So let it be written…
Raise your hand if you snore.
Yeah, that’s what I thought, cowards…
Really, it’s okay to admit, if only to yourself, that you are indeed a bender of light.
Of course, if you live alone you might not realize that in the dead of night, you wake the dead. But if you share a roof with the living, who are you fooling? They know too well that you are a human chainsaw by night, witnessed by the bleary eyes and sour faces that confront you the morning after you’ve been through a cord of wood or two.
I recall being at a men’s church retreat out in the woods near Mount Baker, decades ago. About twenty guys and myself shared a spartan dorm, with bunk beds and cots, and from one corner a horrific noise erupted with Swiss precision from this particular fellow’s face. The air shimmered around him as molecules and atoms were disrupted and electrons and protons ran for cover, only to be tractor-beamed back into the aural nightmare.
Windows were cracked with the violent dropping and rising of air pressure. Tiles were heaved from the floor, and thousands of little black no-see-um gnats were trapped in his front teeth, like krill in a whale’s baleen. Pine needles were knitted against the outer sides of screens. Terrified forest creatures fled to the next valley.
The rest of us lay wild-eyed awake while he, oblivious to the cacophony unleashed by his unholy wind, slept like a kitten. He woke in the morning, had a good stretch, complained about not sleeping a wink, and then wondered out loud why he was buried in a pile of rolled-up socks, which had been hurled at him by the traumatized.
Oh, the groans of incredulity and contempt, the rolling of eyes, the sneers, jeers and contorted expressions of faces demanding recompense. As darkness fell the next evening, just as we began to forgive if not to forget, his hellish din began anew.
Poor us. Poor guy. Had we had the Internet back then, he might have offered a meagre case in his defence. Did you know that if you google “snoring,” you’ll get about 77,400,000 hits?
You’ll find in that vast collection PhD dissertations on snoring, screeds written on the causes, advice, remedies. You’ll also see T-shirts for sale with messages like “I don’t snore I dream I’m a motorcycle,” and matching embroidered satin pillow cases, one for “Sleeping Beauty,” the other for “Snoring Beast.”
There are websites that out celebrities who snore. You can click on the telling pictures, one after another after another. There are tunes about snoring. You’ll also find horror movies about snoring (Suspiria). I didn’t find any romance movies about it — no surprise there.
Queen Victoria was a famous snorer. Her fellow Londoners were no doubt not amused.
Napolean Bonaparte snored like cannon fire, apparently on account of his being prosperous around the mid-section and having a stout neck.
Pretty, ugly, skinny, fat, rich, poor, smart, not so smart, old, young and in-between — anyone can snore. I’m told I snore, although I don’t believe a word of it.
Even the self-deluded can snore, so I’m told…
So let it be done.
Tom Zytaruk is a staff writer with the Surrey Now-Leader.