The Ecphorizer

Night Owl
Bill Harvey

Issue #24 (August 1983)

You remember the days of the Hawks and the Doves? The Hawks were out to bomb everybody, and the Doves were for letting everybody bomb us. Bomb is bomb, and duck is duck, and ne'er the twain...

[quoteright]We have a somewhat similar situation at our house. We have a Lark and

Her eyes snap open like window shades gone berserk.

an Owl.

The Lark, as everybody knows, is up with the sun, busily working away, going about the business of the day at full speed, evidently going from deep sleep to full alertness in 3 nanoseconds. You know the early bird that gets the worm? That's a Lark.

The Owl, on the other hand, is a nocturnal beast. Wakes up with the setting sun, carouses all night and goes to sleep, tired but happy, with the rising sun. The Owl is not concerned with the early worm. He has bigger game in mind. The Owl is known, universally, as a wise bird. That's because he has sense enough to be up and about during the night, when it's cool.

I'm an Owl. If left to my own devices, I'd go to bed about 5 am and rise about 1 pm. I would never see a sunrise. Unfortunately, I'm left to my own devices. The world rises with the sun. I'm sort of forced to go along. Not happily, I might add. For a more graphic illustration, you might try the following. Take a rather large cage, and go out and find an Owl. The feathered kind. Make sure you do this during the day. The Owl will be asleep.

Wake him up.

But first, get in the cage. Poke him with a stick. He'll probably open one eye, look at you, and go back to sleep.

Poke him again.

He'll open both eyes, glare at you and ruffle his feathers. He'll go back to sleep.

Poke him again.

Now you've upset him. His patience evaporates. If you don't have the common decency to sleep during the day, when you're supposed to, he'll try to put you to sleep. Permanently.

Ann is a Lark. 5:30 am. Her eyes snap open like window shades gone berserk. Her motor is evidently fully warmed up, because she leaps out of bed. Since we have a water bed, this action is usually accompanied by a small tidal wave. Into the shower. Three choruses of "Sweet Surrender." (I'm usually in there for ten minutes before I realize that I've neglected to turn on any cold water, and am being boiled like a lobster). Out of the shower, humming "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." By now, I have emerged victoriously from the battle with seasickness brought on by the tidal wave. The humming sounds good. Then she starts to whistle "The Entertainer."

I begin to realize that I'm fighting a losing battle. I creak out of bed. Another day has begun.

Conversely, Ann has the ability to drop into a state of near-catatonia at 9 pm. Having just reached my stride, I'll have come up with a sure cure for inflation and other problems of the world. I'll jump up and start to expound, filled with a feeling of elation and excitement! I'll be answered by a small, feminine snore. I'll take her by the hand and lead her to the bed, where she'll collapse like a dynamited bridge.

There are compensations, though. Tomorrow morning, she'll lead me to the table, and probably stuff the first few forksful of food into my mouth.

She'll also make sure that I turn on some cold water when I take my shower.

And, when I manage to shuffle off for work, I know that I'll have at least two shoes on. 

Southern Californian Bill Harvey has begun to moderate his seven-figure royalty demands for the articles he has submitted.  We are meeting him part way by offering to refund the postage on his letters.

More Articles by Bill Harvey

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