Everybody needs their beauty sleep, even vilified world leaders. It was obvious to me as I saw Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi speak in front of the United Nations – puffy eyes, rambling speech – that at the very least, he needed a nap.
Muammar may not be sleeping well here in the United States since it’s so difficult for him to obtain lodging. There is no room at the inn or even a place to pitch his tent. Hostilities aside, you’ve got to admire a world leader that has his own tent. Now he probably doesn’t carry it himself, but it’s still very impressive.
As a former girl scout I have all my badges except for camping. I’ve never known the "joys" of sleeping out doors, under the stars at the mercy of creepy, crawling creatures of the night. I didn’t even survive the church parking lot simulation. I abandoned my buddy burner and said to my scout leader, "Look, I’ll sell the cookies, but sleep in the woods? I don’t think so."
Granted a world leader’s tent might have few more amenities and a few less bugs than an old Girl Scout tent, but Gaddafi is no great outdoors man. The scoop is, he prefers to sleep in a tent because he’s afraid of elevators. I’ve stayed in many hotels over the years and I don’t recall Motel 6 or Super 8 even having an elevator. But at least the latter will leave the light on for you in case you’re afraid of the dark.
This lack of welcome and safe place to catch some shut eye might explain the long, angry diatribe Muammar gave to the United Nations. Slotted for 15 minutes, he clocked in at 95. In stand-up comedy we call that "going over the light." Where’s the Sandman when you need him?
I might be a little angry too if nobody knew how to spell my name. According to Wikipedia, there are more than 30 different spellings for Muammar al-Gaddafi. I chose to go with the modern CNN version, as opposed to the classic network spelling that used a "Q" instead of a "G."
Perhaps Muammar was tired, cranky and over compensating. President Barack Obama is not an easy act to follow. He’s a dynamic, inspiring and a charismatic speaker, very likeable. Muammar? Not so much. He started by complimenting Obama, wishing that he could be president "forever" and then – speaking from notes like it was a junior high speech class – he proceeded to be Bitter Betty about everything. It reminded me of the title of a popular Off Broadway play, "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change." Well as least he started off with something positive.
Much like a bad Open Mic Night, Gaddafi "walked" most of the audience. As he droned on, they strode out. Not many people have the fortitude for a 95-minute monologue. But they should have. They should have stayed, listened, took notes and planned accordingly. Sometimes people give you the gift of saying what they mean and meaning what they say. That 95-minute speech could have been a warning that the rest of us shouldn’t be sleeping well either.
Sweet dreams, Earthlings.
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