Trinity (left) and Neo in "The Matrix Reloaded"
Just like Channing Tatum's character in "Magic Mike" (Ha! How's that for a way to start a column? You have no idea where the hell I'm going with this ...), I consider myself an entrepreneur.
Now I finally have an idea that's so good, I can practically smell the billions of dollars that I'll soon keep in my scepter-shaped swimming pool.
If you're like me, there's basically no alarm clock on the planet that can effectively wake you up. Even when the noise blaring out of those tinny speakers sounds like someone re-enacting scenes from Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" on a pig, you can just roll it into a pleasant dream about pie or Smurfs or purple clouds. Either that or you hit the snooze bar every 15 minutes for the next five hours and consider the problem solved.
That's why you need my Shocking News Alarm Service. You simply set your wake-up time, and every day a representative calls you with a piece of news that gets your heart cracking against your ribs.
[Groggy, sleepy] "Yes?"
"You're pregnant with Joakim Noah's child."
How could you stay asleep after that?
The key is that it can be either good news or bad news, and you'll never be sure which, so you'll be eager to scramble for your phone each morning. For instance, how could you not spring to life when hearing that:
"The second 'Matrix' movie is entirely true."
"Sean Hannity is your real father. Your mother met him during a layover at the San Francisco airport in 1982."
"You've just been hired for a high-paying new job. Bring your wire cutters. The ticket to Pakistan is already booked."
Right now, the alarm-industrial complex relies on our collective acquiescence to a late capitalist impulse to subject ourselves to the grinding hamster-wheel mentality of the modern workplace. I simply want to take that impulse and add some heart-rending shock and awe:
[Groggy, sleepy] "Um, hello?"
"You've won a $50 million contest to donate one testicle to science. We'll be over in 10 minutes to collect it."
Obviously, after long enough you'd catch on that some of these scenarios are not plausible, making them somewhat less shocking. In this case, you'd upgrade to the Shocking News Alarm Service Premium Package, in which our representatives actually create shocking news to provide you reason to leap out of bed.
"There's a nest of baby mole rats in your sock drawer. They are hungry."
"Your dream of becoming a rock star has been set up. You're due on stage at the United Center in 20 minutes."
"Remember Tiffany Jones, the girl who used to call you 'flat' in 7th grade? She's having morning sex with your boyfriend."
"Tom Cruise is standing right outside your door, grinning creepily, with flowers, right now."
It will be the most successful business since Henry Ford rolled the Model T off the factory line. I'll wake up every morning rich, refreshed, and successful to the stimulating sound of a voice telling me, "Mr. Markley? Henry Ford's remains have been exhumed and sewn into the lining of your pillows."
RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."
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