Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sleep Awareness Week

My daily commute includes an electronic sign hung above the Thruway. The content varies; usually it contains a warning about a traffic accident ahead, or slowed traffic at the next exit. But this week, the flashing message seems rather bizarre:



Translate that? This is ‘Sleep Awareness Week’ (just think, some legislator probably sponsored this honor). Are we supposed to be aware of our sleep? Pay more attention to our rest patterns? And why should we stay alert? Is there a crisis due to the lack of sleep in our modern lives? We aren’t aware enough of our sleep? We should stay alert to this fact?

More likely, the designation refers to falling asleep behind the wheel, and we should keep ourselves awake and alert on the highway. Or should we be alert to the driver next to us, and make him aware of our (their?) sleep? or lack thereof? Hey, sir, you’re looking a little wane and pale this morning; get to be before 9 tonight, will ya?

I don’t know which is more vacuous and pointless here: the fact that someone designated a week to ‘sleep awareness’, the silliness of the phrases used as part of the campaign, or using a large highway billboard to advertise it.

Or, that I’m even writing about it.

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