Each evening, the Princess lay her petite head upon the pillow, yet sleep eluded her.
Surely, she thought, I have been hexed by that powerful witch of a Department Manager.
Surely, she lamented, it is the fault of the President, who wages war for barrels of oil.
Surely, her mind cried out in the darkened room, I can not sleep because it is a conspiracy of the Liberal Media and Dick Cheney to keep me awake for days on end so that my blurry eyes can not guide my fair hand on Election Day.
(In this Land, it was right and proper to blame everyone else for your shortcomings.)
As she gazed at her popcorn ceiling, vowing to have contractors come out and replaster it sometime before next Summer, a gentle glow filled the room. A large, near translucent green butterfly had gently floated in through her open window while she had been contemplating. It fluttered above her head, sweetly humming a tune.
"My, but aren't you a gaudy, CG-gauzy thing?" she cried, reaching for her slipper.
"Wait!" the butterfly pleaded, ducking behind a half-finished glass of rum on the rocks. "I am magical!"
The Princess gritted her teeth and calculated how much force would be needed in order to squash the insignificant bug without damaging her Ethan Allen Tuscany nightstand. "Magic, my ass!"
"Fair Urban Princess, it is true!" it said, skittering away from the glass and hiding behind an empty package of Unisom. "I can give you and your restless mind the sleep you need. So you can finally enjoy a restful night and a fresh start! So from the time your head hits the pillow until the second your alarm clock sounds, you're getting the peaceful sleep you need."
"Hmmm?" the Princess questioned, a bit intrigued.
"I am designed to give you a restful night's sleep. It not only helps most people fall asleep quickly, I help you stay asleep all night long with fewer interruptions and you will wake up refreshed. I will not lose my effectiveness over time as shown in a 6-month study. Additionally, I am approved for long-term use. That is what makes me unique."
The Princess scratched her chin and contemplated the fact that she was having a conversation with a green-glowing CG-animated butterfly.
"You can feel quite good about taking me," the butterfly added, sensing the close of a sale. "When you're about to go to bed, simply swallow me with a bit of water and get ready to enjoy a restful night's sleep."
"Oh, alright," the Princess said, grateful to have a bit of magic to usher her into slumber.
"Important Safety Information!" babbled the Butterfly suddenly, so quickly that it nearly sounded as though he were an Auctioneer in his larval stage, "I should only be taken immediately before bedtime. Be sure you have at least eight hours to devote to sleep before becoming active. You should not engage in any activity after taking me that requires complete alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery. You should use extreme care when engaging in these activities the morning after taking me. Do not use alcohol while taking any sleep medicine. Most sleep medicines carry some risk of dependency. Do not use sleep medicines for extended periods without first talking to your doctor. Side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, drowsiness and dizziness."
"Oh, alright!" moaned the Princess, too eager to capture a dream to bother with words that seemed as if spoken in fine print. "Shut up already and get in my mouth."
She quickly fell asleep moments later, and awoke feeling refreshed the next day. She dressed for the ball, jumped into her Mercedes ML320, and drove along the highway - only to realize that she was still partially asleep as her SUV kissed the guardrail and plummeted off a steep cliff.
The moral of this story: there is no magic pill that will solve all your problems. Treat the condition; do not simply medicate the symptom.
Read about other Bedtime Stories: Sunday Scribblings: #31