I have a confession to make. It is a very embarrassing confession. But I feel that it is in the interests of all of my brother men out there to just get this out into the open so that all the women out there know what they may have to deal with after they get married to us. Education is the better part of valor, or something like that.
I have become afflicted with this particular problem only lately, as I have entered middle age. Most men my age are keenly aware of the powerful draw of the weekend midday nap. You’ve just finished tussling with the kids after a hearty Sunday breakfast buffet of bacon and eggs and Pillsbury dough crescent rolls, when suddenly, you feel the call of a warm soft horizontal surface. So you heed the call and lay down for a nice little nap, and then it happens…
Yes, I am talking about afternoon nap drool. For some reason, I only drool when I take afternoon naps, never when I go to sleep at night.
As I said, it is very embarrassing, and I am only bringing it up now because I have been caught. Usually, when I take an afternoon nap and the drool starts drooling out; it has been onto my own pillow, which I can live with, because, after all, it is my own pillow.
But the other day I decided to take a nap on my son’s bed because we bought him a new mattress and box spring. It has always been my policy, as a caring parent, to test out any new mattress and box spring that we provide for our children. It is the least I can do.
So there I was, napping on my sons new bed, when he woke me up and exclaimed, in the only the way a loving child could, “Dad, get up, you’re drooling all over my pillow.”
And he was right; I had drooled on his pillow. I was completely mortified, caught drooling by my own son.
I just can’t figure out this whole drooling phenomenon. If I go to sleep lying on my back, I do not drool. If I did, I am sure that I would wake up gagging and blubbing as the drool pooled up in the back of my throat. No, the drool waits until I am lying on my side with my mouth hanging open slack jawed.
This is the moment the drool has been waiting for.
I imagine that drool, being drool, is overly anxious to escape from my body. It feels that it simply doesn’t belong in my body and wants to venture out on its own. So when I am lying on my side with my mouth open in slack jaw position, a drool atom (atomic symbol: DRL; atomic weight: 42 atomic weight units) sees freedom on the pillow below, gets excited at the prospect of being free, and starts to multiply.
Then it happens, the drool builds up enough critical drivel and starts to wend its way down onto the pillow forming a string, down which, a multitude of droolish atoms make their way to freedom. When I think about it, this could be the foundation for a very cheesy horror film of the fifties.
Anyway, the upshot of it all is that a little pond of freedom drool forms on the pillow, which is fine if it is your own personal pillow, but is a total embarrassment if it is your son’s pillow.
After I was caught drooling on my son’s pillow, I tried to make light of the whole situation by trying to make light of the whole situation. I tried to make the drool look good by going on and on about how I at least didn’t blow my nose on his pillow, or wipe my armpits on his pillow.
My son wasn’t very impressed.
The last time I saw my son, he was asking his mother to teach him how to launder pillowslips.
So maybe something good has come of this after all. It’s never too early to teach your children how to do the laundry.
Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and webmaster for the Canadian Catholic Information Network. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.