EARHAIR: We’ve All Got It in Some Form
The blogging world has taught me that there is very little sleep out there. It has taught me that having children was never going to add to anyone’s rest and relaxation, least of all mine. There are many out there – right now – struggling to persuade babies, toddlers and geriatric parents to go back to sleep. I, however, am not one of those tonight. No – tonight I am a victim of an unfortunate but surprisingly prevalent condition. Extremely Annoying Respiring Husbands Are Irritating Repeatedly (EARHAIR).
EARHAIR takes many forms. My Man-Hog, alone, has several variants. You may recognise some of them though I cannot list them all – their number is legion:
This minor irritation usually occurs in the first few minutes of EARHAIR, before the snorer has yet had a chance to settle into a proper rhythm. I think toothpaste or its mint flavouring has something to do with it. First the snorer inhales gustily through fairly clear nasal passages but then decides (because they are ANNOYING – grrrr) to exhale through the pursed stuck-together-with-unwiped-toothpaste lips with a loud *POP*, followed by the back of the throat click as the exhale is completed. Sometimes there is a double-click as the tongue mysteriously rises to the roof of the mouth and down again like Excalibur from the lake. Bearability Scale: Irritating as nettle itch but not worth stabbing him yet. Unless you want to.
This, as the name suggests, is EARHAIR happening around 40 minutes after lights out. It is a rising crescendo of chest and nasal wheezing which mimics, quite well actually, the mating call of a lion with chronic tonsilitis. The only way to stop it is a swift blow to the clavicals. Sometimes this can stop respiration altogether, depending on the savagery of said blow, but I’ll tell you how to resolve this in a later blog. Or maybe I won’t. Bearability Scale: Not yet a divorce-inciter but getting close to the wire. Requires earplugs or a change of room.
Elks R Us
This is the deep sleep, rapid eye-movement phase of EARHAIR. The sprouting bushy King of them all. This is a 2AM foghorn waking all in the house except the snorer. That sod sleeps on throughout. Elk Phase must involve some form of sonic block – how else can the bugger still sleep? Why Elk? Well because it must be similar to camping al fresco next to an elk giving multiple birth to breech babies without so much as a TENS machine. Deep drafts of air are sucked in to vibrating nasal tunnels, followed by a short pause then the long, low, resonant exhale so bass and drawn out a note it makes Pavarotti sound like a choir boy, the Elk is a raging beast of a snore. There is no cure. Only death by self-smothering or moving house without telling the snorer are the coping strategies and even then, you’ll still hear it – it will haunt your dreams with its moose-call. Bearability Scale: Un-bloody-supportable.
So there we are. I’ve tried to give a little insight into the private hell endured by EARHAIR victims such as myself. When your baby wants to play all night, or your aged mother wants toast at 3AM despite scoffing most of a suppertime shepherd’s pie already, spare a thought for us. We don’t have wakefulness, but we have EARHAIR. And it’s getting worse.