The Ambien Walrus Comes for Mister E

In spite of the fact that he works all night at a job that has him slinging heavy boxes, sometimes my fiance has trouble sleeping. One day recently he was looking at the boxes of over-the-counter sleeping pills and I told him to put those away because we had Benadryl at home. He looked at me like I was insane and I explained to him how most of those OTC pills are just Benadryl painted blue and sold for three times the price.

Instead, I recommended a homeopathic remedy called Calms Forte that I used to use when I couldn’t sleep. We generally don’t buy into the water cure here, but he’s had great success with them. See, he doesn’t need help staying asleep, just getting to sleep. Once he’s out, he’s out. He tells me they make him drowsy and calm but he doesn’t have a hangover in the morning and he doesn’t have weird dreams.

His work messed up his schedule last night so he was home with me and in spite of the fact that he hadn’t been able to sleep all day – after 6 Calms Forte total – he still couldn’t get to sleep. I, on the other hand, had taken my Risperdal so I was knocked the fuck out. I have a vague memory of him saying he was going to get a Sprite at 2 AM but I’ve dreamed and hallucinated weirder stuff.

This morning he said to me in a very conversational tone: “So the Ambien Walrus stopped by last night.”

“Oh,” I said. “You took my Ambien?”

“Well, I assume it was Ambien,” he replied. “You don’t have anything else in your nightstand that’s for insomnia, right?” He was washing his hair while he said this, as if people rummage around in their future wives’ nightstand and take pills with reckless abandon all the time. “I didn’t see anything that said ‘Ambien’ specifically on it but it said it was for insomnia. I mean, I’m pretty sure I didn’t take your blood pressure pills or anything.”

“It’s the generic,” I said. “I’m glad it worked for you, though. You hated it last time.”

“Well, see,” he said, still calm, “The problem last time was that I couldn’t stay asleep. So this time I took two. I can’t believe you don’t remember me asking about it. No wonder you don’t need the Ambien anymore.”

“You took two? You realize that it only takes like six of them to kill you, right?”

“I didn’t take six. I took two,” Mister E said like he was explaining whole numbers to a small child. “And let me tell you, it worked. I got the Sprite – you asked me where I was going – took the pills, and went out on the porch to smoke a cigarette and read some comics until it kicked in. I got through two cigarettes before I realized I was having to concentrate really hard on every single panel. So I came back inside – I mean, I had to have, I woke up in bed – and went to sleep. It wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I realized the patio door had been open all night.”

“OH GOOD,” I said. “Just the thing I wanted to hear. It’s a good thing the cats didn’t get out and we weren’t murdered in our beds.”

“I’m almost certain the two youngest cats went outside and poked around, then came back inside. I’d be surprised if they didn’t. And I’m sure I would have woken up if someone was murdering us,” he assured me. Then he squinted up at the ceiling. “Probably.”

Remember, kids, stay out of the medicine cabinet. Or if you’ve got to take The Pills, be sure you stay inside the house while you do. Have you ever seen a cat lady spaz out when she thinks her cats have been out of doors? Not pretty.


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