As usual, summer came late this year to the Portland area; we hardly saw the sun at all for long stretches of time. We had no spring to speak of and practically all of June was overcast, chilly and wet. But things have recently taken a turn for the better. Summer is finally upon us! In case y’all were wondering, this is why my posts have been sparse recently. I’ve been spending most of my free time outdoors to celebrate the summer and enjoy the sun.
I have grown noticeably darker, to the point where some might mistake me for a Mexican. Speaking of Mexicans, they appear to lack any sense of respect for other people’s sleep. Mexicans celebrate each others’ birthdays with loud parties held during the wee hours of the morning. They wake each other up for work by honking their horns outside their co-worker’s houses. Neighbors be damned. I’ve experienced this myself. There seems to be no concept of stealing other people’s sleep. Perhaps this is because it’s normal, in Mexico, to sleep during the day so that nighttime sleep doesn’t hold the same value it does in more northerly cultures. In any case, any Mexicans who wish to become naturalized in the U.S. should be required to learn to respect the sleep of others.
The ancient Jewish sages had a specific word for sleep theft: “Gezel shena” (literally “sleep theft”). Since we Jews have such a concept, I’d bet dollars for donuts that the Muslims do too. It would be interesting to compare the value of other people’s sleep in various cultures. I’m not sure how to go about doing this but surely somebody else does.
To be sure, our own American culture is far from perfect when it comes to this. Many American neighborhoods sound like kennels 24 hours a day because owners don’t bother keeping their dogs in line when neighbors are trying to sleep. I sometimes wonder how many people have died due to road accidents that were partly caused by sleep-deprivation due to barking dogs. How many doctors failed to save lives because they couldn’t concentrate for the same reason? How many work-related accidents can be traced to barking dogs?
Since this is a rant, I’ll go on to my next pet-peeve: Motorcyclists whose engines are almost loud enough to shatter windows – yet they have no problem riding through residential neighborhoods at all hours. There is no way to catch such people and punish them unless a cop just happens to be there at the time – and said cop considers it a priority. Not likely.
With the apparent end of the war in Iraq, a lot of people are wondering what to do with all the snipers who are now idle. Put them to work ridding us of inconsiderate people I say! I don’t care if Mexicans are disproportionately affected.