“I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” — Ernest Hemingway
Scary? Scary How?
Just a tidbit from Bill Maher’s latest spew:
“If Obama were as radical as they claim, here’s what he already would have done: pulled the troops out of Afghanistan, given us Medicare for all, ended the drug war, cut the defense budget in half, and turned Dick Chaney over to The Hague. Here’s what Obama actually did: he cut taxes and spending…, he didn’t go on a spending spree, he didn’t break up the ‘too big to fail’ banks — they’ve only gotten bigger and fail-y-er. That’s not what liberals wanted; that’s what conservatives wanted…. [U]nder Obama, there’s more drilling than ever. That’s not what environmentalists wanted; that’s what conservatives wanted. Obama spent most of last year conceding the Republican premise that government needed cutting. That’s not what progressives wanted; that’s what the Tea Party wanted. The Dow was at 7949 when he took office, now it’s at 12,000 and over. Corporates profits are at their highest ever. If he’s a socialist, he’s a lousy one. He could not be less threatening if he was walking home with iced tea and Skittles.”
I DUNNO. WHADDA YOU WANNA DO?
Don’t do a single thing today until you visit the Pencil’s GO! Events Listings.
SLEEPLESS IN SUCCESSVILLE
I am a world champion napper. Napping is one of humankind’s finest pursuits. A day spent without a nap is a day wasted.
I’ve been partial to naps ever since I emerged from the womb and yawned.
Imagine how thrilled I was when my cardiologist told me that due to my congenitally malformed heart, I ought to take a nap whenever I feel the need for one. (Almost as giddy as when he told me drinking a glass of wine and eating a piece of chocolate a day would be of great benefit to me — I nearly kissed him.)
Now, I love working at the Book Corner save for one terrible drawback — Margaret, the owner of the place, won’t let me take a nap while I’m on the clock. The tyrant.
Apparently, much of the world seems to be able to get by without naps. Poor souls.
And, if I can believe what I read, there are those who have energy to burn, who are on the go, go, go, all day long, who can get by with only three or four hours of sleep in a night.
Do I Have To Do This?
Bill Clinton is one of those people. I suppose any number of presidents and aspirants to that sleepless office have less than the average bear’s need for slumber.
I’ve met dozens of people who are great successes in business and entertainment, many of whom view sleeping at night as a kind of annoyance. They can’t get anything done when they’re asleep, they complain. They’re aghast at the idea of taking a nap.
It seems as though the real hard-chargers in this mixed-up world, people like Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Wozniak, Jamie Dimon and any Mexican drug cartel boss worth his salt rarely go to sleep.
Who Has Time To Sleep?
Maybe that’s the key to their fabulous success. Maybe that’s why Donald Trump and Lady Gaga are who they are. They’re blazing trails while the rest of us are laying on the sofa.
Oh, sure, they have piles of dough. Big deal. I’ve got my naps.
I was thinking about all this yesterday when I went to go see young Dr. Joe Mackey at the Eye Center. I went in for my one-week follow up exam after eye surgery. The verdict: All is well. That’s pretty much all Mackey said to me.
As always, he was in a mad rush.
I’ll bet he’s one of the people who don’t sleep much. The guy darts from room to room like a crystal meth fiend. He once told me that on his day for surgery he performs 14 or so procedures. Sheesh! The other days of the week he’s peering into and jiggering with the eyes of dozens and dozens of people each day.
If I tried to keep up his pace for fifteen minutes I’d have to take a nap. A good long one — 45 minutes, maybe, or an hour.
What An Exhausting Day!
On the bell curve of human sleep needs, he and I occupy the opposite flanges.
Guys like Mackey, big time sports stars, Hollywood actors and actresses, corporate CEOs, big city mayors — all sorts of high achievers seem to be racing every minute of the day. And their days last from before dawn often until after midnight.
Mackey could have elected to live a nice, relaxed lifestyle. He could have opened his own opthalmology practice in some far off locale where he’d see a couple of patients a day. That’s what I would have done. He could do one eye surgery a week. Maybe one every couple of weeks.
Then he could take a nap.
You’re My Third Patient This Month!
But he chose to go to work for a multi-million-dollar eyeball factory. The Eye Center has dozens of employees, its own surgery center in the basement, enough high-tech, high-buck machines to fill a medium-sized warehouse, and most likely a huge debt load. If you work for old man Grossman and his partners, you’d better be ready to hustle from room to room, checking patients out and sending them home, calling for the next one, chop chop, saying only what you need to say, generating revenue.
This, said Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone in ” The Godfather Part II,” is the business we’ve chosen.
We talk a lot about doctors needing a comforting bedside manner these days. We need the doc to hold our hands while she tells us to lay off the pie and the french fries. That’s fine for a general practitioner. They have to lay the oil on us if only to get us to open up and tell them about the ache in our knees or the funny mole on our back.
But specialists like Mackey don’t need to cajole information out of us. They’ve got special skills and devices that can tell them a hundred times more about us than we ever could. Then, when it’s time to act, they wield other devices like Jedi knights, they flutter their fingers over our most fragile organs with a deftness that borders on magic.
Has The Patient Been Prepped?
Mackey shined some tiny beacons into my eyes and muttered notes to an assistant who transcribed his impressions at the keyboard. “Terrific,” he said. “Excellent.” “Very good.” “Healing well.” “Vision better than can be expected.”
I felt flattered, as if somehow I had a hand in the whole procedure. “Yeah,” I said, “I feel great. No complaints.”
Dr. Mackey recoiled slightly from his machine, as if he were surprised I was there. And you know what? He probably was.
He’d been commenting on his own handiwork. He’s a borderline magician and he knows it.
Voila — You Can See!
And the truth is, without that confidence, without that arrogance, he wouldn’t be one-tenth as good as he is.
How big does your ego have to be to carve up another person’s eyeball and hope not only that you don’t blind the poor sap but can actually make him see better?
Mackey pulled his diagnostic machine away and wished me a pleasant weekend. And like that he was out the door. He moved so fast I thought there’d be a sonic boom.
Dr. Joe Mackey is of a different breed than I am. Maybe even a different species. But that’s what makes him so spectacularly good.
Me? I’m gonna take a nap.