For many years, I was awakened by the sound of a blaring alarm clock -- WAH! WAH! WAH! Because I would hit the snooze button 47 times, I'd get to hear that annoying wail a lot.
But at my advanced age of 44, a blaring alarm could give me a heart attack. OK, admittedly, it's probably the fried chicken and double chili cheeseburgers that will give me a heart attack, but why take chances?
Those annoying wails of cheap alarm clocks have been replaced by other sounds, though, because my wife has a clock-radio that costs several dollars and allows you to wake up to either the traditional, heart-stopping alarm wails or "wake to music." I know what you're thinking -- "How did Chris Johnson get his hands on such cutting-edge technology?" And, indeed, it is pretty amazing.
However, what "wake to music" really means for us is "wake to radio." And morning radio rarely involves music -- in much the same way CNN rarely has news and The Weather Channel rarely has weather forecasts.
I'm OK with not waking to music, though, especially today's music. Now, if I could guarantee that the radio would play some soft Norah Jones or smooth jazz at 7 a.m., I would be just fine waking to music. But I can't risk being jolted out of bed by Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" -- Bismillah! We will not let you go. (Let me go!) Will not let you go. (Let me go!) Never, never let you go. Never let me go, oh. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Great song, yes, but no way to start your day.
So, we wake up to public radio. At 7 a.m. or so, depending upon how many right hooks my wife delivers to the snooze button, it's not classical music but news and talk on "Morning Edition." That's fine because the radio folks on NPR kind of whisper anyway, as if they're scared they might wake you up -- in which case you might actually find out what's going on in the world.
Usually, walking up to NPR folks quietly telling us what's going on in the world is no problem. Unfortunately, the alarm often comes on in the middle of a statement. When you hear "... and today will be the last day you can get it." Then my wife hits the snooze and I can't get back to sleep because I'm tossing back and forth wondering if we've run out of something important in the world, like chickens. I can't live in a world without chickens. I love all species of chickens, including rotisserie and fried.
Fortunately, most mornings we can wake up to soothing information that reassures us the world is just as it was when we went to sleep. Islamic militants killing innocent folks. Deadly diseases spreading. Debt rising. Another shooting. A plane missing. Oceans rising. Ahh, same ol' Earth. How reassuring. Now I can go back to sleep for seven more minutes.
I have finally come up with the perfect way to wake up, only I haven't quite collected enough money to make it happen. I plan to work on it when I'm retired. That's when I'll wake up not by alarm, Norah Jones, Queen or NPR. I'll wake up -- gasp -- when I'm through sleeping. Oh mama mia, mama mia, I vow to someday make it happen!
Sorry, "Bohemian Rhapsody" stuck in my head now. I may never sleep again.
-- Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or on Twitter @kudzukid88.