Monday, July 23, 2007

A recipe for restless sleep

{Stacey: Let's read Chilling Ghost Stories!
Carson: How about we read Flowers instead?}

This is a new version of a longtime family favorite, guaranteed to produce a frothy mix of vaguely frustrating and disturbing dreams, full of shadowy characters, betrayals, and the low hum of constant danger.

Restless Sleep


1 spy novel, all but the last hundred pages read
1 breathlessly anticipated seventh volume of an unprecedentedly popular children's series
1 dry gin martini, up, with olive


Begin reading the remaining pages of SPY NOVEL in time to be finished by 9:30. Set aside and let rest for fifteen minutes (It can later be lent to one's father.). Prepare and drink MARTINI. When clock reads 10:00, settle into comfortable reading position and begin reading BREATHLESSLY ANTICIPATED CHILDREN'S BOOK. Read one hundred pages, or until clock says 11:00. Set book aside (Remainder can be enjoyed as leftovers for up to three days.). Sleep; dreams should follow apace.

As an adaptation of a family staple, this recipe is fairly forgiving--quantities and times need not be exact for you to achieve the desired result. In a pinch, substitutions can be allowed--I find that Luc Sante's Low Life, Mark Smith's The Death of the Detective, Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels, or Ecclesiastes work well in place of the spy novel, while the role of the children's book can be reasonably approximated by Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, the collected works of Charles Schulz, or, oddly enough, any of the novels of Haruki Murakami. There is no substitute for the martini.


  1. There is no substitute for the martini. Words to live by.

  2. I've more or less given up drinking Strong Persuaders and Black Sabotages since deriving the Old Rum Saz. Drop over sometime and we'll throw down a couple over The Call of Cthulhu.