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Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Hoot from the Unlikely Night Owl

I'm rarely ever up at 11:45pm anymore. I'm not at the stage in life where I wake up to go to the bathroom several times a night, or even once, but I am at the stage in life where, if I'm not in bed by 10:00pm, I worry about turning into a pumpkin or a ferret.

It's a Saturday night, and I'm wide awake. Mrs. Apron and I just finished watching "Manhattan Murder Mystery," one of Woody Allen's many films that star Anjelica Huston, Alan Alda, Diane Keaton and, well, himself.

I love Woody Allen movies, because I'm white, male, Jewish, skinny, neurotic, bespectacled-- so it's kind of law. I like the black screen and the white credits, always in the same font.

I love seeing the same names I've seen on his credits for twenty or thirty years-- not just the actors. But Santo Loquasto and Charles H. Joffe-- his team. He doesn't deviate (well, only in his personal life) he's perseverative and it's that plus his lack of social skills that make him a prime candidate for Aspergers Syndrome. He's endearing-- I can't explain it. I don't know. It's late. As his character, Larry Lipton, says to his wife while they're up late snooping around their neighbor's apartment at 1am, "Jesus, I don't like this. We should be asleep in one of our many cuddling positions."

He's right, you know.

I can remember back when Mrs. Apron and I were courting over IM. We would stay up clickety-clacking away until 2 or 3 in the morning. You do that when you're young, stupid and stupidinlove. One morning, after one of our late-night-IMathons, I was walking Finley and, in a total haze, I walked directly into a telephone pole. I've walked into telephone poles and trees and that shit hurts. It's not like it is in the movies.

Another thing that's not like it is in the movies is sex. Maybe the duration is-- I mean, the typical sex scene lasts for, what, three or four minutes. That's like life, right? Seriously, though, I love watching sex scenes in movies-- not just because I like looking at breasts, which are the only things they'll show in most mainstream cinema (thank you, Double Standard) but because of the way sex scenes inevitably culminate-- with the couple breathily falling asleep in each others' arms.

Um, hi-- sex is fucking nasty and goopity and if you fall asleep in that you're going to wake up feeling like an eye that's been shut for a week.

People stay up late all the time in movies and it's just not something you can do regularly in real life. In real life, there are consequences for staying up late. Consequences like... having a fender-bender or getting reprimanded by your boss for not paying attention when she talks or forgotten appointments. Telephone poles.

I used to stay up late all the time when I was a boy-- not because I was doing anything exciting like becoming a piano prodigy or solving worldly problems like cancer or Joan Rivers. I stayed up late because I was always afraid something terrible would happen the minute I fell asleep. I always thought, for instance, that a murderer would enter my parents' bedroom and shoot them both in the head. They'd use a silencer so I wouldn't hear it. I learned about silencers by watching "Rescue 911" which isn't a good show for kids to watch. I mean, it isn't a good show period, but kids watch a lot of horseshit that's not only not appropriate but also lacks solid production values. I mean, do you remember how they stuffed a very obese William Shatner into those tight, double-breasted suits? And now they're doing it again on "Boston Legal" but I think, this time, they're being ironic about it.

Anyway, I always thought someone was out to kill my parents. I don't know why-- my mother's a librarian and my father makes girdles-- I don't know what sort of international secrets or espionage they could have been involved in. I mean, my father was in the Israeli army, but that was decades ago and any secrets he knew he'd probably already forgotten about. I mean, he has trouble remembering all our names-- I think that's why he calls all of us "Mummy." I mean, yeah, it's a cute nickname, but it's also a convenient way to avoid making a mistake.

So, I would stay up all night staring at the ceiling and, when I could muster up the courage, I would call out,



"Yes?" my mother would dryly oblige. My bedroom was down the hall from theirs'. Big mistake.

"I just wanted to make sure everything was alright," I would say.

"Everything's fine. Go to bed."

At maybe around 4 or 4:30, I would bravely check again.


"YES?!" she would at this point sharply cut through the cool night air.



I marvel at the fact that I used to do probably 90% of my creative writing late at night-- I'm talking maybe finishing up at 1:30 or 2:00am. No wonder it was all so fucked up. I mean, look at how rambling and incoherent this post is.


It's cuddle time.


  1. Just a Praise for ya! I loved this blog! I didnt love Woody Allen at all until I saw Mighty Aphrodite! I liked some of his movies but I didnt Love him until then. The movie you watched was fantastic. I laughed at the cuddle time line.
    I used to come home from school gripped with a panic that a space alien took over my mother's body and was observing earth and our habits. (AT MY HOUSE OF ALL PLACES!) Anyways.. I would spend my afternoon hours trying to trip up my mum asking questions like whats your parents names and where are you from.. I could never trip her up! ha ha ..
    You poor kid.. your parents were probably half worried, half exasperated by you!

  2. First I just have to say that I adore Woody Allen movies. The best!

    I was talking about sex scenes in movies at work last week. You described it perfectly. For most of us, we do not just lay there and fall asleep. Gross. Come to find out, there is a girl that does that. Dirty girl.

  3. I share your opinion of the dangers of watching Rescue 911 as a young'un. I too had the parents shot with a silencer fear. More importantly though, I was forever haunted by the Rescue 911 episode in which little Timmy was running down the hall with a toothbrush in his mouth and tripped. Little Timmy ended up unconscious and impaled by his plastic hygenic weapon. I think there was also one case where someone's eye got poked out by piano wire. At least, as the disclaimer stated, no one actually died. They were just horribly maimed and in therapy for the rest of their lives.


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