That Sounds Nice, But Will the Electricity Get in My Brain?


My pillow was directly under the window, and the window was covered in frost.  Winter had come to Seoul, ugly and mean, bitter as my father when he bought underwear at Kmart and it went on sale two days later.  The new day would arrive as though it had divorced the previous night but won its temperature in the settlement.  The mornings were sunny but freezing, like an arctic wolf dressed in, um, a non-arctic wolf’s clothing (?).  That reminds me, I wonder if the zoo back home in Rochester is going to get any new arctic wolves – the two they had passed away recently.  I always enjoyed the arctic wolf.  Wait a second…what am I supposed to be talking about?  Let me regain composure and get straight to the point:

It was cold.

And I was waking up sick every day.  Not deathly ill, but kind of run down and weak.  This didn’t make sense to me…I’m a healthy person.  I eat rice and drink a lot of coffee.  What was going on here?  Why couldn’t I stay healthy?  It was as though I had the immune system of a bubble boy.  Speaking of which, a bubble arctic wolf would be really sad.  I can picture it, the poor wolf with the bad immune system walking around in a bubble like when people put their pet hamster in that plastic ball thing.

Again, I digress.  It dawned on me that I was waking up under the weather, and I was also waking up under the freezing window.  There had to be a connection.  Putting my detective skills to the test, I determined that it’s actually much colder in my apartment by the window than it is away from it.  It was settled then – I would have to sleep backwards on the bed, with my feet by the headboard.  True, I could have turned the bed around the other way (and thus been able to keep my head by the headboard), but that seemed like a lot of effort.  I chose to be lazy and sleep backwards.

I could date The Girl With the Backwards Butt

The first few days were a bit jarring.  I started thinking of other things I could try facing the other way.  For instance, what if one day I surprised the students by having all of the desks turned to face the other end of the classroom?  That would really freak them out!  Or if I went to a pub and sat on the bar stool facing out, away from the bar itself and towards the tables.  People would probably think that was weird and creepy; they’d wonder what I was looking at.  “Don’t drink and stare,” they’d say.  Lastly, I wondered why people always sit on the toilet facing the same direction.  Why not do it backwards?  I mean, you could spread work out on the back of the toilet like it’s a little desk, or use it as a table and have lunch.  Imagine how day-to-day productivity would increase.  Maybe I could go in there with my laptop and write a novel.

“Say, I heard you wrote a novel.  You must’ve been really determined.”

“Not really…I just started shitting backwards.”

With my switch to the backwards sleep, I didn’t wake up sick anymore.  I felt good in the

Louie says "Be safe sleepin' by electricity!"

morning.  That said, I began having a new problem.  I noticed that my face was right by the power outlet.  This frightened me.  Was sleeping next to the power outlet safe?  I feared that electricity might be leaking out of it and getting into my head.  Think about it – your brain functions because of neurons and electrical impulses.  The power socket could be sending electricity into my brain and screwing with the neurons.  My brain might start pumping out too much dopamine, or maybe I would lose my sense of smell.  I might go insane because I started sleeping with my head too close to the power socket; maybe I would start hearing voices, and I don’t mean like how I hear Barry Gibb when I get the Bee Gees stuck in my head.

Maybe Barry Gibb would start talking to me.  I imagined myself walking down the street, screaming like a crazy person: “I don’t know how deep my love is, Barry!  You don’t really need to learn!  Leave me alone!”

Thankfully, I have the Internet, and I was able to learn that it is indeed safe to sleep with your head by the power socket.  Silly me – I was being paranoid.  Since learning this, I have woken up with a new energy for life; I’m feeling healthy and I don’t have to worry about electrical poisoning.  I may be sleeping backwards, but everything is the same as it always was, as if life is one big palindrome.



30 thoughts on “That Sounds Nice, But Will the Electricity Get in My Brain?

  1. OMG. Thank you for the much wanted laugh.

    By the way you could become the electricity Lord, if you kept sleeping next to that power socket, like the kid perseus who held the lightening bolt in his hand.

    • Sweet! More Greek myth stuff! Perseus, eh? He held lightning…I need to know no more, I will reference this first chance I get.

      Great hearing from you, Myth. Hope you’ve been okay. : )

  2. With all this talk about backwards, I all of a sudden wanna rap:
    I’m the miggidity miggidity miggidity miggidity mack daddy. I’m the miggidity miggidity miggidity miggidity mack.
    Kriss Kross will make you jump, jump. The mack daddy will make you jump, jump.
    Uh-huh, uh-huh.
    This is all I can about this post because there is WAY too much that I want to address. I will say that I laughed hysterically as I read this on the crapper…backwards.

  3. Irrational fears and/or connections that only make sense in one’s own mind, a feeling I’ve grown to be too fond of.

    When I was little, I watched a lot of Animal Planet. Whenever there was a commercial about how pollution hurts the environment there always seemed to be some kind of animal caught in to plastic soda connector-thingys. So now that whenever I dispose of one of those I make sure that I cut them, because if I don’t it will inevitably get caught in a seagull mouth, a sea turtle’s fin, or a whale eye…or something.

    • That doesn’t sound irrational. I mean, I suppose if you don’t live by water, the chances of taking out a whale’s eye are slim…but you never know. You would feel horrible if your water bottle was the one that took off the sea turtle’s fin!

      You are a great person for this, Renee! Keep protecting the environment! Save the seagulls!

  4. I get excited when you upload a new post. I’m always guaranteed a good laugh- not so great for the people in my general vicinity , my laugh has been compared to that of an animal on its last legs- I digress.

    I’ve done the backwards bed thing, but not because of windows or impending pneumonia, just because sometimes my brain gets restless and fancies a change, odd right? Nevertheless, I’m glad your head is safe 🙂

    • It’s so nice to hear my post made you sound like a dying animal! Best compliment ever!

      Odd, yeah, but cool. Sometimes when people want change, they buy a new house or move to Idaho. You go for simpler things…highly commendable. : )

  5. good thinking on laying backwards… had the same problem and yes, it’s true moving the bed was too much trouble but i don’t sleep backwards though, i sleep across by the foot of the bed away from the cold 😛

    oh and it’s nice to know i’m not the only one who thinks eating rice and drinking a lot of coffee is healthy.

    thanks for another good laugh:)

    • You and I are the healthiest people in the world, Isabella. I don’t understand how you slept. You mean you slept horizontally? Like you and the bed made a cross, or a lower case t? Regardless, I’m glad to hear we share the same opinion on moving beds as well.

      Good to hear from you! : )

      • i guess i speak alien sorry. yes, i sleep horizontally on the bed but the bed and i don’t make a ‘t’ i have a big bed and i’m ashamed to say i’m small (don’t make fun of my height).
        happy new year btw 😀

  6. Wolves are supposed to be ominous, I just can’t imagine one in a ball, let alone a bubble. You just ruined the image of one of the most fierce animals in my mind, now whenever I think of a wolf; a fairy comes to mind…

    • Wow, I’m so sorry…I hope you’ll be able to regain your appreciation for wolves. You are right – we should only put things like fairies and John Travolta in bubbles.

      Happy New Year, Hamza!

  7. Cat

    With a healthy diet of rice and coffee, you STILL get sick? I guess there’s no hope for the rest of us…
    Glad I’m not the only one who’s slept backwards on the bed. 😉

  8. Exodus

    bless you and your never-ending humour, Bill! it totally cracked me up and made my first morning of 2012. sorry that i was busy on those last days of 2011 and didn’t comment on your latest posts. but i’m here now. happy new year, Bill! all the best to you and any budding romances that may come to you this year! ; )

    i really like this line:

    The new day would arrive as though it had divorced the previous night but won its temperature in the settlement.

    and arctic wolves. : D

    • Hi stranger! Good to have you back – I was worried. Don’t wanna lost my best friend in Vietnam.

      I feel this is going to be a good year. For you, me, and the artic wolves. : )

      Happy New Year’s, Lan!

  9. Karin Babin


    I’m reading the blog entries I haven’t had time to read yet, because I’m at work and I’m soooo bored. I’m totally checked out, as I am leaving the high powered world of commercial real estate leasing, working for the largest retail Landlord in Canada. Three and one half weeks baby, then sigh-ah-nara! (I like phonetics, they are one-dur-full). My love of photography grew into a business all my itself, literally. When opportunity knocks, you grab that bitch by the hair and tell her it’s about time!

    Anyhoo, I digress. I’m supposed to be wrapping stuff up here, very important stuff and all. And I’m trying not to get busted while doing my very best to pass on all of this very important stuff to my successor, touching as little of it as humanly possible over the next few weeks. But in order to do that, I have to look like I’m working.

    HOWEVER, this post was funny, start to finish, and my snickering turned to suppressed snorting which turned to actually laughing. And now I have to produce something to show my boss, because it’s become obvious I’m not actually working. And it is all your fault. Thanks a lot!

    • I thought when opportunity knocks, you answer. Ah well – I like the ‘grab the bitch’ line better.

      That’s awesome that you’ll be working doing something you’re passionate about. I think that’s the dream, right? To actually make a living from doing something you’d do anyways. Good for you, Karin Babin!

      And you’re welcome. I’m very happy to have spoiled your ruse. Get to work!

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