How To Even…Get Away with Sleeping in Public

By Michael Gushue & CL Bledsoe

Note: This is set in a magical time before or after COVID-19. Or, you know, now if you’re poor and still have to go to work. You should bookmark this valuable guide for when it becomes pertinent again, like the year 2027.

One of the weirdest things about society is that you aren’t supposed to sleep in the most sleep-inducing places. Business meetings. Doctors appointments. Job interviews. Sexual encounters with local flora. You’re supposed to sit there while people drone on, soporifically, or do some repetitive task that would numb the perkiest of brains. If you happen to nod off while, say, standing in line at the DMV or driving a bus, people get all weird about it, just because you’re fluffing them up to use as a pillow or pulling them on top of you as a blanket. Maybe they should try not being so warm and cuddly before screaming at you.

But don’t despair! There are ways to get around these social mores that start with us looking up what mores are and how they’re different from other eels. After that, we’ll make up some shit and try to convince you it’s real.

Sleeping at Work

A strange phenomenon of working is that you can be simultaneously very busy but also so bored you want to fall asleep. Add into the mix that you probably aren’t getting enough sleep because of binge watching whatever show you’ve just got to see now, but will look back on with disdain in a year. If you nod off at your desk, someone might see you and become so jealous that they totally rat you out. You can find somewhere to sleep, but what if someone comes looking for you, and you’re away from your desk? You’ve got to make it look like you’re there and working, while you’re actually fucking off somewhere else. Kind of a metaphor for relationships, also.

First, you need a recording of a typing keyboard — or whatever noises you make while working. If you’re a snorer — and you are. Trust us. We have audio. You should get a sleep test — you’ll have to find a way to drown out the sound of that. A recording of ambient noise played at high volume should do the trick. Or maybe try animal sounds. Get a doctor’s note saying you need it for some reason. (Doctors will write notes for anything if you kidnap their pets and hold them hostage. Or so we’ve heard.) If anyone complains about the noise, blame it on Timmy.

But that’s not enough. You have to appear awake at first blush. Paint eyeballs on your eyelids. Prop your head up with sticks or possibly thin strings descending from the ceiling. Rig the whole set up to shift every now and then so it looks like you’re moving. If you’re worried about anyone investigating, leave an open bible on your desk. This will ensure that any passersby quickly leave. But, if any of them are super religious, you may be screwed. Those folks tend not to be cool with anything.

Sleeping at School

It’s not enough that you show up for classes; they expect you to be awake for them, the fascists. How are you expected to learn anything in this oppressive environment, one wonders, but there you go. What a world, our generation, etc., etc. Much like with work or sex, the oldest trick is to paint eyes on your eyelids, so it looks like you’re awake when you’re sleeping. The only drawback to this is that the teacher may notice you appear to have been staring at them without blinking for the entire class period, which can be quite off-putting. You may wake up to find yourself being doused with holy water or staked. Which, honestly, is better than staying in class.

On the flipside, the teacher might feel — for once, finally — that someone is truly listening, that someone is enthralled by this rambling lecture they’ve been giving for the last 15 years. You could inspire this schlubby fucker to reach down into themselves and find the true spirit of teaching. As other students learn of your technique and paint eyes on their eyelids, your teacher will think finally — finally I’m getting through to them! You could inspire a whole thing in this poor, underpaid, undervalued public servant. In a sense, you’d kind of be a hero. Someone should build a statue.

Or, if you’re a rich kid, you could hire someone to go to class for you while you sleep in. This is a pretty great solution all the way around. Unfortunately, there’s a decent chance the person you hire will slowly take over your life, dressing like you, insinuating themselves into your peer group and eventually family. Eventually replacing you completely. But all of that means more nap time for you, so win-win. Unless, you know, they kill you. Though they do call death “The Big Sleep,” so…maybe don’t pay them up front.

Sleeping On Public Transportation

The biggest danger of falling asleep on public transportation is that some stranger will do things to you. For some of us, that’s not actually a danger, it’s more of a life-long dream. Anyway, there are a couple means of avoiding this. One, you could train an animal to guard you, like an attack chihuahua or a kung fu hamster. If you’re not willing to put the time in, you could have a friend or child watch over you, but to do that, you’d have to have a friend or someone would have to sleep with you. So. Moving on.

Another method of avoiding unwanted molestation is to make yourself not only undesirable — because, let’s be honest, some people will give anything a shot — but actively unbearable, even dangerous to the touch. Think of a cactus’s thorns, but maybe in a fashionable top that says, “Hey, leave me tf alone,” but also, “I’m a fashionable and fun person about town.” So, like a MAGA hat or a shirt that says Ask Me About Crossfit, Which I Do. A similar approach would be to avoid bathing for several months — not just to the point of stinking, but to the point where your stench has achieved sentience and can hover over you and keep watch while you rest.

If all of that sounds like too much work, you could just carry a laptop open to the screenplay you’re writing. We promise, no one will want to talk to you.

But maybe we’re looking at this all wrong. Maybe the key is to find some place where no one can find you. On top of the bus, for example. You’ll want to strap yourself in or wear velcro pants so you don’t slide off whenever the driver slams on the brakes. You can try this on trains, but they’re a little harder to get onto and stay on. Also, Tom Cruise will probably sue you for copyright infringement.

Sleeping While Driving

You knew it was coming. So let’s just get to it. We don’t know about you because you have a good security system we haven’t been able to hack, but we sure have a long commute. If you also have one, just imagine if you could spend some of that time napping instead of wishing death on those around you for their every minor vehicular infraction. And now you can!

*This only works in heavy traffic, weirdly enough.*

What’s the problem with sleeping while driving? You might hit something/somebody, right? So what if you could eliminate all the damage that might cause? That’s what a bumper is for, right? But it’s not enough. You need a whole-car bumper….or a BUMPER CAR! YESSS! Who among us hasn’t wanted to drive a bumper car to work? Or anywhere, really. Position yourself in between two other lanes of cars, set the alarm, and trust to your bumper car to bounce off the other cars without doing any real damage.

But it would remiss of us if we didn’t mention the minor inconveniences of sleeping while driving (SWD). First of all, you could get off at the wrong exit. Not usually a big problem since the entrance back onto the highway is often right across from the exit off of the highway. You’re up, over, and back on before you know it — which you don’t because you’re asleep. There are some exits, however, that do not have any way back on to the highway. Who knows why? They’re usually marked something like “No re-entry on I-31419S,” which does not help you, because you’re asleep. What you end up with is a detour, which maybe you navigate in your sleep, depending on how vivid your dreams are. And what are detours after all, but an adventure? And if life isn’t an adventure, you probably should have just stayed in bed. True, you wouldn’t have as restful or productive a sleep as you do behind the wheel, but you’re less likely to wake up in the middle of a cow pasture.


However you go about sleeping in public, the important thing is that you remind people that life is to be lived to the fullest, which means it’s to be slept through as much as possible. You’ll be the envy of everyone around you, because all of them wish they could be asleep like you. So get out there and live your best life by sleeping through it. We believe in you. This is one thing you won’t screw up. Probably.

[Your name here]

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