Sometimes Dan and I are sharing a couch.

As we were a few nights ago, bored with an episode of Gilmore Girls. So bored, in fact, that one of us pretended to be asleep, head thrown violently back, throat full of sound.

[scripty]
DAN
I know.

PAM
Seriously.

DAN
You know, some people snore really loudly.

PAM
They do. Lot of apnea in my life.

DAN
Uh-huh.

PAM
Is this where our relationship has taken us? We’re now finally getting around to discussing snoring?

DAN
We could finish this Gilmore Girls.

PAM
So, apnea. All kinds of sleep masks and mouth grips.

DAN
Really?

PAM
Not me, or stee. But [NAME WITHHELD] used to have night terrors.

DAN
Oh, my God. What does that mean?

PAM
It means he’d be like, “Zzzzzz……. AAAAAAUGH!!!!!!….Uh, uh, oh, oh, ummm….zzzzz.”

DAN
I… I…(giggling)

PAM
But without that part in the middle where I was laughing. That was me, not him. I’ve never done an impression of night terrors before.

DAN
Do it again. It’s hilarious.

PAM
Not at the time. Only now. This is the first time I’ve ever realized how funny it was. He’d just wake up from deep sleep, shout, try and punch something in the air, and then fall back asleep.

DAN
Oh, my God. And what did you do?

PAM
Try not to get hit. It didn’t always work.

DAN
And then he tried to wear you as a hat?

PAM
More like that footage we’ve all seen of the man in bed chasing his wife because he thought she was a tiger.

DAN
Yikes. And I was just mad about loud sleeping keeping me up.

PAM
My dad was one of those snorers who was in full denial, so we’d tape record him snoring in his chair and play it back and he’d accuse us of faking the tape.

DAN
My mom would snore so loudly that we’d smack the mattress right next to her, screaming, “STOP DOING THAT!” And she’d be terrified, sitting up going, “What? What’s wrong? Who’s dead?” And we’d feel bad for point three seconds that we’d just about given her a heart attack–

PAM
And then you’d laugh —

DAN
No, then we’d go into the other room. And then we’d laugh. And then she’d start snoring again.

PAM
One night Eric almost killed Chris. Five years ago, when we were driving out here, we were at a hotel in Albuquerque. It was the middle of the night and we’d been driving for like, eighteen hours that day in two different cars, and Chris was so loud. Eric jumped out of bed, grabbed his pillow, and stopped inches from Chris’ face. I shouted, “You can’t kill him, E.” And he goes, “We’re in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere, and nobody knows we’re here, and most people don’t even know he was coming with us to Los Angeles. We could kill him, leave his body here, and just keep going to California.”

DAN
It’s just so loud, everybody understands why you’d have to kill. Why is snoring so KKKHHHHAAAAAAAAAHHHHH?

PAM
My favorite is this one: KKKKHHHHAAAAAAAAAARRCH…. (smacking sounds)

DAN
Yes, what is that, with the smacking?

PAM
The snore’s so damn good, they just start enjoying a little dream sandwich.

DAN
Dream sandwich!

PAM
Well, what would you call it?

DAN
I’m making everyone call it that. KHHAAAAAAAA… Little mustard and a pickle… KHAAAAAAHHH! Oh, and then there’s this quieter snore: HHAAAAAaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. HHHHHAAAaaaaahhhhhhhh. I canalmost sleep during that. But I’m still going to end up sleeping on the couch. With my hoodie for a blanket. And I’ll be snoring tears.

PAM
And you want to say to the person, “You see, when we depict sleeping, we use the letter Z. There is no K, G, R or C-H in there. Make a Z sound. Make a Z!”

DAN
Nobody makes a Z sound.

PAM
You get so mad at them, even when it’s apnea, which means that snoring sound is their bodies struggling to stay alive.

DAN
They’re suffocating and you would rather they stopped breathing entirely.

PAM
Oh, the precious seconds when they’ve stopped breathing! Right when you can fall asleep. It’s amazing how we know they need help, they can’t breathe, and we’re just like, “DAD! Fucking QUIT IT!” If he was on the kitchen floor struggling for breath, we’d administer CPR.

DAN
But if it’s someone you love on your couch, or next to you in bed, you’re like, hitting them, kicking them, jabbing an elbow in their sides.

PAM
“Fucking breathe or shut up!”

DAN
And don’t you think at this point we’d be better than snoring? It’s really very silly and leaves us quite vulnerable. You’d think we’d have evolved past that.

PAM
You’re right. Our bodies have all these other ways to deal with air–

DAN
— as an instinct. The sneeze.

PAM
When we need more air while we’re awake, we yawn.

DAN
But no, when we sleep, our bodies just fight for life. “KKKHAAAAAGGGHHHHHAHHH!”

PAM
We need a new instinct.

DAN
It’s so easy, too. All you have to do to not snore is go [ROLLS HEAD TO THE LEFT, TONGUE PROTRUDING] “Mmmllaaaah.”

PAM
OH MY GOD.

DAN
Don’t you think? “Mmmllaaaah.”

PAM
I love the head turn. “Mmmllaaaah.”

DAN
It’s so gentle. Soothing. “Mmmllaaaah.”

PAM
I love it.

DAN
I call it the Sleep Sneeze.

PAM
“Mmmllaaaah.”

DAN
I employ it after I eat a Dream Sandwich. And you determine on what side of the bed you sleep based off of which way your partner faces to Sleep Sneeze.

PAM
How can we make it instinct? You’ve saved marriages and lives with this thing.

DAN
Maybe you just have to teach babies how to Sleep Sneeze and you’ll grow up knowing.

PAM
No, it should be instinct. You’d have to start with newborns. Go wake up tiny, tiny babies and go, “Mmmllaaaah.”

DAN
That will not work.

PAM
How did we get instincts before? All the stuff we have, like how babies have that monkey paw instinct?

DAN
It’s weird that I know what you mean when you didn’t really say anything at all just then.

PAM
That gripping instinct, they lose it after a certain point. Because we don’t climb trees. And we develop instincts to keep us from dying, right?

DAN
I… don’t know that we do that anymore. We seem pretty set in our human ways.

PAM
But snoring kills, Dan. It’s what gives people heart attacks.

DAN
You are really passionate about this!

PAM
You’ve invented the cure to snoring!

DAN
Snoring really doesn’t have to be so inefficient. And then everybody could just get some sleep.

PAM
Check it: “Mmmllaaaah.”

DAN
It’s pretty when you do it.

PAM
We have to tell everyone about this. We have to call sleep labs and brain clinics and —

DAN
Couch schools?

PAM
Shut up! I’m celebrating your genius.

DAN
Well, let’s save the world tomorrow. Right now, I’m fixing to make myself a dream sandwich.
[/scripty]