Thoughts & Views: Alarming info for sleepyheads

Today’s column is prompted by a recurring event in my life: Oversleeping.

I am a night person. Earlier in my journalistic career, I started work at 4 or 5 p.m., which was perfect since I didn’t have to get up until midafternoon. There were times in the dead of winter, when daylight hours are few, when I would not see the sun for days. It was like living in the Yukon without the benefit of the Northern Lights.

(I kept hoping that, just like some nocturnal animal, my eyes would grow bigger, but that didn’t happen.)

Now, however, I must be among the living during the day. And once again, this week I was late for work because I slept through the alarm. Or, more accurately, I kept hitting the snooze button until it got sick of being smacked and turned itself off.

I regret not having bought a clock I saw advertised years ago. It was inside a tennis ball. When the alarm went off, the only way to shut it up was to throw it against the wall. It would remain silent for several minutes and then go off again. But since it was inside a tennis ball, it could have bounced anywhere and you had to get out of bed to hunt it down, and since you were now out of bed anyway, you’d likely stay out.

After my recent snooze-in, I went online to see if I could find this clock. No luck. But I did find some others, even more diabolical.

Consider the Ramos Nixie, which costs $350. But that’s not the only diabolical thing about it. The only way to turn it off is by entering a code on a keypad, located in another room. And you must change the code daily. Plus, it’s battery-operated so you can’t unplug it.

Then I found a website,, which featured a list of the “most evil” alarm clocks. One appears to be a variant on the tennis-ball idea. It’s called the Clocky, and it’s on wheels. If you don’t turn it off immediately, it rolls off your bedside table and skitters around the room until it finds a hiding place. At $50, it’s less of a monetary nightmare than the Nixie.

My two favorites, though, turned out to be merely conceptual. One is the Shredder. Apparently, you would feed it a dollar bill, or a higher denomination if you’re rich, and each time it goes off, a bit of the bill would be shredded. Keep hitting the snooze, and you’d end up with confetti.

The other, reportedly just a ThinkGeek joke, is called SnuzNLuz. It would be connected to your bank account. Each time you hit the snooze button, $10 would be deducted and sent to a charity you’ve chosen — preferably one you detest, so you are never tempted to grab that extra few minutes of zzzzz.

SnuzNLuz is brilliant, and I wish ThinkGeek would actually market it. I’ve already decided on the “charity” I’d select: Any fund-raising group that thinks Chris Christie should be President.

I’d never oversleep again.

 – Karen Zautyk

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