AAAAAGHHHHHH! I instantly bolted straight up, let out a blood curdling scream and grabbed my steering wheel. I was completely convinced I was still driving down the interstate at 75 mph, and I just about crapped my pants.

Needless to say that was the end of my nap. And my drowsiness.

You won't fall asleep at humor-blogs.com

27 comments:

Heather said...

Yeah, I can see how that would put a damper on the pleasant dreams.

Phil said...

I have to apologize, because after reading that last part about bolting upright and letting out a scream, I just about fell out of my chair laughing. I think I must be visualizing that Simpsons episode where Homer is falling asleep on the freeway.

We're gearing up for our first big road trip of the year, and I'm not looking forward to those "drowsy moments" that always seem to come. I'll have my ice-cold Coke at hand, iPod at the ready, snacks to munch on. The first day is going to be 7 hours. If I feel sleepy, I'll just remember your blood-curdling scream at the rest stop and maybe that will give me the same jolt of adrenaline.

Hey, maybe it was one of the songs on my mix... "If You Keep Losing Sleep"

Dan said...

's a shame you didn't get a video of it.

the amoeba said...

Not funny, dude. Once time, I was driving a freeway late at night, and I found myself within a mile of my exit for home with no recollection whatsoever of how I got to that point from 15 miles away.

Must confess, though, I never got to the point of falling asleep before shutting off the engine.

Did your guardian angels put in for overtime?

PG said...

Don't you hate those subconscious backseat drivers!!! Grrrr.

Sornie said...

And that's the very reason the mom always recommended keeping a fresh pair of underwear in the car's glove box.

Julia said...

Wow! Thank GOD you didn't crap your pants! It's one thing to crap your pants during a true emergency and quite another while snoozing at a rest stop.

I wanna hear about the playlist!

JD at I Do Things

Jeff said...

heather - Do you mean "damp" as in what I did to my pants?

phil - I never saw that Simpsons show, but I'll definitely look it up. Good luck on your trip. My recommendation is to drink a ton of caffeine about an hour before you go.

dan - Yeah, that would have won me $10,000 for sure.

amoeba - I did the same thing one time. I was driving down an exit ramp and had no idea where I was and how I got there. Very scary.

pg - If only you could just let them drive.

sornie - Maybe if I just wear an adult diaper... you know, like that astronaut woman.

julia - Reminds me of that fake SNL commercial for "Oops, I Crapped My Pants!" Now that was funny!
You can see the playlist on the link to the second reference I made to Phil in the post.

VE said...

If you had just built a Star Trek transporter at both locations this wouldn't have happened. All of your crap would have been scambled into particles and then reassembled back where it belonged when you got home. This auto transportation...it's just gotta stop!

Mom Thumb said...

Great, I have a ten hour drive to Galveston tomorrow. At least I'll have a non-imaginary other driver.

Your story brings to mind a scene from 'Vacation' when Chevy Chase falls asleep on the interstate.

rick said...

Helpfull hint: It's nearly impossible to sleep while you are singing at the top of your lungs with the window open and your shoe under your butt. Just a suggestion. And watch out for mailboxes.

Theresa said...

Well, at least it's better than actually waking up to find yourself driving down the interstate at 75 mph.

Jeff said...

ve - I agree. I'm already imagining how our future generations will be laughing at how long it took us to get away from wheels on the ground. How primitive!

mom thumb - I was actually looking for an image of Clark asleep at the wheel of his family truckster for just that reason. But alas, one could not be found.

rick - I was singing, but I was singing Brahms Lullaby. Was that a bad choice?

theresa - I was already doing that... before I pulled into the rest stop.

Emma Sometimes said...

HAHA! Mr Coffee dreams just like that except he sits up and tells me in German that he is detached from his squad and where is the tank commander?

Funny thing is, he doesn't speak German.

Groovy Mom said...

LOL! Oh, I can totally imagine that happening to me too. I sometimes have that happen to me when I'm safe and sound in bed.

damon said...

It's like that dream where you're falling and somehow wake up right at touchdown.

The mind is a terrible thing..

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Dude, that's gotta suck. And the first 10 minutes is really good sleep, too.

Jeff said...

emma - Don't ask my wife what I do when she's driving and I'm asleep. It ain't pretty.

groovy mom - Now THAT would be a bummer ;-)

damon - Is that a direct quote from Dan Quail?

ed - I know, what a gyp!

cablegirl said...

ok, I shouldn't be laughing because well, falling asleep at the wheel is so not funny....

but hallucinating that you're falling asleep.. now that's something else entirely. lol

blog hop hop hoppin.

Mushy said...

Oh man, at the times I've needed a wake up scare like that!

Diesel said...

That's pretty funny. You had a wake-up nap.

Carla said...

Whoa dude, that sounds serious. I find that eating sunflower seeds is just tedious enough to keep me awake while driving on long trips. I recommend the low salt in the shells. Sunflower seeds have been my personal travel savior for years.
Glad you got home safe....it's my goal every day.

Phil said...

Oh, sunflower seeds! That's a good idea. I'll pick up a bag for our trip.

Maureen said...

OMG! Thank goodness you WEREN'T driving!!! But that Twilight Zone between awake and asleep can really trick your mind, can't it?

Sorry, but I laughed at your post also... good thing no one was around to witness your "freak out"...

Drowsey Monkey said...

Yikes! Glad you were off the road. My ex used to fall asleep at the wheel all the time. One morning at a red light...we were on the way to work. Then he got mad when I woke him up. Idiot, lol.

meleah rebeccah said...

thats awful....and hilarious.

deborah said...

this reminds of Frank's driving before his CPAP machine.