The Snooze Button

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The Snooze Button was invented some time shortly after the invention of the alarm clock itself, and
I remember the day I discovered it as a young boy. It was early in the morning, and my alarm clock was going off. I didn’t want to get up so I wondered if there was a way that I could silence the alarm for about nine minutes so that I could get a little more rest. This would allow me just enough time to toss and turn for 8 and 1 / 2 minutes, and sleep for the remaining 30 seconds, before starting the cycle all over again.

Although I had prayed for a snow day, I was forced from my slumber on this cold western New York morning by my alarm clock, which began emitting a heinous noise at the pre-agreed upon time of precisely 6am, Eastern Standard Time. I rolled over, turned on a light, and examined the device to see if there was a way I could make it temporarily stop beeping. I noticed a few buttons, among them an on and off switch. If I turned the alarm off I would likely go back to bed and definitely miss the bus, which would lead to more problems in the future. If I kept the switch toggled to “on”, the clock would keep making noise, and cause me most likely to kill myself right there. The latter option was undesirable for a couple reasons; I feared that I would make my loved ones sad but, more importantly, it was Taco Tuesday at school. I was about to make a decision when I noticed a bigger button on the machine that read in capital letters SNOOZE, and I rejoiced thinking to myself “that’s exactly what I want to do,” and so I extended my index finger, and pecked the button one time. Magically, the noise ceased and I realized that from that moment on, my life would never be the same. Indeed, this was the first time I had ever utilized the snooze button, but it sure wouldn’t be the last. Far from it.

When I first discovered the Snooze button, I was a little confused, mostly because I thought the alarm clock’s purpose was to wake people up, not encourage them to go back to sleep. If I wanted fall asleep again, I would have simply struck up conversation with a woman. Nevertheless, in my moment of weakness the button appeared to me like a dove, and tempted me back to the dark side. I was not in any sort of condition to protest, and so it was inevitable that I succumb to an extra moment of rest and curl back up with my blankets. Making the deal even better was the fact that one of my blankets was heated, and if you have not experienced the splendor of the heated blanket, then you have not lived.

Overall, my feelings towards the alarm clock were mixed. At first, it was making a sound that was so offensive causing me to wake up, which was a good thing, but like many mediators of truth, it hurt bad, and I resented the clock for that. On the other hand, there was the snooze button attached to the mechanism, and which was responsible for bringing me immediate happiness, and I was grateful for that. Like some sort of ongoing abusive relationship though, I just couldn’t break the cycle. What I needed was a support group, but what I got was slightly less than ten minutes of silence and enough amnesia for me to not break the clock indefinitely.
A few seconds after regaining my blissful state of unconsciousness during that second cycle, the stupid thing began going off again. This really tried my patience, and I tried everything to ignore it. Well, two things. I tried tuning it out, and covering my ears with my pillows, but the noise kept penetrating my soul and tried to possess it until, once more, I stood up and marched straight to the clock, which was positioned conveniently on the other side of the room, and gave the button another firm poke. To my delight, silence filled the room again and I slithered back into bed and reassumed the fetal position. I drifted off real fast this time and, once asleep, forgot about the clock quicker than the French forgot about America after D-day. All was well for nine minutes, at which point I was awoken again by the sound of the alarm clock. This process continued for a total of 7 times on this particularly chilly November morning. Something needed to change.

Clearly, the morning in question was off to a rough start, but the alarm clock wasn’t the only thorn in my side attempting to not let me keep sleeping, and keeping me miserable – my mom. She had been coming in the room while the alarm clock was going beeping because it had woken her up too and, irritated, she told me to “shut that damn thing off and get up.” I told her I was trying, but she didn’t understand. Coincidentally, this happened about seven times as well.

Before I proceed any further, I should add a little backstory about my mom. She had come into the picture a few years prior when I was just an infant. I don’t remember when, exactly, because my memory was barely functional when we first met, but I’m told by a few individuals that the day was June 6, 1985. The first time I saw her I tried squirming away, but she managed to corral me for several years, apparently by feeding and clothing me as well as by performing several other tasks that directly ensured my day-to-day survival. I grew fond of this mystery stranger, who seemed to have been sent by some other universe to care for me, and began calling her Mom. I’m not sure why I gave her that title, but my guess is that I heard some other kid calling their overlord by the same name, and so I did too. It was a simple, one-syllable word that required little effort for my developing vocal cords to produce, and it seemed socially acceptable. It was only later that I found out she went by another name too: Val, and I don’t recall any particular meeting where we shook hands and she was like “I’m Val but you can call me mom” but I do remember figuring out that I should call her mom, and only mom. In any case, I was indifferent at the time because at that age what I was really interested was just a couple items: food for sustenance, and my blankie for warmth. After I moved from her stomach onto the earth, mom stayed around and looked after me. In exchange for housing, food, Christmas presents and reading me books at night, I did the dishes on a bi-weekly basis. She got a good deal there, I think.

During the morning when I found the Snooze button, Mom had been drifting in and out my room. She was reminding me in not so pleasant terms that I should wake up, and she made it pretty clear that the deadline for doing so was now, and she didn’t hesitate to use ruthless tactics waking me up. For instance, she said that I would miss the bus for school and become a failure, and turned the light on in my room to deter falling back asleep. She also left the door to my room open, and I’m convinced purposely went into the bathroom that was next to my room and made excessive noise. And she attempted repeatedly to engage me in polite conversation. Not wanting any of it, I tried reasoning with her, and begged for just “five more minutes” – anything that could lead to more sleep. I wondered silently if she, too, might have a Snooze button somewhere on her that I could push, but there was nothing I could do. She wasn’t going to back down, and she was bigger than me.

Val allowed the charade of the alarm clock sounding, me hitting the snooze button, her telling me to get up, and me going back to sleep for about seven Snooze rotations. Throughout the course of that hour, something must have pushed her over the edge, because, in between one of my nine minute siestas, I felt a cold liquid run all over my upper-body. I awoke to see Val moving swiftly towards the exit of my room with a cup in her hand, angrily commanding me yet again to “get up now!” More confused than the Toronto mayor in a drunken stupor, I rolled over in my bed and discovered next to me a small collection of ice cubes lying in a puddle of some mysterious liquid. I ran a series of tests, and concluded that the liquid it was, in fact, water, and discerned that that the ice had been added on purpose in order to make the water a colder temperature than the ground would otherwise have it be. Mom’s decision to pour water on me was an attack both on my consciousness, and my physical well-being; as you know, hypothermia is very serious and I was headed in that direction fast. Indeed, Val had found my Kryptonite/Achilles heel/major weakness in the form of a mixture of ice and water, or “ice water,” as it’s referred to on the street. Her ingenious concoction was successful for several reasons, the most notable being that I don’t like being cold, or tired, or awake, and now I was all three of these things. I can handle being wet; in fact, I had spent several New Years Eves in a hot tub, and found it refreshing, but being wet and cold at the same time was a different story, and so I was stuck in between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. I was convinced that no snooze button in the world could erase the misery I was experiencing. Well, maybe the blow dryer could have helped, but Val was using it at the time, and I had burned my skin with one previously, so ruled that out. I began weeping, and clicked the alarm clock from on to off and proceeded to the bathroom.

Crying, I turned on the water. I made a point to turn on the middle knob before entering the shower in order to let the water heat up because I did not want to endure, as I had in the past, the shock from that first burst of water when it comes from the shower head that is, for some inexplicable reason, always cold. Well, probably the reason it is always cold at first is because the water molecules that stay in the pipes in between shower usages do not get to hang out near the water-heater like the other molecules, as they all await their destiny in a sewer somewhere.
With the hot water pouring over me, my problems seemed to melt away, and I once again forgot about the multiple run-ins with Snooze button that had caused me so much pain just moments before. This newfound warmth and comfort was short-lived, due to the arrival of the school bus now reaching serious imminence, and because when I turned off the water and whipped open the bathroom curtain, was greeted by air that must have been colder than it was on the night of April 15, 1912, when it took the life of the young Jack Dawson, who had recently fallen in love with a certain Rose something or other on an unsinkable ship called the Titanic on the night that it sank. It is worth pointing out that the sinking of the Titanic, however irrelevant it might be to the Snooze button, was a tragic moment in recent history. Katy Perry, however, reminds us that “after a hurricane comes a rainbow,” and she was right about the rainbow here because were it not for the sinking of the Titanic, mankind would not have had the opportunity to see a certain other “Kate” nude in James Cameron’s version of the film when Jack paints Rose. All of that to say, I stopped showering, on the bus, and went to school. As far as I know, that day progressed without any further incident, and I made it home to prepare for yet another battle with the alarm clock and that dreaded Snooze button, and the years ticked by with the Snooze button unfortunately becoming an integral part of my being.
At some point during my never-ending struggle with waking up, I acquired another alarm clock to help, complete with Snooze button, and so now there are two Snooze buttons in my room. It’s most unfortunate that things had to get to this point, but when faced with waking up in the morning and not waking up, I find that the alarm clock really is effective.

For better or worse, the Snooze button came into existence, and has ruined countless lives, but it’s here now and so I better learn how to cope with it, much like the atomic bomb. I thought the inventor of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer was referring to the invention of the Snooze button when he said “We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita… “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” but I was wrong – he was actually talking about the bomb itself. My bad, but I would say that his statement applies to the invention of the Snooze button because, aside from weaponry, it’s creation has been the most destructive force ever invented in the history of the world for several reasons – none of which I feel like elaborating upon now, and its usage should be approached with extreme caution. After all, nobody wants to be late for work. I have appropriately named my alarm clocks Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an ever-present reminder of its impact on the world, and continue to pray for a Snooze-buttonless world

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39 Comments

  1. Posted December 31, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I know exactly what you’ve been through! But what everybody should realize is that the snooze button is a really bad way of getting up or extending the sleeping! Even though it takes a bit of self convincing, sleeping longer and getting up right away is much much better for the health!

  2. Posted January 1, 2014 at 2:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Really funny and enjoyable read. Thanks for posting.

  3. zulaikhazainul
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 3:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love this! It’s well written and full of imagery. Keep it up!

  4. Posted January 1, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have no idea as to why i am such a slave for snooze button when I know it is indeed not my friend. Those 3 minutes of sleep are usually the most tiring cycles of sleep. The only reason i find it helpful is that the alarm sound that I have fixed is superb, and I don’t mind listening to it again and again. Good post keep up the good humor!
    TheCuteHeart~Finding some goodness in you

  5. Posted January 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I like the way you write. 🙂

  6. Posted January 1, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Haha awesome

  7. Posted January 1, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i like to think I am a “snooze button time traveler.”

  8. Posted January 2, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on dreamsofmeetingtruth.

  9. Posted January 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on dekorhore and commented:
    Oh, how I can relate to so many strangers!

  10. Posted January 3, 2014 at 1:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is fantastic hahaha had me in stitches! It’s all so true!

  11. Posted January 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Haha

    http://ravitejatadimalla.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/why-blame-game-is-a-bad-game/

  12. Posted January 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I hate that button, it’s made me late for work before. It gives you that false sense of security that you still got time when you don’t! bah! 😦

  13. Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nicely written.Very enjoyable. I too have suffered from the buttons, but in silence.

  14. rishishah97
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    This design is really random.. just a thought haha. I like random 😀 just like my blog *hint hint* 🙂

    • Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:45 am | Permalink | Reply

      good eye. my mom’s favorite color is green and i like how the font takes up the whole page. otherwise i’m website design illiterate. speaking of hints, i wish i knew how to change the font color…

      you need more content on your site. keep writing 🙂

      • rishirants
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        Well it was my first day I didn’t want to make a huge blog nobody would read and I could change it in the beginning and now I can’t seen to find the button!

  15. Posted January 6, 2014 at 3:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am a secret snooze button fanatic… nd now use

  16. Posted January 6, 2014 at 4:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    I really did laugh out loud…. LOL this was so enjoyable reading. Sad but true daily battle I fight too. You are not alone!! What is with that precious moment in time during those snooze dream drift offs??? Totally sets you up for a disaster and doom. Keep writing. Loved it!

  17. Posted January 6, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on The Cons's Nook.

  18. Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on I Dreamed a Dream.

  19. Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My snooze button is worn to a barely tactile nub… my wife hates me.

  20. Posted January 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love this post!!! Snooze button is my friend, and I have five alarms to wake me up and successfully get me out of the house on time

  21. Posted January 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on Musings of an Heteroclite.

    • Posted January 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh thank you. What is a heteroclite?

      • Posted January 9, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        A person or thing that deviates from the ordinary rule or form. Could be described as an anomaly if you like

  22. Posted January 14, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is wonderful!
    I’m new to WordPress! Any new comments or pointers would be much appreciated!
    http://briannajackson1.wordpress.com

  23. Posted January 14, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on SudsNSparkles – Luxury, Life and Love and commented:
    Absolutely love this!

  24. Posted January 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lol. I love the snooze button!

  25. Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on wuongangkruox57 and commented:
    A time is too sleep………………………….

  26. Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on Neets Notes and commented:
    Great article on the Snooze button. We all have used it at some point. I like the names this blogger has given his alarm clocks! Here’s to the Snooze button and 9 minutes of bliss or dread. It depends on the day!

  27. Posted January 28, 2014 at 4:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oooooohhhhh!!! I so know of that tiny monster–my actual alarm clock died a few weeks ago, but using my tablet’s default clock!! STILL a nasty, yet needed(?) item.

One Trackback

  1. By Snoozing the New Year | shutter and ink. on January 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    […] read today a post about the snooze function in the alarm clock. While I don’t remember the first time I discovered this function on my alarm clock, I must […]

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