IJMC Get your Zzzzzz's

			IJMC - Get your Zzzzzz's

I'm wondering if this might be hinting at the fact that all the IJMC 
posts go out late at night...am I up past my expiration date?  -dave

                        Sleep Bank

        I noticed I was in Sleep Debt earlier this week but have been
little able to do anything about it.  I tried making a quick, small
deposit yesterday morning, but the sun was in my eyes and I couldn't
properly see the ATM screen to type up my deposit.  I've also noticed
I can't get good scrip from the local Sleep vendors in the daytime, it
all seems to be Black Market Sleep and inflated or debased currency
at that, so it's of little use.  The one Sleep vendor I went to
yesterday, some guy named Caffeine, gave me the usual scrip and
another who gave me the usual, but his name was Nap (I try to throw
a lot of business his way because he seems so nice).  Both, alas,
were the usual debased currency.  The ATM debits them somehow, like
the Nap currency usually comes out to about 1/3 of what the face
value asserts it should be recorded at.  Sometimes I get lucky and
Nap is on the ball in being dishonest to his superiors and gives me
a break.  Sometimes Nap's currency comes out like real Sleep Bank
Notes, and then I'm in business.  Sometimes I'm so flush with good
sleep Credits I don't know what to do with myself.  I've also
noticed that if I make two trips to Mr. Caffeine's booth in one day
I often end up in the debits column with the Solid Waste Vendor for
the Recycling Group.  I can only give them an inferior grade of
rather thin solid waste for deposit and recycling, so I get very
little Sleep scrip back from them for that.  Sometimes none.  Somehow
it just doesn't pay.  In the process I also can end up in the GI
Tract Debit Group of the Health Core Group, and this is not
at all satisfactory either.  If you get in debt to them you can lose
an awful lot of Sleep Credits before they're done with you.  That's
just not worth it.

        I know of some people who honestly try to cheat the Sleep
Bank by dealing with such folks as the Speed Consortium and other
similar Fast Crowds.  (I am aware of the speculation around the
neighbourhood that my Mr. Caffeine is possibly running with
this crowd, so I am careful to limit my engagements with him to only
a few hits a week at most.  So far, I have managed to avert
addiction to his Stuff.  See above additional risks.)  It is a Myth
that you can get away with cheating the Sleep Bank. They somehow always
catch up with you, sometimes to Put You Down.  After your repentant
Downtime, you're allowed to resume your Sleep Transactions, but the
Downtime can be pretty severe if you're not careful.  Some people
have had some pretty serious accidents entering Downtime unexpectedly.
Sometimes, depending on how you try to cheat the Bank, they even employ
the Civil Police. (They're not to be tangoed with under any
circumstances, except when you need help for some reason.  A lot
like The Health Core Group.)  Most often it is the Sleep Police who
come after you, though.  I think this is the only instance of any
bank's guards having jurisdiction off-site as well as on.

        The real Sleep Police are The Sisters of Morpheus, a little-known
all-women gang who, with the aid of the Sandman (who is far better known,
and they like it like that) come to you often unawares and ensnare you
to their Way.  As many of you know, they are quite persuasive in
their efforts.  (From what I've heard, they may cull their ranks
from the ranks of the Undead, or Insomniacs, the rumours are unclear
on this aspect.)  Sometimes they let you argue with them, but in the
end you know The Sisters will always win.  It is The Sisters who
actually write elevator music and lullabyes, although until now this
has not been widely known.  Sandman leaves his sand in your eyes as
a mark of their visitations, which we shamefacedly try to wipe away all
traces of when we are released from that night's contract to them by
some means, often with the so-called "help" of an Alarm clock.  Why,
to borrow from my friend Paul Gorman, do you think they are called
*Alarm* clocks?  I think it's so that we don't get ahead of the The
Bank in our deposits, so they have reason to come after us.  Crafty
that.  Intimidation is always a popular tool of Tyrants.

        Woebetide your ill-faired fate should you stay up well beyond
your expiration date of a night.  Worse still should you make a habit
of this and fall into serious Sleep Debt.  You will likely fall into
deep, unsatisfactory, fitful sleep but not until late at night.  You
will then be abruptly awakened by the Minions of The Sisters of
Morpheus (who I think really work for The Bank), in the form of small
insistent children poking you in the belly, loud alarm clocks, cats
who *must* go outside right now *or else*, smoke alarms misfiring
(deafeningly); all predawn and before the sun arises.  You will
then be too wired to fall back asleep for the remaining 20 minutes
before the Alarm clock was due to wake you anyway.  The snooze alarm
will not save you in these moments, in fact using the snooze button
just seems to make this worse (although I can quote no studies to
confirm if it does).  Even on weekends and vacations this happens.
Even without the "help" of an Alarm clock.  These are often the times
when our Mr. Nap is on vacation or otherwise unavailable and many
irretractable curses are blown his way at high decibels.  I have
since found out that that last has been most ill-advised.  I've
gone for months without a word from Mr. Nap and it was not good.  He's
a sparkling conversationalist, much better at it than me, and I
really missed his company during those times.  I learned a lot
in those conversations with him.  He was the one who taught me the
art of talking the wallpaper off of walls.  It was his minor in College
and he's a good instructor.

        In contrast to the Speed Consortium and related groups is
the Soporific League.  This is also quite a large group, the most
popular among them being the Imbibable Spirits Group.  This is an
international section of the League, in fact probably the oldest and
perhaps founding branch of the League.  This is an interesting group,
although it is not recommended that one indulge in meetings when
one must then go and operate any sort of machinery or deal with sharp
or fragile objects, animals or small children.  This is a dangerous
alliance to make, since the League is also known for the bulk of the
Sudden Downtime Syndrome accident rates, especially on the highways.
They're quite a Gang.  Rather varied, some more pretentious than
others, some downright earthy and elemental, like the Mead Group,
which is quite old.  Some are truly poisonous, like the more rural
and experimental branches of the Imbibable Spirits Group of the
League who congregate in backwoods sheds and outhouses to produce
their elixirs.  Most are either unschooled or unscrupulous and to
be avoided.  This sort of behaviour gives the Sporific League a
bad name (as does ill-mannered use of Soporifics), but they've
found they can do little to root them out, so they live with their
presence in their ranks and hope for the best.  (It seems every group
feels the need for their own sub-band of Untouchables, alas.)

        I've had some serious tangles with the League and The Bank,
and last night I stayed up well past my expiration date.  (The League
and I have long since parted ways, although without animosity.  My
branch and I came to the agreement that we were a poor match and so
I left on my own.  I drop by the old haunts occasionally, just to
say hi.)  The night before last I had been very good and gone to sleep
at a reasonable time, but to no avail, awakening not much less tired
than when I had retired.  I sensed The Bank's work in this, but
could do nothing.  They will, of course deny all, but you, you know
the truth of what I write.  Whatever happens to me, remember what I've
told you.

IJMC June 1995 Archives