I Can’t Get No Sleep

Tossing away, he’s been trying to get himself off for hours… what are you sniggering about at the back? Oh, I see. Minds like sewers, the lot of you

Tossing. Turning. More tossing. Playing word games on my mobile phone. WAZZOCK. Is that a word? It’s no use, I can’t get back to sleep. While some of you may read my monthly column to send yourself into a long coma, I have the opposite problem. I have insomnia. I’ve been trying to get myself off for hours, and no amount of pillow nuzzling will bring me the relief I need. I’ve tried both legs under the duvet, one leg over the duvet, elbows on top of the wardrobe, but in the words of Faithless, “I can’t get no sleep”. Which is a double negative, so they must have been asleep all the time. I get out of bed and shuffle around in the dark like a zombie, although instead of demanding brains, it’s Pot Noodles.

I’ve become an expert at pottering in the early hours, and my bust of Lionel Richie is coming along very nicely. WAZZOCK. Why won’t it accept WAZZOCK? A number of musicians have made music for sleeping, such as Max Richter, Tom Middleton and Mr Blobby. Took a punt on that last one. Incidentally, Mr Blobby slept for 22 hours a day, which explained his chaotic energy in the few waking hours he had. Cats can sleep for 20 hours a day, which is almost as inactive as an ornament of a cat. This is to save energy for hunting. The same is true for Mr Blobby, who has killed and will kill again.

The drill and bass artist Squarepusher once did an ambient soundtrack for children’s television channel CBeebies. It was to help kids get ready for bed instead of taking crack cocaine or whatever it is kids do these days. But Squarepusher is scary, like a doll made of tax returns, so this was like booking the Child Catcher from ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ for your children’s party. “Where’s little Timmy? He was sat on the end enjoying the balloon animals and now he’s gone.” “Never mind. Let’s make do with an ornament of little Timmy.” Aphex Twin attributes his early creativity to lucid dreaming. He would knock up a bunch of tracks in his studio, realise he was asleep the whole time, wake up, get confused, then bang on about lucid dreaming to the nearest journalist. Brian Eno says he’s often woken up with a whole song in his head, which is inconvenient because you’d have to climb in through his ears to listen to it. Maybe it’s WHAZZOCK with an H, like WHITSUN or WHAM? I’ll keep trying, although my battery’s on 13 per cent.

There’s a sleep term called REM, which stands for Rolling Eyes Madly. This happens when you’re dreaming about being naked, or dreaming about being chased, or dreaming about rolling your eyes while in a naked chase. The band name REM stands for REMember REM? I remember REM. They sang ‘Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite’, the chorus of which can be misheard as the phrase “Calling Cheryl Baker”. This, coincidentally, is my go-to mantra when I’m talking in my sleep. I tried calling Shelley Preston once and I woke up screaming. Did you just yawn? Is my advanced knowledge of Eurovision popsters Bucks Fizz boring you? Can you help me with this word game? Is WAZZOCK with two Zs? What was that Ultravox song about sleepwalking? Did they sing it while actually sleepwalking? Have you ever sung “Oh, Vienna” like Frank Spencer says “Oooh, Betty”? WASSOCK. It accepts WASSOCK with an SS instead of a ZZ. Ah. Zzzz. I’m feeling sleepy now. Thanks for reading. Now get out of my bedroom, you weirdo.

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