Monday, July 16, 2007

Sir, You Are Not Allowed Near Radioactive Material. However, We Have A Lovely Room Reserved Here For You At The Cuckoo's Nest.

For those of you who don't really know this hubs of mine, let's just summarize by saying he's not a talker.

EXCEPTION to that rule:  when he sleeps.

When Russell sleeps, something wacky happens. I don't know if it's because he is so serious during the day, tending to national security and whatnot. Or if it's because deep-down he really is a big goofball, but because he spends his day dealing with serious stuff, he doesn't get a lot of opportunities to practice getting his funny on. ("Dr. DePriest, can you kindly put down your weapon designs and tell us a really funny joke?" Well, gol-LEEE, guys...SHORE!) Whatever the reason, at nighttime the super freak in Russell is released.

He has this thing about sleep-talking. I imagine he's probably done it all his life. However, since I've only been sharing bedtime quarters with him for the past sixteen years, I can only give testimony as to how he's been since I've been sleeping beside him. Maybe it's me. His sleep-talking does seem to occur more often when he's stressed. Whoops.

Typically, I go to bed much later than Russ does. I'm an insomniac with a tendency to drift off around 3 am. He's a regular human. So he's usually been hanging out with the Sandman looooong before I show up for bed. Most of the time I can just sneak in beside him and not disturb him at all. (Although that's really probably not necessary. Usually a tornado, literally - a story for another time, cannot wake him up.) However, sometimes he'll wake up. And that's when the fun begins. He'll sit up, eyes open, looking fully awake, and he'll blurt out these things. These utterly hysterical, random, completely un-Russell-like things.

Here's a collection of some of my favorites:

~The other night when I was crawling into bed, he sat up and smiled, "Aw, look. You're wearing your fancy little blue curtains." (I was wearing a white t-shirt, undies, and glasses.)

~When we were first married, I woke up in the middle of the night to find Russell not in bed beside me. I looked in the bathroom; he wasn't there. I looked all around the house - nothing.  Nary a light or peep of movement to be found. I searched again and came up empty. He wasn't anywhere! I sat back on the edge of the bed, getting a smidge panicky, thinking "What the heck? We've been married a month and he already escaped to Mexico??" That's when I heard this thump come from inside the closet. I opened the door to find Russell sitting there amongst the shoes, brow furrowed, holding his tennis shoe, aimed at the door. "Russell?", I cautiously stated. To which he replied, not at all happily: "The laser ISN'T working!!"

~One night, I was just starting to drift off, when he shot up straight in bed and loudly sang. "Bump bump. Chick-a. Chick-aaaaaa!"

~Then there was the time in our College Station apartment that I went to get into bed, only to find him sprawled out like a face-down snow angel, covering the entire bed. I said, "Um, honey...sweetie...can you maybe scoot over just a little?" (I was trying to be gentle because he gets reeeeally peeved when he wakes up out of a dead sleep.) He suddenly sat up - MAD AS HECK. "Kristy! I tell you to go long, you run a cross pattern. I tell you to run a slant 52, you lollygag around here and there. THE GAME IS ON THE LINE!! (Y'all. I burst out laughing.) "It. Is. NOT. FUNNY! I'm counting on you to make this play happen! If you can't help the team, I'm gonna to take you out!" (I shot some snot out at this point.) "I am SERIOUS, Kristy DePriest! Wipe that smile off your face!" (I couldn't. I tried.  Reeeally hard.) ..."That's IT, sit your ass on the bench!!"

~Often it's simple things.  One-worders, blurted out just as my head hits the pillow.  "Bologna!"  (My response, "Bologna to you, too, baby."  I mean, that about covers it, right?)  Then there was the time he mumbled "sandpaper" right as I was snuggling up next to him, which had me wondering if his subconscious was telling me it was just a smidge past time to take care of those hairy legs.  Or the time he announced, "I just love Twizzlers" with his eyes still closed (which he swears I made up, since he doesn't like them at all).   "You, you, YOOOOOUUU", said in a sing-song-y voice with a little crooked smile and giggle was a delightful bedtime sign-off. 

~Two years ago, after his Achilles tendon surgery (but long after the loopty-doo medicine should have been out of his system), I went over to his side of the bed to turn off the lamp he'd left on. I turned around to find Russ grinning - this sly, come-hither grin: "Well, hellooooo, Kristy and Little Kristy."

~Then there was the time when we were getting ready to move to Arkansas and we were both severely sleep-deprived.  I was at the computer, trying to distract myself from my shockingly long To Do List.  Russ was sawing logs in the bed, having coaxed the Sandman out hours before with a glass of red wine.  All of a sudden I heard him yell at the top of his lungs (seriously, a decibel that would wake the dead), "Hot! Itchy! Chicken!!!!"  I hurriedly went in there to check on him and he put his hand out, like HALT.  He pointed over at the closet. "Wait over there next to my golf hat, please. I'm good."

And my all-time FAVORITE sleep-talking event...

~It was storming really badly one night in College Station. (You know those Texas storms - everything's bigger in Texas.) The wind was blowing like crazy. It was lightning and thundering like mad - the kind where you see the big flash of light and then two seconds later, BOOM, it sounds like a bomb has gone off. Then the hail started. I was convinced someone was chunking baseballs onto the roof.

Russ, of course, was calm as can be. Tornadoes. Ho-hum. But he did turn the tv in the bedroom on to the local news station, just to see if we should be expecting Toto soon. They were reporting on the status of the storm, giving out the usual advice: "Stay away from windows. Don't go under trees." (Our bedroom was right by a gigantic oak tree. Our bed was pushed right up against the window.) I guess that's around the time Russell drifted off.

I was on the couch in the living room with my fingers in my ears and my eyes clenched closed, trying my darndest not to fritz out. About thirty minutes passed when I heard this scream. A scream like none other I've ever heard before. The scream of an insane, completely freaked out, hysterical WOMAN.

Aaaaaaa!  Aaaaaaa!  ...EEEEEEAAAAAAA!!!!

I jumped off of the couch and started running towards the bedroom. I rounded the corner to the hallway just in time to see Russell leap off the bed, Superman-style, and "fly"/skid on his face into the hall. I was so scared for him. What in the world was wrong?? He was still lying face-down in the carpet, panting, when I reached out to touch his back.


I found out the next morning, when Russ appeared in the kitchen with carpet burns on his face, neck, and arms that he had been dreaming that he'd been caught out in the storm and had felt the hairs on his arms stand up, signaling that he had been "polarized" and was about to be struck by lightning.

His arms had actually just fallen asleep, thus the tingles.  But in the haze of a deep sleep, he didn't know that. In his foggy state, he had leapt into the hall to get low and flat, to try to avoid the strike.

Poor boy.  He avoided the strike, but he provided his wife with a most excellent story to tell.



mom schulte said...

Even though I've heard the polarized story before, it still makes me laugh out loud. The stories aobut Russell are even funnier when you know him - keep 'em coming! So glad you've joined the blog world.

Val said...

Those stories are GREAT!!! I was going to contribute some of Josh's sleep talking/singing (yes-singing)stories, but they don't compare to Russell's. I love the football one!

Anonymous said...

I just read Dad the Russell sleep stories. Even though we've heard all of them, reading them aloud was hilarious comedy! The football one is the best read aloud. Love, mooms

Robert English said...

These are great stories! Ever though of publishing them?
Very nice page!

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