Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Stayin' Up All Night? Oh, That's All Right....

The great ham radio enthusiast Jean Shepherd once said,

"night is the time people truly become individuals because all the familiar things are dark and done; all the restrictions on freedom are removed." -Shepherd, J.

Jean hosted a radio show late at night where he said whatever he felt like saying and developed a following of other "night people" who listened and called in to the program. I think I happen to agree with his assessment on "night people" because it it really does seem to be the case.

I think there's a lot of people who finish their daily trials and tasks in the heavily constrained hierarchical red-taped "outside world" and then come home to their little corners they have carved out in this crazy place. The little corners that are the only place on this earth which is all to themselves with no distractions. It's in these secret little corners that these night people read quietly and think about stuff.

I Like to Stay Up All Night Myself...

For as long as I can remember, I have been a night style person. I've been thinking hard to try and remember my first self-aware "all-nighter" and I think I got it.

It still works to this very day...
When I was 3 and a half years old back in 1986, my paternal grandfather (who referred to himself by the self-monickered title "Paw Jack") gave me an Atari 2600 and it was the hands-down highlight moment of my third year on this world.

I had some cool games for it like a baseball one (I threw a no-hitter to my next door neighbor once in this one), one where some bear collected precious gemstones, and this one where a little white triangle shot little dots at different colored shapes which exploded into smaller different colored shapes.

The Legend: Scott Safran
It was the little white triangle game that kept me up all night for the first time in my life. This game (if you haven't guessed yet) was called Asteroids and it was as addictive as all heck. How addictive was that silly game? Well, for example, according to the internet a guy once played Asteroids for 3 straight days and racked up an unheard of 41,336,440 points. This man's name was Scott Safran and this name will forever be remembered through the ages. Sadly, Safran passed away in 1989 while trying to save his cat Samson from a third story ledge. Safran is a hero in every sense of the word. RIP Scott...

Anyway, I got pretty good at Asteroids myself back in 1986, certainly nowhere near the level Safran played at, but for my age I wasn't too shabby. I clearly remember going to the basement to play it while everyone was asleep and playing it all night long. When my mom woke up the next morning and came down to find me already awake and playing Atari 2600, I totally straight up lied to her and said I just woke up fifteen minutes ago. Not only did I successfully stay up all night, but I didn't even get in trouble for it thanks to my expert 3-year old lying skills.

By 1991, I was doing it regularly. There were two cartoons I wanted to watch saturday mornings, Fantastic Max and Mr Bogus to be exact, and they started at 4:30am and 5:00am respectively. I noticed I was having trouble waking up at 4:30am on Saturday and was missing the opening end of the cartoons...so my idea was to stay up all friday night and that way there was no way I'd miss Fantastic Max and Mr. Bogus.

I used to play videos game all night long when I was a kid. I developed good cover up techniques to get away with it too. I remember later on in the Super Nintendo era it became a problem because there were games that needed to be "saved" before you could shut it off. One technique I developed was to have a pillow near by to put over the blaringly bright and very noticeable red power light that shone when the SNES was on. I certainly didn't want to lose my progress by shutting off the machine before I shut off the TV, and jumped onto the couch to feign sleep. The pillow (or sock sometimes) kept the red light hidden in the dark and the SNES powered up so no progress was ever lost.

My parents constantly developed and deployed anti-stayin'-up-all-night-counter-tactics against my stealth procedures and eventually they succeeded in thwarting my endeavors roughly around 1994. Subsequently, the year 1995 was probably the only year in my life that I was ever on a "get up in the mornin' and go to bed at night" style regimen.

Then in 1996 I got right back into stayin' up all night. During a holiday from school, I managed to stay up and catch an episode of a show called Late Night with Conan O'Brien and there was a cliffhanger going down on this show that implored me to see the conclusion of it. The next day was once again a school day but I had to stay up to 12:35 in the morning to see if Conan and Andy had resolved this issue that captivated my attention the night before.

What implored me to once again become a night person? What could possibly have been so edge-of-yer-seat exciting that I had no choice but to develop new stayin' up late stealth methods?

The search for Grady Wilson....

Yes, call me insane, odd, or even dumb but I gradually regressed into not sleeping again because I had come down with an extreme case of the Grady Fever.

Conan had many old obscure celebrities on his show like Abe Vigoda and Nipsey Russell. It seems he wanted to get Grady on his show too but to his dismay, no one knew where Grady was. Was he okay? Was he dead? What happened to Grady? It was too much for me to handle, I had to know where Grady was. I had to stay up each night and follow the Search for Grady. The search for Grady went on for 47 days, and I managed to stay up (despite all efforts to stop me) for each of those 47 nights.

The show ended at 1:35 in the morning, so then I thought, "hey now, I hafta be up for school in like 5 hours, what the hell is the point of going to sleep for 5 hours?" Naturally, the sanest thing to do was just to stay up all night long. After Conan, I'd switch to the cable channel 18 who had the GREATEST all night programming I'd ever seen to this day...

1:30 am to 2:00 am: Rocky and Bullwinkle (this show had class)
2:00 am to 2:30 am: The Young Ones (starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson)
2:30 am to 3:00 am: Bottom (also starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson)
3:00 am to 3:30 am: Speed Racer (oh man, this song was so catchy!!!)
3:30 am to 4:30 am: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show (with Captain Lou Albano!)
4:30 am to 5:00 am: Muppet Babies (shit's tight yo...)

Shhhh be quiet...Toshiro is sleeping.
Then I'd go to school and sleep with my eyes open in class. I heard of that technique in a late night movie once where Toshiro Mifune and Charles Bronson were walking through a desert. Mifune said he can sleep while he walks...so I figured if he can do it while he walks, it shouldn't be too hard for me to sleep while faking to pay attention in class.

When I was sixteen years old, the first job I got was an 11pm to 7am shift at my local greasy shitty Tim Whoretons donut shop. I liked that shift because I was the only one in the store and I could do my duties myself and my way without any other people or "managers" around.

Slowly I started to notice that the world was full of night people and they all seemed to hang out in bars, drink, and have fun. Staying out late and getting into zany adventures around town with other "night people" is a nice break from quietly absorbing data from time to time.

Hey, it's like Neil on the Young Ones once said...

"Listen, man. Sleep gives you cancer. Everyone knows that." -Neil (Young Ones - Oil...(listen here))

Why Would Night People Do This?

I dunno, maybe it's like that movie Lawnmower Man and we're just trying to absorb as much data as possible into our brains with books, tv, radio, and internet and become really smart or something. Or maybe there's something more to it than that.

I mean life is pretty short, why would you want to waste time sleeping? It seems like a bit of a waste, no? That guy from the film Roadhouse put it best when he said,

"I got plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead..." -Guy from Roadhouse (hear it: here)

Patrick Swayze's bouncing mentor from Roadhouse is dead on with that statement. You will have more than enough time to do sleeping when you are dead in the cold ground, so what's the big rush to do sleeping while you are alive?



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