Ask the Editor – Sleepless Again or “The Snorific Fury of J. Gary Wise”

Kanoot is stuck in a hotel room and can’t sleep again, but this time he has something besides jet lag and the bright Australian sun to blame.

I have traveled the world, living in the same room as various and sundry gamers for over a year now (I technically started doing coverage way back in January of 2003 in StarCityGames.com somewhat underwhelming attempt to cover Grand Prix: New Orleans – we were young then), and during all that time, one thing has been constant: excluding some minor jet lag in Australia, I have never had a problem sleeping.

It’s a gift, I understand that now. In the greater scheme of things, I was meant to be an awesome sleeper. I log sleep hours on plane flights that make my friends and family jealous, and in a bed I sleep so soundly – without snoring, mind you – that I’m an easy roommate for even the pickiest princess of slumber. In all that time, I have never been defeated by a roommate’s snoring habits. Even the nasal cavities of John Stephens, who James Bean Ferraiolo refers as “the worst snorer in the recorded history of the world”, were not enough to interrupt my quest for sweet dreams.

It’s now 3:45AM, and after having been in California for a total of seven hours, I have to confess that I’ve met my master. I have been driven from my room by the thunderous elephantine cries emitted by one Gary “Dumbo Drop” Wise. Now I like Gary – He’s a good guy, a funny writer, and a worthwhile discussion partner whenever one’s topics involve world travel, Magic, or baseball, but I think I like sleep more. Therefore after three-and-a-half hours of fruitlessly fighting Gary’s sonic symphony, I felt the need to drag my laptop to the lobby and relay my pain to you, dear reader.

Picture, if you will, a Kawasaki dirt bike, stuck in the mud. Now place your head approximately three feet from that dirt bike, and gas the engine full out to try and extricate the bike from the mud, failing every time. For three hours. That roughly describes the sound and the decibel level of Gary’s snoring.

Perhaps, however, that description isn’t good enough. Maybe this will be better. Take the biggest bull elephant you’ve ever seen and lock all four of its legs down so that it can’t move. Then anally rape that first elephant with another elephant by ramming it from behind at 35mph. The anguished scream that emanates from the first elephant would be just like what Gary sounds like between the hours of 12 and 7am here in California.

I don’t know about you, but normally when loud, consistent noises are attempting to awaken me and I’m sleeping, I incorporate these noises into my dream world and keep the z’s coming. Here, when I did finally make it to sleep, I found myself dreaming about calling Toby Wachter cell phone and playing Gary’s snoring for him as punishment for rooming me with Gary and not finding out about this cacophony of sound ahead of time. Then the dream transitioned to me becoming a lumberjack and chopping down trees with a chainsaw for about twenty minutes before I was again wakened from my fitful sleep by Mr. Dumbo Drop. I tried putting a pillow over my head, but that wasn’t remotely successful, nor was building a wall of pillows between Gary and myself to hopefully absorb/deflect some of the sound. There was no escaping Wise’s snorific fury.

Finally, I confessed that I was beaten and grabbed my laptop and a book to go find a couch somewhere and perhaps catch a few winks that way. Of course, this is GenCon, so even at 4am all of the couches were occupied by gamers either sleeping or gaming. Therefore I plugged in my computer, grabbed a chair, and this is what developed. It’s not like Upper Deck flew me out here to cover 10-12 hours of card-flopping tomorrow or anything – I’m actually here to go to Disneyland, which is almost literally right across the street from our hotel. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway, as the hours slip away and I realize that I will in fact be attempting to do Vs. coverage on my three fitful hours of sleep.

Let this be a lesson to you, dear friends. First of all, know your roommates, and go out of your way to make certain that you are rooming with someone compatible for your next Grand Prix/Pro Tour trip. Because like in football, where the best defense will almost always prevail over a great offense, there is always someone out there who snores with such ferocity that you will not, under any circumstances, be able to get a good night of sleep if you are rooming with them.

BDM baby, here I come. Even if all I can mise from your room is floor space, at least the terrible lumberjack dreams can finally stop. I’ve never looked good in plaid…

Ted Knutson

Teddy Card Game

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