The big sheep
Hello, it is the evening. Now, I did not intend there to describe the precise moment at which you read this, unless by some great happenstance it is indeed the evening where you are, but that isn’t relevant – yet again, all I’m doing is reexhibiting my unappealing old habit of using the present tense to remember historic events. I suppose it’s a trope that lends us greater immediacy, or makes the style more accessible – but please calm down, cos I’d be wrong to suggest that I put any kind of thoughtfulness into this great mass of sopping literary rusk.
On that evening, in the past, I worked myself up into a decisive mood, to the point that I was able to make an important decision. And what I decided, on that evening, was to go to sleep.
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and if any subsequent regret is due, well, it’s dealing its feet. I remain stood right by my decision, oh, yes. Do you have a problem with that, do you?
Making a decision is good, but it’s always just the tip of the iceberg. One doesn’t just decide to do something, and then go for a lie down. It takes considerable subsequent effort to follow something through, and sleep is clearly no exception.
Oh, hold up, sleep must actually be one of the few exceptions out there. Going for a lie down is easily the most popular pathway chosen by those aiming to achieve sleep. It really is as simple as that, I don’t think you need an unpaid internship.
Well, if only that were true. Oh, it usually is, I expect, for you, with your several pairs of shoes and expensive education paid for by your parents’ ketchup sauce business. But on this particular evening, the unclasslessness of society was manifesting itself in my shorts, you know? I was not sleepy, I was Daisy.
Oh well, I knew that just blaming Tony Blair would not solve anything in the short term. In my unsleeping state, I cast back my mind to some wisdom that a Chinese scholar off of Radio 1 never taught me. It was that counting sheep is a good thing to do if you want to fall asleep. Ingenious.
I don’t understand the mechanics behind this witchcraft. It is, I expect, all thanks to the clouds of a special gaseous something that are produced when the sheep’s hooves react with nitrogen in the air, but if that isn’t correct then you are allowed to punch Michael Gove. Still, it’s so great that science can tell us these things, isn’t it?
A caveat approaches: what if there aren’t any sheep? Yeah, science, you didn’t think of that, did you? Of what use at all is science, with all its poncing great truths, when there aren’t any sheeps to count?
Hey, hold up, I’m being disingenuous. There really are some sheep, I think, which is an unlikely stroke of luck. But it’s dark outside, like what happens in the evenings, yeah? Also: trees.
I am sure that we could eradicate those obstacles, using floodlights and and a saw, but another problem won’t go away, which is that in order to see the sheep one must dangle out of a window and endure its clammy hard frame digging into any bulging features. That uncomfortable position is barely conducive to sleep, I would say.
Oh, maybe the idea is that I assign countships to the sheep. Sadly, I think that only the monarch gets to do such things. As we have already established, it is social immobility’s fault that I can’t sleep in the first place. Oh dear.