Gary Brown: Conspiracy theories run rampant when awakened at 3 a.m.

Gary Brown

“Wake up and buy something, cheapskate!”

I didn’t hear that being shouted. But I think it was screamed during an infomercial while I dozed.

I had fallen asleep with the bedroom television on the other night. While watching a movie — appropriately, “Sleepless in Seattle” — all of a sudden I wasn’t sleepless. Suddenly, without notice, I was sleeping. I would have been upset that I missed the ending of the movie if it hadn’t been shown on one of those cable channels that shows films that you’ve seen so often you can recite the ending.

“We’d better go ...” Sam tells Annie, with a pause before he holds out his hand. “Shall we? ...”

(They walk to the elevator, smiling at each other, Jonah leading them.)

“Sam. (She holds his hand and nods slightly.) It’s nice to meet you.”

(The elevator doors close as Sam and Annie gaze into each other’s eyes.)

Sorry to make you cry.

But this time, “Sleepless in Seattle” seemed to be ending oddly.

When I woke up, I thought for a second that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were trying to sell me the Empire State Building.

No, my still-fogged mind was playing tricks on me. Instead, some other guy and gal were trying to sell me an air filtering system. They seemed friendly enough. But not in love. Not meant for each other. This would have been considered a romantic comedy only if this was a couple who had met at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

I don’t know why I woke up at that moment. I didn’t wake up during the movie. I never wake up during movies. I never wake up when I doze off during sporting events, either — only after those games are finished, when an announcer loudly proclaims that “this was the most exciting finish that anyone here can remember having seen!” Or hadn’t seen.

So I can assume only that someone or something woke me up.

Maybe the guy in the infomercial shouted at me to buy something. Perhaps he blew a whistle. It could be he just clapped his hands or ran his air filtration system very loudly, trying to wake up sleepers everywhere. I never watch an infomercial the whole way through. I don’t know what stunts they pull.

One thing I did find out is that breathing apparently is hazardous to your health. While I was in bed watching the infomercial, the guy poured dark brown water into a glass. That disgusting water contained all the bad things that his air filtration system sucked out of the air.

Try getting back to sleep when you believe you’re going to breathe in a glass of muddy water before morning.

I know it all sounds paranoid, but when you just woke up at 3 a.m., everything seems like a conspiracy. It’s dark. Anything could be hidden from you.

For all I know, there could have been a second shouter out there on a grassy knoll in my backyard.

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