What’s for dinner, a plate of liver and a nice glass of Chianti?
Didn’t know you were into S & M Where’s you handcuffs?
The acerbic, taunting, hurtful comments just kept on coming, each one of them slicing into my heart like a knife through butter. And why was I being subjected to this vile abuse, you might ask? Just because we were supposed to be going on holiday with friends and they were threatening to leave me home alone while they jetted off to the sun… and the fact I’d just walked into the room looking like a deranged psychopath with my face concealed under Hannibal Lector’s mask?
It all started one Sunday afternoon when I fell asleep after lunch. When I woke Mrs T, who was supposed to be working, was sitting on the other end of the sofa glaring at me accusingly. “What’s up?” I asked sleepily. She turned on the recorder into which she had been dictating a contract for her secretary to type up the following day… and instantly my ears were assaulted by a thunderous roar that drowned out almost everything she was saying. “What the bloody hell’s that?” I gasped recoiling in my chair.
“You snoring” she replied grumpily. “I couldn’t hear myself think.”
“If it was bothering you that much, why didn’t you do something about it?”
“I don’t know. Stuff toilet paper in your ears, or something” I ventured thinking I was being helpful and considerate. Apparently, I wasn’t. Not even close
“A cushion over your face and sitting on it until you shut the f**k up would be my suggestion” she snarled as she jumped up and stormed out of the room.
Until that moment I hadn’t realised just how much of a problem my snoring was. Alright, over the years there had been tales of me sharing a room with a colleague who wore headphones with rock music blaring full blast all night just so he could get some sleep, and of another who vacated our room on the first night and spent a week sleeping on the hotel landing next to a noisy lift shaft. But, that’s all they were, tall stories put about by people taking the piss. Weren’t they? Well, no, apparently not…. so I decided to do something about it.
It turns out that not only do I snore but I also suffer from sleep apnoea, a condition whereby, during sleep, you stop breathing and starve your brain of oxygen until you snort like a rhino and wake yourself up, so the first port of call on my journey of discovery was the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Society website where I determined the probable cause was sleeping with my mouth open, or as Mrs T puts it, lie there with my cake hole gaping like a black hole sucking in anything and everything including other people’s will to live. And there was a simple exercise to check this out… Gene Simmons impressions. That’s right, Gene Simmons the lead singer with the rock band Kiss. Here’s how it goes. You stick out your tongue as far as you can, make a snoring noise and register the volume, then repeat the task only this time biting on your tongue and closing your lips before trying to replicate the sound… and if it is reduced or stops altogether, then, as Mrs T has said many times before “not being able to keep your gob shut is the cause of everything”. So I did. And it was… unfortunately, the first time I tried it I was having a cappuccino in Costa Coffee and a bloke at the next table threatened to deck me, so if you are thinking of trying it, do it in private.
Anyway, despite being sceptical about the diagnosis, armed with this important information my search for a cure began. I tried everything, mouth sprays, nasal strips, balls stuck up my nose, (copper ones, that is) until eventually, I came across a head strap designed to keep your mouth firmly shut during the night and my troubles were over… or, so I thought.