Forget any idea you get at 3 in the morning


If there is one thing I will say about my brain, it is that it has been a loyal and reliable servant, especially when I am going up and down stairs. But I have also learned what a fool it can be, especially at 3 in the morning when it starts thinking up crazy ideas. ďBobís life,Ē it concludes, ďhas been pretty dull and unexciting these days. Maybe Iíll have a little fun with him.Ē


The next thing I know Iím lying awake proposing the theory that you can get more nutrients out of broccoli if you smoke it in a pipe. So I have decided that any one who says they get their best ideas at 3 AM should start taking sleep medication.


To prove this, I will give you a good, old-fashioned lesson on the normal working human brain (our planetís most magnificent creation, when it is not out hazing college freshmen).


In illustration A below, you have the normal, alert 10 AM brain (in perfect operating condition if you have maintained it according to your manual). As you can see, it is ready to jump right in there and think up clever and useful things to sell for exorbitant profits to less alert brains.



It is this superb specimen that is responsible for our greatest discoveries Ė the expanding universe, the double helix and, of course, the double martini.


Now, letís take a look at illustration B, the semi-conscious 3AM brain.



As you can see, this poor creature looks a lot like an old boxing glove. Thatís because itís a bit punchy. Its beddy-by snacks happened to be an entire quart of ice cream topped with Crackerjacks and maple syrup. And the last thing it processed before shutting down was The Brady Bunch Movie (not even the directorís cut). Naturally, its capacity for making sense of things has been compromised, and only the deepest and oldest part of this brain, the part that tells you what to do if you are attacked by wolverines, is still functioning properly.


It is this brain that convinced me a few nights ago that I had discovered a cure for anthrax poisoning, when I donít even know what anthrax poisoning is. It was so convincing that it forced me to scribble it all down on Kleenex and leave it on the night table:


Cure for Anthrax.


Some Echinacea- not sure yet how much.


Gum Arabic Ė always works.


Something else, not sure if it should be coriander or that stuff that gets out rust.


Mercifully, as it has for millennia, morning arrived, sweeping its blazing clarity over all things, including this mess I have made of my brain chemistry. As a result, my new fully rested brain whistled itself to full alertness, tossed the mysterious anthrax cure into the trash, and headed down to the kitchen for coffee and toast.


All was well again, until the next night when I had this dazzling insight about how I could reveal Canada to be the mastermind behind a vile conspiracy to overthrow world order.