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Insomniac Jeopardy!

By Hannah Guo

Note: This essay is meant to be read in an overly exaggerated, borderline annoying, peppy game show host voice.

There is a game I play when I can’t fall asleep at night. Prime playing time is when it’s already one in the morning, and I’m starting to count how many hours of sleep I would get if I hypothetically slept at a certain time. It’s a conversation between me and my brain, and the game goes something like this:

Good evening, everyone! Welcome to an insomniac's favorite answer-and-question game, Bedtime Jeopardy! You know how we play it. We provide the categories and the answers, and it's then up to our contestants to give us the right questions. Tonight, there’s a twist–these are all things you personally have done, and get to relive on those wonderful nights while counting sheep still fails you. Our categories for tonight: “Why Did I Say/Do That?”, “Does This Person Have Beef With Me?”, “Ways In Which People Have Wronged Me”, “How Do I Ruin My Life Tomorrow?”, and finally, “Are These Symptoms An Incurable Disease?” This. Is. Insomniac. Jeopardy!

Okay! So you’ll take “Why Did I Say/Do That” for two hundred… Here’s the situation. A certain someone was rumored to have been having a nice conversation with a co-worker when suddenly, the topic veered off dangerously to uncharted territory: food and weight loss. The coworker said, “I need to lay off those Cheetos!”, and a certain person replied, “Yeah!”, but forgot to add the “Me too” because they may have been slightly disassociating. Now the coworker probably thinks their work bestie just called them obese, and the person’s relationship with their coworker is definitely forever ruined because of what was just said. 

Was it you? Yes, it was! Congratulations. There’s officially two hundred to your name. Okay, moving on! (This is a figure of speech. You won’t move on from this incident, and you will sheepishly avoid your coworker for the next week and a half.) You’ll take “Ways In Which People Have Wronged Me” for five hundred? Brilliant. Here’s the scoop: A certain person’s ex-best friend swore she had a drastically different taste in significant others than that person, then proceeded to go after (and successfully date) that person’s long-term, no-commitment, long-distance crush. 

Ouch…were you the person with the long-term, no-commitment, long-distance crush? And that backstabber was your best friend, right? Oh my gosh, it was, wasn’t it? Oooof. What if they get married? What if you get asked to be the maid of honor? You’ll probably never find anyone that perfect ever again. What a betrayal.

Anyways, you’re getting mentally tired from all this overthinking, (Shocker!) so for your last category you’ll take “Are These Symptoms An Incurable Disease?” for nine hundred. Good choice! So, after a long night of crying to Titanic and excessively binging Oreos wrapped in cookie dough, a certain someone experiences the most gut-wrenching, visceral, life-threatening stomach ache and decides to Google their symptoms. 

They see the following diagnosis: Peptic Ulcer Disease, Pancreatitis, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, and finally, Stage 4 Stomach Cancer. This person immediately starts freaking out and texts everyone they know at the ungodly hour of 3 A.M. After going through all five stages of grief, they come to terms with their demise and decide to just fall asleep, only for them to wake up feeling absolutely fine. Hang on, let me guess. That. Was. You? No way, I never would’ve thought. Wait. Not only that, but in the morning, when everyone texted you back, you were mortified and promised yourself you would never rely on Google for a diagnosis ever again. Smart decision. (You will undoubtedly break this promise.)

Well, thank you all for a wonderful time, and tune in next week when you can’t sleep for the rest of our categories, “Does This Person Have Beef With Me?” and “How Do I Ruin My Life Tomorrow?” We look forward to having you. It’s always such a pleasure to overthink objectively insignificant things from years and years ago! Now’s my cue to pop an unhealthy dose of melatonin to fall asleep. Thank you, and goodnight!


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