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5:46 a.m. - 2001-12-07

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

I am exhausted.

I got three and a half hours of sleep last night.

Why???

Ohhhhh....because I made the simple mistake of GETTING MARRIED AND HAVING A BABY!!!!!!!

Y'see...last weekend, the wife started getting sick. More importantly, she started coughing.

My wife is famous for her coughing. She has a cough that impresses lung cancer victims. She has woken up neighbors in the past with her coughing.

She went to bed about 9:30 last night. I came to bed about 10:15.

She had left the TV on and the sleep timer running, so I just watched a little TV. After a while, my eyelids grew heavy and by 10:30, I was ready for sleep.

The TV automatically shut off.

"HUZZAH?!?" she yelled, bolting straight up out of bed.

"The TV went off, it's okay. Nobody's trying to break into the house/strangle you/sell you Amway. Go to sleep," I moaned with my eyes shut.

She laid back down, sound asleep.

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

I grimaced and rolled over.

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

I moaned and rolled back over.

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

Oh hell. Right in my face. THANKS, HON!

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

"Do you need a glass of water?"

SNOOOOOOOORE.

Two minutes passed without a single cough. Just when I thought I was out of the woods...

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

Okay, I'm going to lay here. If she coughs one more time, I'm getting up and going into the other bedroom.

Silence.

Ahhhhhhhhh.

.

.

.

.

.

.

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

Sonofabitch! Dammit all to hell! Gawd! Sonofabitch!

I grabbed my pillows, made my thoroughly disgusted huffing sound and went into the second bedroom to pass out in that bed.

Oh.

The bed is covered in crap. Clean laundry, bills, Christmas presents, boxes, etc.

Sonofabitch! Dammit all to hell! Gawd! Sonofabitch!

I walk down the hallway into the den.

The sofa.

Okay. I can do this. Normally the sofa's good for a half hour to an hour nap. That's it. Anything more than that and I wake up more twisted than Tommy Lee with a busload of groupies.

Now then...I'm a tosser and turner. I do it quietly and efficiently. But at least once an hour, I switch from sleeping on my left side to my right side. That's how I am.

When sleeping on the sofa, there is no tossing and turning. You face the wall and stay there.

Why?

Because AS SOON AS YOU TURN OVER, my dog is right there waiting.

Waiting to lick your face with the same tongue she uses on those marathon ass cleanings she performs on herself daily.

So it's 11 p.m. I hunker down with my face shoved into the back of the couch and try to sleep.

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

Dammit...shut up.

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

Sonofabitch...I'm trying to sleep out here.

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

I lost it.

I went and got her a bottle of water out of the fridge, went into the bedroom, turned on the overhead light and woke her up.

"What's wrong," she said all groggy.

"Please...for the love of God and everything holy...take a sip of water," I pleaded.

She looked at me funny because she's such a deep sleeper the coughing doesn't even phase her.

She drank a big gulp of water. I thanked her and walked out of the room, shutting off the light.

"Aren't you going to bed yet?" she asked.

"I'm sleeping on the couch," I answered.

"Whyyyyyyyyyy?" she asked.

"Because you're coughing and shaking the bed and coughing in my face and you won't stop and you won't take cough medicine because you're still nursing the baby even though he can fill out his own Social Security forms and you're scared shitless that if you take some Robitussin you're going to turn our boy into a drooling retard."

Silence.

"Okay. Well, goodnight," she said.

I went back to the couch and tried to go to sleep again.

I finally dozed off soon after that. Susie's throat was no longer dry, she was no longer coughing and I could finally rest.

At 1 a.m., I woke up. It was silent in the living room.

I turned over, facing away from the sofa and fell back asleep.

At 1:01 a.m., I was greeted with a hot, dry tongue licking my lips.

I nearly puked.

My dog, Assbreath, was sucking my face like it was filet mignon.

"Goddammit dog...GO LAY DOWN!" I grunted.

She plopped down on the floor, wondering how the hell she was going to be able to resist licking my face off for the rest of the evening.

I turned back over to face the wall to help her make her decision.

At 2:45, we had a special guest appearance from Andrew join in on the fun.

Andrew, who's a smart kid for being 13 months old, still can't tell time. So when he wakes up in the middle of the night, he still thinks it's time to get up and watch Disney.

I've pleaded with Susie to stay with the plan of letting him cry himself to sleep.

Susie does this for about 30 seconds and then gets out of bed and goes to cuddle him and do whatever the hell else they do at 2:45 in the morning.

I heard Susie get up to go calm him down.

I heard her take him into our bedroom.

I heard him nursing and laughing. Then laughing some more. Apparently, there was some kinda party going on in my bedroom that I wasn't privvy to.

Apparently he showed signs of dozing off in our bed, so Susie took him back to his bedroom where he cried for almost an hour before falling back asleep.

Meanwhile, I'm facing toward the wall, trying desperately to go back to sleep.

WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH!

It's a damned good thing I don't own a gun. Or you might have seen Katie Couric interviewing my neighbors this morning all talking about how quiet I was.

You're damned right I was quiet, people. My wife and kid had rendered me deaf.

So I laid on the couch until 5 a.m., trying to get back to sleep to no avail.

When I finally got up, my left hip was in horrible pain from being wedged between two cushions for about six hours. So I'm walking like I have polio.

I have to work today.

Then drive three hours to Albany, Georgia tonight.

We're meeting some people at the Outback Steakhouse in Albany. Outback...the steakhouse famous for its 90-minute wait for a table on Friday night.

I just hope I can make it to the hotel this evening.

I hope I don't fall asleep at the wheel.

But, I have a feeling with the Coughing Queen and Kid Awakealot ... my fears will never reach reality.

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