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Sitting in my livingroom the other evening, relaxing after a day's toll of work and parenting, I slowly began to drift off to sleep. Just as rem state began to occur, a loud 'ding' filled my ears.

I had been listening to some music on my computer, and had inadvertantly left the volume up high. So when MSN Messenger went off, notifying me that one of my contacts was online, I found myself quickly jumping off the couch to see who it was.

Of course it was no one important. Well, at least not important enough to get off the couch for. But as I went back to lay down, I began to think.

I thought about all the bells, whistles, dings and dongs that permeat our everyday existence, living in this technologically advanced(?) world of ours.

I started thinking about Pavlov's Dog experiments. Is the 'ding' of a microwave all that different from Pavlov's bell? Does your mouth not begin to salivate at the sound which signals the comencement of dinner?

I think the thing that struck me the most was alarm clocks. Oh sure you can get ones who's Tibetan chimes slowly bring you out of slumber. Or one's where a light slowly gets brighter and brighter like the rising sun.

But for the most part, the majority of Western civilization awakens each morning by getting the living shit scared out of us. How on earth are we supposed to solve world hunger, create peace on Earth, or end the Arms Race, let alone just be in a good mood when we start each day like that?

Maybe it's just me. I don't know. But I'll tell you this... The day they invent an alarm clock that performs oral sex will be the day that world peace becomes a definite reality.

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