My alarm clock malfunctioned this morning. It went downhill after that. You will soon see why.
I have become accustomed to waking up at precisely 5:30 a.m. to the song "Mr. Blue Sky" performed by the Electric Light Orchestra. At 5:30 a.m. and four seconds, Chubby, our family cat, jumps up on the bed and meows at me, informing me that she would like me to wake up and tend to her needs. I spend approximately the next 36 minutes and 56 seconds ignoring her.
During that time period, I hear such songs as "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry, "Rockin' at Midnight" by the Honeydrippers, "I'm Gonna Miss Her" by Brad Paisley, "Dueling Banjos" from the "Deliverance" movie soundtrack and "Freakin' at the Freaker's Ball" by Dr. Hook along with a few others.
At 6:07 a.m., "Blue Moon" by the Marcels kicks in. This is my signal that it's time to get serious about getting out of bed. By the time that the first chorus starts, I finally prop myself up, poised to jump out of bed and get my day off to a running start. Two minutes and 20 seconds later, when "Always with Me, Always with You" by Joe Satriani starts playing, I actually get out of bed.
Chubby follows me to the bathroom and jumps up on the sink and stares at me quizzically with her head cocked to the side while I look in the mirror to make sure that I woke up with the same breathtakingly good looks that I went to sleep with just hours before. Luckily my eyesight is getting worse as I age.
By about 20-30 seconds after 6:15, I jump in the shower, so I can be done by the time my wife wants to wake up at 6:30. I'm not sure what Chubby does on the other side of the shower curtain at this time. My guess is that she grooms herself with our toothbrushes, but that's pure speculation on my part.
At about 6:26, I get out of the shower and debate on what I should do with my hair for the day. At 6:26 and seven seconds, I end up doing the same thing I've done for the past 47 years. It's gotten me this far, so why change now?
As I comb my hair and put on the deodorant, I turn the water on in the sink so Chubby can get a drink. The cat likes to drink cold, running water and gets mad at me when I don't give her that option. After a minute and a half of this, it's time to leave the bathroom and let others in the house start preparing for their day. This is what usually happens.
As you can see, I'm on a very tight, strict morning time schedule (except maybe for that 37 minutes I spend laying in bed listening to "Dueling Banjos"). When that music didn't start blaring at exactly 5:30 this morning, my schedule for the entire day was ruined beyond repair. Luckily I have a contingency plan in place, and my cellphone alarm goes off at six, but by that time, it didn't matter. The rest of the day was tainted because I didn't have that half hour of staring at the ceiling.
My wife claims I might possibly be a creature of habit. On good days that's what she calls it. On other days she just thinks I'm nuts. When it comes to time, I like structure. I like to do certain things, certain ways at certain times. Any disturbance in any of these rituals brings utter chaos raining down on me and those in my immediate vicinity.
If you don't believe me, take this morning as an example. As I was making my daughter and myself peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our lunches, I accidentally used the "whipped" creamy peanut butter instead of the usual "regular" creamy peanut butter. My life had been thrown into complete disorder and confusion.
When I went to feed the goldfish, I missed the tank. (Don't tell my wife. We'll pretend it's our little secret.)
I went to put a check in my wallet, and it was one of those stupid business checks that are too long to fit in your wallet without folding them in half. (I'm always worried that the bank will void the check if it's creased in any way.) Nothing was going the way it was supposed to, and it was obviously all due to the simple fact that my alarm didn't go off at the right time.
And it wasn't just me. Chubby was running around like a beast possessed. She tripped me three or four times, and when I would let her out the front door, 30 seconds later she was at the back door wanting back in. It was pure bedlam.
After a while, I had to sit down in my chair and take a minute to compose myself. I came to the realization that this was going to be a bad day, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
As I contemplated throwing in the towel and going back to bed in hopes for a better start the next day, my wife calmed me down and reassured me that the rest of the day would get better. "Everything will be just fine," she said. "You're just used to everything being done a certain way at a certain time everyday. It will be good for you to break out of your comfort zone," she said with a sinister smile.
That was easy for her to say. She wasn't going to be eating "whipped" creamy peanut butter in the next five hours and 42 minutes.
You can contact Wallace at email@example.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.