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To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question

I’m not as bad as my late dad, who never heard a sermon he couldn’t fall asleep to, but it doesn’t take much time in an airplane seat (or another upholstered one) to put me away for at least a while. Read a little, sleep a little, repeat as needed, and before you know it, you’re either nudged by the flight attendant with cold soft drinks or hearing about your initial descent to wherever. But this tag-team trip has 3 flights back-to-back over 26 hours, arriving in Antananarivo at 10:55 p.m. Sunday, when most Malagasy are thinking about hitting the hay. I have set my watch for Madagascar time, so I know it’s already 9 p.m. as of this writing. At some point in the next 18 hours, my body will realize it has been tricked, and the inevitable jet lag effects will come knocking. Experienced time-travelers know how to handle this, but I guess I’ll learn the hard way when to call it a night … or afternoon. My row-mate this flight, Vicki Anderson, said she brought one of those black eye-masks (maybe there is a more accurate term for it) to wear while trying to sleep on the way to Paris. I do technically the same thing at home when napping during daylight hours, but the eyewear of choice is more often a nearby clean sock. Not wanting to appear uncouth, I’ll think of something more dignified for someone representing an esteemed institution of American higher education. The nap-sock tradition was brought to our marriage from my wife, who got a big kick out of me asking one day what all those little black marks were on the middle of my ankle-length white golf socks in the nightstand drawer. It’s mascara, you goofus. I love you, too, dear.