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As a matter of fact, I am listening to NPR right now as I type thizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a big fan of our National Public Radio but those people and their soothing voices are a more effective sedative than the most powerful sleeping pills. If some monster ever escapes from a lab with a resistance to tranquilizers, all the army would have to do is play about thirty five minutes of All Things Considered before that beast hit the floor, just a bit of drool leaking from the corner of its slackened jaw and a soft snoring sound escaping its throat.

I’m pretty sure you could put an end to a hostage situation by playing clips of This American Life.

But I kid, I kid. I really do like many of the programs on NPR, especially their morning edition stuff.

Ah, a Sandman comic! No, not the Neil Gaiman Sandman (though the one in the comic does look kind of like that guy…), we’re talking about the original folkloric fellow today! Who is he? Where did he come from? What, exactly, is his deal?

Despite some modern confusion, the Sandman figure is not directly connected with ancient mythology. Instead, the Sandman figures prominently in European folklore of the last three or four hundred years, and has become an important character in modern western pop culture. There are many stories surrounding this mysterious figure but the basic concept is of a fellow tasked with either bringing good dreams to children (like Morpheus and his brothers in Greek Mythology) or sleep to people of all ages (much like Hypnos) through the use of magic dust which he sprinkles onto the eyes. Upon waking, the sleeper finds this “dust” in the corner of their eyes, a sure sign that they were visited by the Sandman in the night.

Descriptions of the Sandman vary with the story-teller. Sometimes he looks like a human at a normal size, other times he is more like a modern fairy or pixie, and still other times he is a diminutive old man with a robe. It’s no wonder that people can’t seem to get a consistent description, it’s got to be difficult to get a good look at the fellow as your eyelids start to droop and you wander off into dreamland.

It’s probably for the best, really. It’s creepy enough that a dude manages to get into houses all over the world without us having to see him right as we’re falling asleep. Hey that sounds like another popular Euopean figure I know…I wonder if they have a club where they share techniques on quietly breaking into homes?

Oh well, we can’t really complain. They are providing a valuable service, though personally, I could really do without all that “dust” the Sandman leaves behind.

It’s like a goddamn beach hits me in the face every night.

Thanks a lot, Sandman.

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