My work day usually starts off with a variety of routine sounds. The first sound comes from one of the four cats that roam our house. It is always the same cat of the four — Sonic. Sonic unfortunately has more respect for routine that he does for the sleep patterns of my wife and me. He jumps on the bed and emits what I have dubbed the Marge Simpson meow. In short, he meows at us; but is so apathetic he doesn't open his mouth to produce this sound. Sonic then feels it necessary to climb on my pillow and begin nuzzling my face. It's is usually at this point when I give the cat lessons in Newton's Law and the Laws of Aerodynamics simultaneously. All of this usually happens about an hour or two before the next sound of the day.
My alarm clock lies across the room. The reason for this is simple. If I have to get up and go across the room to shut off the alarm, I'll stay out of bed (WRONG!!). I reset the clock to go off in another hour. After all, I should have no problem going back to sleep and that extra hour will make all the difference in the world (WRONG AGAIN!!). The alarm clock emits a sound reminiscent of the Emergency Alert System tone as recorded by a mid – 1980's punk rock cover band. In spite of this, I endure this sound twice every morning; 5 days a week. What can I say? I can be as much a slave to routine as Sonic.
I then place my hopes upon my bathroom sink. Every morning, I approach the sink with the firm belief that my soul will be revived by the brushing of my teeth and the splashing of water on my face (Morning 3, Shane 0). I head downstairs to the smell of coffee and breakfast lovingly prepared by my wife. I walk into the kitchen to grab my coffee. It is at this point that I hear an ominous growl emanating from the kitchen counter. The coffee maker is hissing at me. It's almost as if my coffee maker doesn't like to do mornings and is in need of…well…a cup of coffee. I leave the room. After all, I already HAVE coffee. I am not going to tolerate such a contemptuous tone from a machine (I know; why stop now?).
Finally, I sit on front of the TV to look at some very important developments in the world. Once I see that the roadrunner has AGAIN eluded the otherwise intelligent coyote, I turn to the news and watch for the traffic report. Mind you, I take the same route to work five days a week. There isn't much short of a black hole in the middle of the interstate that will make me change my route. This is not an issue of routine. It is due to the fact that any alternative route will only further delay my trip. I view the map on the TV and listen to the reporter speak of accidents and construction work. Some roads are red (very slow traffic) and others are yellow (traffic just slightly faster than a funeral procession). Suddenly, something very out of the ordinary happens. The interstate that I take to work is GREEN. Things are looking up.
My dad used to greet me every morning by saying: "Hey there, Sunshine. BOY, DO I FEEL GOOD THIS MORNING." I decided to try this approach in light of the unusual traffic news. I stood in front of the TV and shouted: BOY, DO IFEEL GOOD THIS MORNING. At this point, the cat and the coffee maker let out a guttural groan. This is followed by the traffic reporter announcing a "rubbernecker delay" on the interstate that I take to go to work. Nevertheless, chanting my Dad's mantra felt good. Final Score: Morning 4, Shane 1.