TORONTO FANCY BASTARDS! I will be with Cyanide & Happiness at FANExpo Canada, August 28-31 at booth 456! I’ll have lots of shirts and prints and we’ll be doing sketches all weekend. We’ll also be hosting the 3rd annual Toronto Banana Bar Crawl! I hope to see you there! MORE INFO HERE!
This is basically a true story. I am not an easy sleeper. I can pretty much only sleep in my bed, in my house and even then it’s pretty hit or miss. Sleeping at night is a learned skill for me, and I learned it using certain tools. Replace those tools with a fold out couch in Denver or an air mattress in Seattle and all the learning just fades away. I did, however, manage to sleep in an airport just once. I can’t remember which convention I was coming home from, but I know I hadn’t slept in at least 2 days. I had to quickly lay claim to a spot and devise a plan that would A) wake me up on time) and B) alert me if any of my stuff was moved. I think I had 2 suitcases and a backpack, so I held the backpack like a baby and tied the suitcases to my feet using a luggage strap. I put my phone, with the alarm set as loud as it would go, in my pocket, my glasses in my suitcase and my headphones in my ears. I rolled over and proceeded to drool and twitch while unconscious for a solid 45 minutes. My only real hope was that I would look just crazy enough that no one would think to bother me. I suppose it worked, because I awoke unrefreshed and unmolested. Airport Terminal sleep is anything but restful. At that point it was just necessary for survival. It was the sleep equivalent of eating your own leg to survive. Considering the cost and quality of airport sandwiches, that might have also been a necessary tactic.
COMMENTERS: Where’s the oddest place you’ve ever slept, or the most inappropriate/unfortunate thing you’ve ever slept through?
Calling all Whovians with holes in their ears! Just look at these Sonic Screwdriver earrings my wife made!
I've slept thru several earthquakes (minor). Also the eye of a typhoon (hurricane). (Also minor)
No hurricanes for me, Just heavy windstorms. Living in British Columbia I sleep through many minor earthquakes. I'm so used to minor earthquakes that most of the time I don't notice them when i'm awake. People at school would be asking everyone if they felt it, and i'd ask "When was it, I was probably asleep." they'd reply with something like "Between 7-8" welp… I was awake then.
Not everyone even feels them when awake. I was at work in a large room full of people when one hit; a supervisor was in the middle of telling me off a bit about something and I interrupted him to say, "Earthquake!"
"I don't feel anything!" he said, looking like he thinks I'm making it up to distract him and get out of a chewing-up (which he confirmed after, lol).
"No, *earthquake*," I insist, and point out the window, where the large pipes (we're in an industrial setting) that usually hang still are visibly bouncing up and down.
So he believed me, but he still couldn't feel it, and neither could a good percentage of the people in the room (or the whole plant, as it ended up).
We figured it may have had something to do with where they were standing; but then, it's a tall, tall building and even some people at the top didn't feel it (while others who couldn't see outside just suddenly felt sick).
People who just don't feel earthquakes seem to be a thing, is what I'm trying to say.
My husband loves to tell the story of the major car crash that happened outside our window at 3am one night – a hot rod going too fast flipped over the median and sounded like a bomb going off, sirens and lights and everything. And I slept right through it. Which is funny, because I had a huge insomnia problem in college, but I have absolutely no trouble sleeping now.
Alternate title: "Where Dreams Take Wang"
First day of reception for Basic Training…we'd woken up at 4 in our hometowns the previous day, arrived on base at midnight, and got to sleep at 3:00 AM. Had to wake up at 3:35 for formation at 4:00…throughout the day, whenever we had a chance to sit down ("hurry up and wait" being the order of the day) my eyes would drift closed and I'd fall asleep for about 30 seconds. Mind you, this was without leaning against anything—sitting completely upright on the top riser of a set of bleachers, I'd snooze for a good half a minute until something woke me up again.
I had an internship in Japan for a year, and they gave me a week to adjust to the 17-hour time change before I had to report to work. It wasn't enough. I fell asleep in at least two training classes where I was the only student.
I was going for a study-abroad program and was super excited and didn't sleep for 24-hours prior to catching my first flight from Buffalo to Detroit. I got to the airport way earlier than I needed to and was allowed to take a red-eye to Detroit. Got there and camped out in front of the gate and used almost the same tactic of binding my belongings to myself that Joel described. I was still too paranoid to really doze for more than a few minutes at a time. I slept like the dead on my next flight though…the flight attendant had to keep waking me up for meals and drinks and I could barely stay conscious. Best part? No jet-lag.
I fell asleep on a flight and trapped some poor unfortunate young woman in her seat through the whole thing. She had to pee SO BAD but just couldn't get me to come to enough to let her out.
I slept under the seats at a train station in Dover when coming back from Calais. Got prodded by a Bobby around 3AM. Told him I was a backpacker and my flight was heading out from London in the morning and I couldn't pay for a hotel. Gave me an "all right then (guv'nuh)" and let me continue to "sleep."
That's kind of awesome, actually.
My physiological response to sitting down is to fall asleep, which has on occasion caused problems at work. But I think the worst was at my mother's funeral. I couldn't help it! It had been GO GO GO all week to try to get things ready, and that was the first chance I'd had to be still and quiet for a few minutes. Thankfully my best friend was sitting next to me and knows how I operate, so she was hyper-vigilant for the slightest hint of not-awakeness. I got a swift jab in the ribs before I could get deep enough to not be able to control my response to it. About 5 minutes after that Dad, sitting on my other side, started the proto-snore that runs in the family. It's what happens when unintentional sleep is imminent. Since I was thankfully conscious at that moment, I was able to catch him. Later I found out my brother, who was sitting on Dad's other side, had also fallen asleep, but Dad had managed to jab him before the snoring and nodding started.
We're all a damn disgrace. And should probably see a doctor.
I slept in a Wal-Mart parking lot while on tour in Riverside, CA.
And by "slept" I mean stood outside chugging Red Bull & Pepto all night because 10 snoring dudes in a van and homeless people and surprise-sexers.
I would put so many dicks on you… That sounds so dirty.
I used to routinely fall asleep in my ninth grade science class. Something about the teacher's voice put me to sleep every time. The funny thing was, she'd try to catch me out and presumably embarrass me by asking me a question. I'd be lying with my head on my open book, likely drooling, possibly snoring, but somehow I always managed to wake up and answer the question correctly without fail, every time. I still don't know how I did that.
I have to ask, Joel, if you're willing to share your trick for getting to sleep at night? I used to be able to sleep like the dead for 10-12 hours at a time, but nowadays, not only do I often have trouble getting to sleep, I can't seem to stay asleep – I usually wake up several times a night. Every article I've ever read that promises information/advice on how to get a good night's sleep, or how to get to sleep earlier, turns out to be basically being empty of real content. (Like so much of the news nowadays.)
I also used to routinely sleep through thunderstorms that were apparently impressive enough to have everyone talking about them the next day.
I had a similar problem about falling asleep in some classes. For some reason it happened a lot in 12th grade French class. What was terrible was that my desk was at the front of the class, but somehow I never got in trouble.
In university if we had to write notes from the overhead projector, while the professor lectured, I could stay awake. But for a few classes, if there was no overhead, and only a lecture to write notes from….if the lecture was boring or the voice was monotone, I had a difficult time staying awake, especially in the morning. One history class was pure torture, I constantly fell asleep while I was in the middle of writing notes on the lecture. I'd nod off, then sort of wake up and try to continue writing. My notes were useless illegible scribbles.
I tried biting my cheek, digging my fingernails into my palms, shaking my leg, all fruitless. Finally I designed my future class schedule for no classes before 10:30, unless these were labs or studio classes.
I was in the Austrlian Navy for 6 years, I signed up straight out of high school. I was stationed in Queensland, a very tropical place. On a week long trainig camp I fell asleep on the side of a dry river bed. At night it filled with water. I woke with Leeches on my wang and ass. After they were burnt off I had to spend five more days in the outback.
When I was ten or so we were on a road trip from Arizona into Idaho. After an entire day of driving I finally fell asleep, during which my sister threw up on me. My dad found a rest stop and then woke me up to easily the most disgusting experience of my life. According to him I had been covered in vomit for at least twenty minutes.
I slept through the latest earthquake in Northern California. The one from the last Saturday night / Sunday morning. It originated in Napa and I felt some shaking through my bed. In my house. In Livermore!
That reminds me of an actress I saw on Letterman years ago; a big earthquake had hit that had everyone running into the streets, and she'd been in LA at the time, so of course he asked about it, and she replied she hadn't noticed. He expressed disbelief, whereupon she explained that she had been at a party until very late the night before, and was just getting ready to go out; when the earthquake hit she'd been trying to glue on fake eyelashes and just thought her hands had been shaking really badly until she got to the street and everyone was freaking out, ha ha ha.
Video is required of the dick flipbook.
Many moons ago when in college, some ROTC mates and I had summer military training in Sacramento, California. Due to unexpected car trouble we were traveling in by bus so funds were already rather tight. We left San Francisco at like 2 a.m. and pulled into Sacramento well before dawn. It was too early to get a motel though so we crashed on the grounds of the capital. Not long after sunrise a cop was kind enough to wake us and tell us we'd best be on our way. I remember it being a rather blissful few hours of good sleep though.
I had to sleep in the train station close to my student room. Every Sunday, I used to take the last train to go back there from home. But that time, I had forgotten to take my keys with me and I realised that in front of my door. It was 2 in the morning, I was stuck in town, I just couldn't call my parents to come, and I had no money to waste on an hotel room.
It was not very comfy, to say the least. The waiting area for normal passengers was cold and windy, and I just can't sleep if I'm cold, so looked for a heated place. The only one I found was the service entrance for the food stores, and I kinda had to share with the cockroaches (I've always hated thoes things, that night didn't help) . I did my best to stay on "higher grounds", on a forklift truck. Luckily, I didn't stay there for long, my school was opening at 7AM.
Saw earrings. Bought them. No mulling it over, just got up and grabbed my wallet. Perfect for my Fiancee.
I slept…or rather "slept" at one of the baggage claims in DFW airport one night. My flight back home from my MFA in Portland, Maine ("Nor'easter? What's a Nor'easter") was delayed and I missed my connecting flight.
But I was not alone. My companions in strandedness, however, were, how shall we say it, non-native speakers of the English. They slept better than I did, however.
Oh man, I hope the animated dicks are telling the story of their people through interpretive dancing.
Alas, I don't have any amusing sleep stories. Occasionally I am able to sleep in an airplane coach seat. I also have the unfortunate habit of sleeping through the dog's "gotta pee" whimpering.
I'm late to the party, but I've got a couple of places:
1. First or second year of college, I was so sleep deprived that I fell asleep at a loud concert. I'd managed to snag a seat with a friend over the main floor, with a railing that my head could rest on, and bam.
2. For reasons, I was in Brussels and accidentally homeless for a night. I didn't have enough notice to find and get a hotel room, my train didn't leave until 9 am the next day and the station was already closed. I ended up going to a 24-hour cafe and buying enough drinks to placate the owner (and the very nice waitress) enough to let me just kind of nod off for short intervals for about 6 hours waiting for the train station to open. A few days later I ended up getting to an airport around 10pm for a flight at 6am, and I ended up sleeping on a reclining plastic chair overlooking the runways, where cold was seeping in from the floor to ceiling windows, equipped with a "not-actually-returned-at-the-end-the-flight" Delta blanket that left me slightly less uncomfortable.
I used to do long distance motorbike rallies, as such I've slept in an Arizona truck stop reclined on the bike at 4 in the morning, and in the shadow of my bike on the tarmac in a German rest stop at two in the afternoon, I woke up to find it had been raining for half an hour. I competed for a couple of years, by the end of it I could get 45-60 minutes sleep pretty much anywhere if I decided I needed it. It was an odd skill to have.