It's really late Saturday night: Allergies are killing me. A day's worth of chores and something in the air have my nose running like a faucet.
"Honey", I yell, "Is it OK to take Benadryl and Zytec at the same time?"
"It's probably not a good idea." she replied. "You know how Benadryl messes you up."
"Too late. I already did."
"Then why did you ask?"
"Because I'm stupid."
It's true. Not the stupid part - the Benadryl part - OK, maybe the stupid part too. The label on the Benadryl bottle says that it lasts from 4-6 hours, but for some reason my body takes 10-12 hours to metabolize it - but it works. And it makes me wicked tired. Oh, well. I'll sleep it off. Did I mention that I took two?
After a night of fitful sleep, I get up feeling fuzzy, and start getting ready for church. My face feels like Molly Ringwald's sister in Sixteen candles. I take a shower. Still fuzzy. Breakfast. That will wake me up. But I've got to hurry because I'm running late, and I have to make sure the kids are ready too. In a strange twist of family tradition, my EC had left long ago for early meetings, and I'm in charge at home.
One cherry PopTart and a full can of Dr. Pepper TEN later, I think I'm safe to drive. We arrive at church and the traditional pre-meeting handshake ritual perks me up. I'm going to be fine, and my nose is not running. Yet.
I sit on down on the bench (we are soft-seat saints) and I immediately notice the perfume from the sister in front of us. As soon as the Counselor stands up to begin Sacrament Meeting, my nose begins unleashing a torrent. Through brilliant planning on my part, I have a pocketful of Kleenex, and am able to contain the flow without resorting to embedding the tissues in my nostrils and wearing them.
So far, so good. The trickle subsides, I get through the opening song, the ward business, and the Sacrament. Alert and inspired. If I recall correctly, there were speakers after that..
As the first youth speaker begins, my eyelids gain ten pounds. Each. I begin trying every trick I know to stay awake.
• I sit up really straight and put my arm around my EC, hoping that improved posture will help.
• I pull the hair on the back of my calf.
• I pay attention to every word, focusing intently.
The next speaker is a wonderful young man who keeps me awake for most of his talk because I am so impressed that he is giving such a good talk. Even so, I did do the "head bob and jolt" a couple of times during his talk.
The next talk is a struggle. I resort to some of my better tricks.
• I fidget with my wedding ring.
• I pinch that really sensitive part between my thumb and forefinger and find that horrible nerve. It works for a minute.
• I take apart my pen and put it back together.
• I do it again, using only one hand.
• I fight off the urge to update my FB status.
• I reach for my notebook to take notes - not realizing that I have forgotten it.
I am succeeding. One more talk to go - but first it's time for some music. Hopefully we can all stand and sing "Praise to the Man" or some great church anthem. But no, it's a piano solo. A beautiful, melodic, gentle, peaceful piano solo.
I am out cold. Still sitting up. I wake up once and look to the stand. The second counselor is looking right in my eyes. And he smiles. I smile back and subtly shake my head. He smiles even bigger.
You see, I was Bishop for over five years, and I NEVER fell asleep on the stand. Ever. There were a few times when it was close, but I knew that if I did, I would never hear the end of it. There were even some ward members who felt compelled to point out to me when I had had a close call. "Looks like you were really struggling up there today bishop. Haha." Hilarious.
So I have an entire arsenal of tricks at my disposal. Techniques developed during five years of hundreds of pairs of eyes taking note of my alertness. But today, all my weapons are failing me. The concluding speaker begins talking. He has such a gentle voice...
It's all over. Next thing I know, it's time to sing. I feel like I'm falling and I jolt awake. The counselor is still grinning at me. My EC is too. She is finding this to be amusing. Oh well. The meeting ends, and I gather my things to go teach my Sunday School class.
I wonder how the lesson went...
LDS humor mormon humorist