Fluff, Friday Fluff, Sweet Machine

Pre-Friday Fluff: Spaghetti language

Several years ago, my brother J coined what has become an eminently useful phrase in my repertoire: spaghetti language. Spaghetti language is what you speak when you’re half-asleep and you think you’re having a real conversation but actually are spewing gibberish. (The phrase, naturally, was coined in spaghetti language: J was trying to have a conversation with his wife and me, but it wasn’t working, and finally in frustration he said, “I thought I was awake but I wasn’t awake and I was talking spaghetti language,” as though that cleared everything up.)

I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the phrase because, as it happens, I am particularly fluent in spaghetti language. Mr Machine has recorded my best examples for posterity. Spaghetti language has a rhythm of its own, with conversational peaks and troughs and, weirdly enough, often with punchlines. So, for example, after one particularly long monologue, I told Mr Machine:

I’m gonna go get some, uh, fat cat power in my pants. You know how it goes, you know.

The wonderful thing about spaghetti language is that you can often have what sounds, syntactically, like actual conversations, and the surrealism will spin out ever more wildly. For this reason, Mr Machine and I do all in our power to keep spaghetti conversations going if one of us is in dreamland and the other is wide awake. We carried on the following conversation after I had fallen asleep on our couch one night a couple years ago:

SM: My name is made of balloons, and my couch is made of triangles.
[Mr M somehow manages to get me to the bathroom to brush my teeth.]
SM: If I were marshmallows, would I get to have a marshmallow face?
Mr M: But your couch is made of triangles.
SM: No it’s not. My head is made of marshmallows.

And, my greatest personal achievement in spaghetti language:

SM: What what what?
Mr M: Sorry to wake you.
SM: What’s going on?
Mr M: I’ve been up reading this book.
SM: What’s going on?
Mr M: I’m going outside for a cigarette.
SM: But what about my dreams of making an ultimate lemon machine?

After hearing about this exchange, my friend found us a picture of what he believes may be, in fact, the ultimate lemon machine.

As you can see, my extensive training in poetics has paid off; even in my sleep, I am a wordsmith of uncommon vision. Nonetheless, if there is a champion of spaghetti language in my household, it is unquestionably Mr Machine, due to one now legendary conversation early in our relationship, on a rare night when he fell asleep before I did:

Mr M: If we start eating each other’s arms now, we’ll get to the shoulder at the same time.
SM: But your arms are longer than mine!
Mr M: You’ll just have to eat faster.
SM: Won’t that hurt?
Mr M: [gleefully] Not me!

I cannot describe to you the malicious delight with which he uttered that last phrase. Relentlessly logical, even in sleep.

What’s your best conversation in spaghetti language? Entertain us in the comments!

248 thoughts on “Pre-Friday Fluff: Spaghetti language”

  1. Dan talks in his sleep, but he is often talking about radio components and electronics, so even if it didn’t make any sense, I wouldn’t know. “Haha, you silly, you must be dreaming because you can never have a 43-foot beverage loop if you’re running 20 watts into a yagi!”

    He did once complain that the bed wasn’t big enough for “you, me, and the guy from Icom.”

    The best one, though, was when I was up reading and Dan suddenly exclaimed “This oughta be interesting!” When I said “what?” he responded with great calm and sagacity, “These gentlemen have been grown.”

    IIRC, by the way, your brother was more surprised than frustrated. Like he half came to and was like “whoa! I thought I was awake but I wasn’t awake!” I could be misremembering, though!

  2. My fiancee: “You’ve got something on your forhead.”

    He still emphatically denies it!

  3. You might be right — it’s all blurred in my head with the time S. told him to “just talk like we aren’t here” instead of hemming and hawing about where to go for dinner, and he instantly started talking in an alien burble.

  4. Alas! I have no record of spaghetti language in the Twistie household. Perhaps it is because we spew all our surrealism whilst fully awake.

    The Ultimate Lemon Machine photo, however, is…is…it’s just SO! And I love it!

  5. The term “Spaghetti Language” makes perfect sense to a programmer. (Spaghetti code is code that uses a lot of “go to” commands and is inelegant and difficult to maintain.)

    I used to have entire telephone conversations with my mother while she was still asleep and she could never remember them. Alas, i can’t remember any of the spaghetti language involved.

  6. When part of my brain has gone to sleep, I become very fond of unusual syllables that don’t get enough use in ordinary language, and will communicate meaningful sentences where some words have been replaced with woowahs and veevoos.

  7. Oh man, my dad is THE KING of this. He falls asleep very early on the couch and often there are other people around talking and watching tv. There have been a number of occasions when people are having a serious discussion and he will stir and say something very authoritative about a different topic all together.

    The best phrase I can recall was when he interjected “I always wait for Lucy [our lovable, lazy lab] to rewind everything.”

    Everyone busted out laughing and that woke him up enough to realize, yeah, he’d done it again. I guess it would be pretty embarrassing to wake up to your family laughing at you, but how else are you supposed to react to that?

  8. My husband does this all the time. He’s woken me up babbling about round hot dogs, punching people in the white ones, his uncle’s missing flashlight, shopping carts, and god knows what else. I always try to remember what he says, but I’m usually asleep, too, and can’t remember the specifics the next morning.

    The worst is when he actually jumps out of bed and points at a window or a door and yells, “WHAT IS THAT?” Scares the living SHIT out of me. I’ll sit up and yell “What is what???” and start disaster planning on how I’m going to get to the kitchen and get a knife before whatever monster he’s yelling about can get to us and he’ll pause for a minute, mutter something about lightening cats or experimental mustard, and get back in bed.

    The best one though was when he woke up one night yelling nonsense at the top of his lungs. I sat up with a start and, half asleep myself, grabbed him and started yelling, “Stop it! Stop it!” and he turned to me and in obnoxious, perfectly mocking voice said, “Stop it stop it stop it.”

  9. ah, Spaghetti Language. There’s a lot of it spoken around here. Apparently I mix languages, and nothing Dan says makes any sense something about “the cam goes in shroopness tomornight.” He has no idea what he meant.

  10. OTM, Dan has midnight freakouts too! One time he was convinced that something was flying around, and another time that the room was full of smoke. (Me: “You’re not wearing your glasses. Put on your glasses. Did the ‘smoke’ go away? Okay.”) Most of the time he whispers when he’s dreaming rather than awake and freaked out, though (like he’ll sit up whispering “oh no! What’s that, what’s that?”), which is spooky as hell but at least I can tell that it’s all in his head.

  11. It is so spooky! The first night I ever slept over with J he jumped out of bed, pointed at me, yelled “What the heck is that????” and then ran into the living room.

  12. When we were on holiday last year my sisters kept waking me up by putting the air conditioning on in the middle of the night (the hotel was grot and we were afraid of legionnaires but it seemed to stop mattering so much at 4am when they were still unable asleep). The first night I woke up asked what time it was and called them losers in my most scathing voice and went back to sleep. The second night I apparently said,

    “No, no, no It’s not holistic, I’d choose tequila”

    in a french accent. I deny this of course, but they insist it happened.

  13. I apparently have full conversations in my sleep..that make sense. However, I am infamous in my household for one little gem I uttered. My sister was asking me for help with her science fair project and I..umm..dozed off. I wislely told her that “they should call it Mom day ‘cuz its the same forwards and backwards.” “It” being the science fair. I woke up and everyone was laughing. …I have no explanation.

  14. My wife’s been staying up late speaking spaghetti language a lot…

    Is J a programmer?

    Because to programmers, “Spaghetti Code” is a program whose logic is all tangled up, nonsensical, and impossible to follow, so if you tried to make a diagram of how it works that diagram would look like a plate of spaghetti.

    Spaghetti language then would be language which is as incomprehensible and hard to follow as spaghetti code.

  15. The first night I ever slept over with J he jumped out of bed, pointed at me, yelled “What the heck is that????” and then ran into the living room.

    Ah, young love!

  16. My brother is emphatically not a programmer. I’m not even sure he knows how his email works.

  17. My gentleman and I have lots of spaghetti talk, because we’re on slightly different rhythms (night owl vs. morning bird)…I think the best was one rare night where he was more asleep than I was and he turned mid-cuddle to say (in a very concerned tone), “He hasn’t got them. Give the mouse back his trouserers.”


    silly irishmen.

    I apparently half woke him one morning to insist that we “mind the puppies! everyone will trip on them.”

  18. Not quite spaghetti language, but close: one time, when I was trying to learn a new desktop publishing program, I woke up yelling at the alarm clock “Escape quit! Escape quit!”

  19. The first night I ever slept over with J he jumped out of bed, pointed at me, yelled “What the heck is that????” and then ran into the living room.

    Okay I hate to laugh at that but I am laughing SO HARD at that.

    My brother is emphatically not a programmer. I’m not even sure he knows how his email works.

    That said, I think “spaghetti language” makes intuitive sense for the same reasons that “spaghetti code” does — even if you don’t know what spaghetti code is, it’s called that because it’s a jumble, and spaghetti language is too. I think it’s common cause.

  20. I’m trying to think of a good cover story as to why I’m giggling uncontrollably at my desk (in open workspace)…

    It takes a HECK of a lot to make me giggle outloud (I’m a champion silent laugher). You’ve all done it. Thanks for totally improving my Thursday!

  21. Lonie, that reminds me… in college Dan’s roommate had one of those alarm clocks that goes “bee-bee-bee-beep! bee-bee-bee-beep!” You know the ones. Anyway, they had it set early for an exam, and when it went off, Dan sat straight up in bed yelling “H! H!

  22. “I’m going to put an ‘L’ on your forehead for ‘douchebag.'”

    He’s always so condescending when he’s half-asleep!

  23. My grandmother used to eat chocolate in her sleep. She would wake up with it smeared all over the pillows and her face. It was brilliant.
    We went to Arkansas to see my mother in law last year and she lived out in the middle of nowhere. My husband swears that at around 3 in the morning on my first night there I started laughing and when he asked me what was so funny I calmly told him “It’s right outside the window” I have no memory of this, but it kind of freaks me out.

  24. I’ve been doing this my whole life. I’m also cracking right the hell up at my desk.

    Ok, recent ones. My husband tells me I insist on giving him a pillow, saying “Go on, this one’s never touched the kitchen.”

    Another garble about pillows between the two of us. In the middle of the night I’m again trying to foist one of my pillows off on Mr B, and I told him “What do you want, a BOUNCY one or a FLOPPY one?” When he said “what?” I reiterated- “A BOUNCY one or a FLOPPY one? Because I need sleep and I can’t listen to you MOANING all night!” He subsequently took a pillow and asked me the next morning if I was feeling better. I was like, what? I had no idea. He thought I was serious. Poor dear.

    Another time, I told my daughter that she needed to go into the bathroom and wash the bug juice off of her hands, that I’d seen what she was doing.

    And finally, of the many spaghetti language incidents of my childhood, my mother’s best story is the time she heard me laughing hysterically in my room. She opened the door and came in to see what I was laughing about. I was sound asleep, laughing uproariously, with my eyes closed. She walked out and closed the door, no doubt shaking her head.

  25. I will occasionally get really angry when someone is waking me up and argue with them in Spaghetti.

    My favorite: I told my boyfriend that he was “Wrecking it! I can only prove Fermat’s Last Theorem if you leave me at the DAYCARE.”

  26. That is some deeply ingrained nerdery!

    And it’s okay to laugh at J’s antics. I mean, it obviously didn’t hurt my feelings too badly since I married him eventually.

    I think sleep whispering would totally freak me the fuck out. I watch A LOT of horror movies and creepy sleep whispering is clear proof that there are monsters/demons trying to break through from their world to ours using our sleeping bodies as conduits so they can SWALLOW OUR SOULS and I don’t know if I could handle it. Luckily, these days I sleep like a baby log on ludes (probably out of self defense) so I doubt a little whispering would wake me up. Some mornings I am pretty sure that J pulled another babble yelling stunt, but I can’t remember the details because it barely wakes me up any more.

  27. That is some deeply ingrained nerdery!

    In a normal day, Dan probably hears about as much Morse as English. :)

  28. That is some deeply ingrained nerdery!

    By which I mean decoding Morse alarm clock beeps in one’s sleep.

  29. Whoops, two posts that crossed in the night there.

    That is going to come in handy if you two are ever trapped on an island that exists outside of time and space and there are a bunch of wily scientists there who are supposed to rescue you but are really trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

    Okay, I am just jealous because it would be super cool to know Morse code. I admit it.

  30. Hehe! These are great.
    My boyfriend and I woke up in the night to a noise from outside.
    He asked me ‘wassat?’ and I told him it was ‘probably Army-guy, shooting squirrels. For target practice.’ It became a bit of a running joke.

  31. Actually, though, even I had a sleep-Morse moment, and I can barely copy Morse code. I had a new phone, and I hadn’t gotten a text message on it yet. One morning I was having a dream that spiders with people faces were trying to communicate with me in Morse code, by rearing up on their back legs and moving one way for dits and the other for dahs. I couldn’t figure out why they were saying “SMS,” which seems like a weird thing for a spider to say. Finally Dan woke up and was like “babe, does your phone know Morse code? Because I think you got a text message.” In fact the default text message noise on my phone is “SMS” in Morse.

  32. Once, as my then-boyfriend was getting into bed, I commanded him to “Cut it!” He said, “what?” And I sneered, “Cut the chit-chat.” It wasn’t exactly nonsensical, but I guess my tone was completely withering for no good reason.

  33. That is going to come in handy if you two are ever trapped on an island that exists outside of time and space and there are a bunch of wily scientists there who are supposed to rescue you but are really trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

    I hate to be morbid, but it’s actually going to come in really handy if one of us gets locked-in syndrome. Way faster than waiting for people to cycle through the alphabet a la Bauby. There are definitely stories about hams who have gotten paralyzed or had strokes and managed to communicate fairly effectively with Morse code blinks.

    Okay, I am just jealous because it would be super cool to know Morse code. I admit it.

    I learned it during an episode of the Simpsons. It’s not that hard! Granted I can only understand it at, like, one WPM.

  34. I am really worried that I might have been talking in spaghetti language the other night – I was thinking of analogies to where you don’t realise that the world around you is fake, like The Matrix, and The Truman Show, and then I thought of a third one – a PERFECT analogy!!! But I can’t think of it! Oh no! Was it just spaghetti language? Can anyone help me?

    (This isn’t actually off-topic; the reason I was wanting it is because I wanted an analogy to the way, when you grow up in our society, you don’t realise how this whole fat=bad thing is fake.)

    Ptooey. And it was such a perfect analogy, too.

  35. I’ve never done or heard this in my household, but your stories are making me cry with laughter. Literally. So thanks for that.

    The only story I can share is of my grandmother (who died when I was very young, so this is second hand) who used to whistle in her sleep. And not snore-whistle. Whistle. Apparently, her kids eventually recognized them as actual bird calls.

  36. I am very big on spaghetti language. Since I currently live alone, I don’t have any recent gems (if only my hamster could talk… *shakes head sadly), but I had a few doozies when I still lived at home.

    One time my mom found me standing in front of the mirror with my eyes closed. When she asked me what I was doing, I muttered that I just noticed that I’m cross-eyed and that I’d never win that beauty pageant. When she asked me what pageant I meant, I huffed “Nobody understands me!”. (Yeah, I was in puberty at the time… ;-) ).

    I also tend to fall asleep watching TV but still commented on the shows my mom watched. She was once watching some sort of gardening show and all of a sudden I yelled “Nooooo, it was the butler! The butler did it, goddammit! Watch out, ALIENS!”

  37. There are definitely stories about hams who have gotten paralyzed or had strokes and managed to communicate fairly effectively with Morse code blinks.

    There was just a movie out about this! I think it was about a magazine publisher who was paralyzed and dictated a book through blinks. I just tried to find the name but search for “paralyzed magazine publisher blinks movie” got me the search results equivalent of spaghetti language.

    Also, buttercup – “Go on, this one’s never touched the kitchen.” Totally cracked me up. There’s just something about how important it is that the pillow has never touched the kitchen! Go on! Take it! It’s okay! Hahaha.

  38. I think it was about a magazine publisher who was paralyzed and dictated a book through blinks.

    That’d be Bauby. :) But he didn’t know Morse and had to take the long way around.

  39. I once whipped out “…and that’s why I wear a scarf!” at utter random during a goodnight conversation with an ex. It’s still an in-joke when I get tongue-tied.

  40. The closest I’ve ever come to spaghetti language that I know of was when I had fallen asleep in the car while my family and I were driving through upstate New York on our way to Maine. I woke up very slowly, lifted up my still-half-asleep head, glanced through my eyelids, and said, “Hey look–cows!!”

    Actually, they were horses.

    To this day, 25 years later, my sister still says, “Look Kathy–cows!!” if we’re driving by some horses. I think she will be doing so when we’re in our 80s.

  41. My mom does this all the time! I love it, but she hates it. One of the best ones was when she started telling us about something or other and she declared that some mysterious “they” would sometime “pull out our tickets and give us some stickers.” She also told me, after hearing about an interaction I’d had earlier in the day, that I’d “saved my shorts on that one.” I wish I could remember more of these!

  42. A former housemate’s boyfriend used to scream spaghetti language at full volume when he took afternoon naps. My favorite, “But there’s no cocaine in the disco ball! Leave the dicso ball alone.”

    Geez, that was like 15 years ago and I still remember how much I laughed ’cause there was this whole cocaine and disco ball theme that he shouted about on multiple napping occasions.

  43. I think my best (and also most humiliating) one was when I was working nights at a bar, half-days at a daycare, and half-days doing home daycare. I was exhausted, and one night I came home from the bar and fell asleep — only apparently I was awake enough to participate in *ahem* marital activities. Apparently right in the middle of it — at a crucial moment, you might say — I started yelling at Frank (the bouncer at the bar) to move the trash cans because there was a fight. “Frank! Frank! Move them!” After a few minutes of that, I started “reading” the “schedule,” listing off names of my coworkers and times they worked. It was… awkward, to say the least.

  44. I don’t think I have any incidents of spaghetti language myself. My fiance talks in his sleep but it’s usually nonsense syllables, and when it’s not I usually can’t remember because I’m half asleep myself when he’s talking. But one memorable time he did say the following: “You’re old enough to understand. I’m nailing this broad!” (Can anyone name where that quote is from? =))

  45. That’d be Bauby. :) But he didn’t know Morse and had to take the long way around.

    So that’s what you meant by “Way faster than waiting for people to cycle through the alphabet a la Bauby.” Thank you for your patience with me.

  46. My great dismay is, while hubby talks in his sleep A LOT, only the first few words are intelligible, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get the rest. “So I SAID,” he’ll say, loudly enough to wake me, then in a muttered whisper, “arnvinvnearnvinwivnark.” So disappointing, ’cause I know the rest is bound to be delightfully disconnected.

    My mother tells an awesome story more along the lines of interrupted sleep talking than actual spaghetti language: My father shook her awake in the middle of the night and said, “You’ll never guess about Joe and Dot!” (friends of theirs) “What?!” my mother asked, thinking this would have to be good since he woke her in the middle of the night. “It’s amazing!” he says. “What?!?!” she asks. Him: “I’m too tired. I’ll tell you in the morning.” He promptly goes back to sleep. The next morning, she practically pounces on him to wake him and ask him about Joe and Dot. His response: “What are you talking about? What about them? Is it serious?” Totally gone. I think she almost beat him up on the spot. :)

  47. One morning my husband woke up and announced, “Our life is in preserves!”
    I said, “What?”
    “Preserves!!! Our life is in preserves!!! Don’t you get it?” Then he flopped back down into sleep.

    The other good one was when he insisted we couldn’t possibly get up because we didn’t have slotted bases (like wargaming miniatures), and would just fall over, so why bother.

    I’ve got some good ones, like dozing off during foreplay one night (no, he’s not bad I was just really, really tired) and then when he prodded me awake, shouting something about pigs and Captain Kirk from Star Trek.

  48. Also, not spaghetti language, but when my father-in-law used to drink a lot, he’d come home ripped, climb into bed, tell my mother-in-law the beginning of a joke, laugh hysterically and then pass out before he got to the punchline.

    She hated that.

  49. My mother and her siblings famously got permission to do ALL sorts of things by asking my grandfather when he was asleep.

    I don’t remember specific sentences/conversations with my husband or me (although apparently I will carry on entire conversations about getting up and getting ready for bed when he tries to wake me after I fall asleep on the couch), but my favorites are the ones where the conversations are in both languages –one of us speaking English, and the other one (usually him, it’s his first language) in German.

    According to one of my summer camp roommates, I used to sing in my sleep. Apparently in key.

  50. The other good one was when he insisted we couldn’t possibly get up because we didn’t have slotted bases (like wargaming miniatures), and would just fall over, so why bother.

    Hell, there are daysI feel like that when I’m awake.

  51. Oh, I specialise in this! According to my s.o when asked to wake up of a morning I have responded

    “Yes, but you’ve posted more letters than me anyway”
    “Hmm, there goes the shepherd”

  52. My friends in college told me that I was mumbling, etc all the time. I started to feel really bad about it, mainly because I hate to annoy people, and because I didn’t want to give away some really big bad secret, ha. WELL…all that went out the window with my current guy, he is crazy in his sleep. I can’t tell you how many times years have been taken off my life because my heart stops with his dream freak outs. Spiders in the bed he needs to kill, poison in the mattress, once he tried to rip me out of the bed because something was going to fall on my head. My heart races, it’s hard for me to get back to sleep, I toss and turn…and yes, of course, he passes out and has no recollection in the morning. The beauty of sharing a bed.

  53. I actually speak pretty coherently most of the time when I’m asleep if you ask me a question. Or so I’m told. When I start to speak on my own, it is definitely spaghetti language.

    Ed doesn’t speak actual words when he is asleep. He mumbles disconnected syllables that are clearly of importance to him but make no waking sense whatsoever and can’t even be duplicated by someone who isn’t totally under.

  54. I don’t remember any of my best lines, but according to my hubby I talk in my sleep a lot. I also used to sleepwalk, and when I was young I cut my sheet in 1/2 with some scissors, and almost got out of the house.

    My brother’s best line was “Thundercats, heeyah”, He was always sleepwalking into my room and trying to pee on my bookcase. Once, when I tried to stop him, he told me to leave him alone with the refrigerator.

  55. Bald_soprano, I totally do the biligual spaghetti thing! I am fluent in German and English and am currently learning Spanish. So my mumblings/rantings are usually in “Denglish” (for all non-Germans: Denglish is the German word for a language mix of German and English, kind of like Spanglish = Spanish/English) or, even worse, in a wild mix of Spanish, German and English.

  56. Karin: Yes, we have half-asleep conversations in Denglish, too! It gets really weird with some of the words that appear in both languages with totally different meanings… (I’ve been trading comments about German/Germany with you for a while now, and I’m really curious about where in Germany you are…)

    I called my mother up to tell her about this thread. She told me a story about a traumatic spaghetti conversation she had with me when I was about 3 or 3.5 years old… I started shouting that I wanted my mommy, and when she said she was there, I said “no, I want MY MOMMY!” After a few go-rounds of this (my eyes were open, by the way), she asked where my mommy was, and I said “she’s upstairs”, so my mother actually had to take me upstairs and say “ok, now I’m here” before I would quiet down.

    (Incidentally, I had to put the phone down in the middle of one I was reading to her because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.)

  57. Just the other night I was asleep and boyfriend (J) was awake in bed reading Lauren Bacall’s memoir. It isn’t really apghetti language until theend, although I don’t remember a word of it, I was fast asleep.

    J: Hey guess what kind of dog Lauren Bacall had?
    Me: A St Bernard
    J: No, guess again
    Me: A Papillon? (my parents have a Papillon)
    J: Yes! And guess what its name was
    Me: Matt Damon
    J: No!
    Me: Sophie? (my mom’s Papillon)
    J: Yes! Sophie just like your mom’s
    Me (Frustrated): Sophie’s too fat to be Lauren Bacall’s dog

    then I promptly went back to sleep.

  58. This is cracking me up lol

    It’s really fascinating to me the way the brain works when sleeping. It’s like all those synapses and memories and brain juices just swirl around in there and then something flies out of your mouth. It’s fascinating.

  59. I just sent my hubby the link to this discussion, because I apparently do this ALL THE TIME, and he thinks it’s this charmingly odd thing, which it may well be, but hey, look, other people do it too! And there’s a name for it!

    We are currently two years into a three-year long-distance situation (he’s in DC, I’m in Boston), and the only thing that makes it bearable is the phone calls last thing before I go to sleep at night. Some nights we can talk for an hour or two, other nights I’m already dropping off when I dial, but in both cases, he ends up getting me in that half-awake state, not wanting to hang up the phone, so I’ll keep talking, and STRUGGLE to keep talking, even though I’m just not making sense. I don’t track my spaghetti language, he might know it, but the thing I always remember is the struggle, that I desperately am trying to make sense, but I’m talking through a brain full of butter (mmm… butter) and all the meanings keep slipping away, so I vaguely recall things like blah blah blah “no, that’s not what I meant!” blah blah blah “ghumiye porchhi” [I’m falling asleep, in Bengali].

    Self-awareness + small degree of second-language command + SO TIRED = hilarious to him, slightly embarrassing to me

  60. We are currently two years into a three-year long-distance situation (he’s in DC, I’m in Boston)

    So… that means you visit DC a lot, right?

    (Because of course, hanging out with me is absolutely the most personally important aspect of your long-distance relationship.)

  61. Also I apparently say lot’s of funny mean things when J tries to wake me up for sumpin sumpin. He thinks its HI-larious

  62. Dude, waking people up for sex is UNCOOL and he deserves what he gets.

    (Just so the thread doesn’t get hijacked: this is obviously just my personal opinion, that if you try to wake me up and have sex with me I hope I can get enough mental energy together to knee you in the balls. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT. DO NOT FUCK WITH SLEEP. But I know other people like it. Ask me about the “blammo” story sometime. In person. I’m not going to tell it in writing.)

  63. In his defense I am occasionally *very* amorous in my sleep, I agree that its uncool though, he’s really cut back since we’ve been living together, but it does confuse the poor boy.

  64. My mom once woke up my dad in the middle of the night and told him, “Throw rocks at my car! Throw rocks at my car!”

    My sister woke up in the middle of the night, said, “Just WAIT till they find out!” and threw her teddy bear.

    I’ve dreamed in Japanese and then woke up and wasn’t able to figure out what the Japanese meant. It’s weird.

  65. Dude, waking people up for sex is UNCOOL and he deserves what he gets.

    Haha, the summer my fiance first started spending the night, he kept waking me up on weekends for sex. I had to tell him to cut it out after my sister asked me why I was being so bitchy all the time and I realised it was because I wasn’t getting enough sleep! He knows better now, but tells me I’m still free to wake him up any time (I sleep way more than he does, so it hasn’t happened yet.)

  66. A sleeping friend at a sleep over sat up abruptly and said “I know why arm pit hair and crotch hair are so dark” and someone asked her why and she said “because they are always in the shade” and then laid down and was fast asleep.

    A former boyfriend once woke me up in the middle of the night to say “what about the girl in the fountain” and then turned back over and went back to sleep. The next morning I asked him “Well, what about the girl in the fountain?” and he looked at me like i was crazy. Funny thing that later on that night we went to a persons house for the first time for dinner, the house was huge, and they had a prominently displayed fountain of a little girl in front of their house. I’m sure it was just coincidence, but it was really eery at the time.

  67. A sleeping friend at a sleep over sat up abruptly and said “I know why arm pit hair and crotch hair are so dark” and someone asked her why and she said “because they are always in the shade” and then laid down and was fast asleep.


    This might be my favorite so far.

  68. And finally, of the many spaghetti language incidents of my childhood, my mother’s best story is the time she heard me laughing hysterically in my room. She opened the door and came in to see what I was laughing about. I was sound asleep, laughing uproariously, with my eyes closed. She walked out and closed the door, no doubt shaking her head.

    buttercup, my oldest daughter does this ALL the time. It’s especially strange because she’s autistic and doesn’t speak a word… so I always have to wonder just WHAT the hell is so freaking funny???

    I don’t speak Spaghetti Language all that often, but I spouted a real doozy early one morning on the phone with Hubby. It was a couple of weeks before he flew from here to the U.S. I’d been drinking the night before, and I had been having some really strange dreams. I told him:

    “you have to stop sending me messages on ICQ. Every time I click on one, Amy gets zapped in the butt.”

    Amy was my best friend at the time, and she was living with me. I’d been dreaming that when I clicked on an ICQ message, some electrical current would shoot out of my computer and zap her in the ass. After telling him that little gem, he decided he’d call me back later when I was all the way awake.

    The real funny part? When he DID call me back, I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. He had to relay the entire conversation back to me before I remembered having the dream in the first place.

    To this day, if I mess up my words (flarp showers, sheep of fields, that sort of thing), he’ll look at me and say “yeah, okay, Amy’s butt.”

    He usually gets the finger.

  69. I’ve got a few: When I was in high school, we had all passed out after a prom when one guy started giggling in his sleep. When his date asked him what was so funny, he said clearly, eyes still closed, “Penguins can’t FLY.” Then, still chuckling, he rolled over and went back to sleep. They’re now getting married in October, and every once in a while, one of us will still bring up “penguins can’t FLY.”

    Then, when I was on my college sailing team, we had been up late, um, “preparing for the regatta” (read: drinking like college sailors). When another school’s team showed up at the vice commodore’s room for the race early the next morning, he flung out a hand, middle finger extended, and began cursing them out like nobody’s business. When he realized who they were, he explained, “I didn’t know I didn’t know you.” He apparently thought they were his friends trying to wake him up, but that line became the catch phrase of the weekend.

    Oh, and another time, I was lying in bed with my then-bf and he said something. I answered, but then couldn’t remember what either of us had said. I thought my reply had something to do with pigs, which didn’t seem right, so then we had this spaghetti conversation:
    Me: Wait, what did you say?
    BF: I can’t remember, I was asleep.
    Me: Oh, me too.
    Then we went back to sleep. It was quite entertaining.

  70. Bald_soprano, I live in Frankfurt (Main) – how about you?

    Geez, reading all of these stories reminds me more and more stories of family spaghetti language incidents! My father once started typing in his sleep (not on a computer keyboard, but lying on his back, hands in the air). When my mom asked him what he was doing, my dad said “Shut up, Private, I have to get this done for Sergeant So-and-so” (as you can guess, my dad was in the Army at the time).

  71. I used to have terrible insomnia back in high school, and would often stay up watching TV in my brother’s room while he slept. One night, he popped out of bed, wide-eyed, stumbled over to me and asked, “Are you going naked tomorrow?”

    Then, confidently:

    “Because we’re allgoing naked.”

  72. Spaghetti language is the perfect term for it! And I would be interested in acquiring one of these ultimate lemon machines you speak of.

    I am apparently a very chatty sleeper, but my SO pays me no mind so I have no recent instances to report and most of the ones from my younger days are very cloudy memories.

    The only one I do recall involved my sketchbook. I would write down little notes and reminders on the back of it, usually little fragments that didn’t mean much on their own but would remind me of something I wanted to do/draw/tell someone. One day, I was looking at these little notes and I noticed the words “bloody thid” written in what was clearly my handwriting.

    I had no memory of writing it and I could not for the life of me figure out what it was supposed to mean. I still want to know what the heck a bloody thid is.

  73. My boyfriend likes to sleepwalk and sleeptalk. One night I woke up to him crouching at the side of our bed, wide-eyed, and making a beckoning motion with his finger while whispering “Come on!” Scared the crap out of me. His crazy is a wonderland.

  74. Ahh I have a good one actually a few of them

    I fell asleep watching this show on homosexuality with the father of my child. He apparently started a conversation on homophobic friends he had.

    Him: And they don’t like being around them at all
    Me: Oh are they homophobic or do they just not like black people?

    I am still to this day ribbed about that. There was also the one day I was half asleep and being asked if I wanted a cigarrette and I remember this because what I meant to say is No I don’t want any of your stale tabacco I’m sleeping what I said was “No, no tafalo stacko” and repeated it twice… lol

  75. Fillyjonk, I don’t get to DC as often as I want (which is, like, every other day, obviously). He comes to visit me more, because of my rehearsal schedule. Also in the summer, I NEVER want to be in DC. But the next time I go, I will email you and we should call a SP gathering and eat spaghetti in honor of this discussion.

  76. Also, Big Moves should do another DC workshop! I was not so firm in my fat positivity last time and I chickened out because I was scared to go in a ballet studio. I could help hook you up with a location… I’m sure my belly dance studio could be prevailed upon.

    Because, you know, I get to tell you how to run your personal life AND your job. ;)

    Anyway, you’ve got my email… definitely let me know when the weather has broken enough for you to be willing to return to our swampy city.

  77. I’ve no outstanding examples to give, but an outstandingly good memory connected to an episode.

    Years ago my husband and I spent a couple of nights at the Crater Lake Lodge during the height of the Perseids. The second night, my husband began to thrash and mumble in his sleep — something about a car blocking the garage, which had Roogs in it, or perhaps the car did — I couldn’t tell which.

    By the time he’d calmed down I was wide awake, so I got up and looked out the window. It was a clear moonless night, and the lake was mirror-calm, pitch-black, and full of reflected stars. Even the colors were reflected perfectly, and the shooting stars flashed past in double streaks. It was so beautiful.

    My husand woke up because I wasn’t in bed, and joined me at the window. And we spent the rest of the night there, wrapped in each other’s arms, gazing at the lake and stars.

    One of my best memories, and I owe it all to the Roogs in the garage. Or the car. We never did get that straight.

  78. My household is enduringly fond of my brother’s demand that we “take what you need, but leave the rest for the bugs”.

  79. Omg, explaining to my boss why I’m cracking up is not going to be easy.

    I don’t really speak in spaghetti language(that I know of!), but I will have perfectly coherent conversations that I DO NOT remember. For example,
    Then Boyfriend: “Hey, ksfeminist, sorry I canceled going out to the bar last night:
    Me: We were supposed to go to a bar?
    TBF: Yeah, I called you last night and asked you to meet me, but then called back later and changed my mind. Don’t you remember?
    Me: You called?”

    Oh, and I agree with the sleep and sex thing. If others are cool with it, that’s fine, but you don’t mess with my sleep. I love sex, but once I’m out, you do not wake me up.

  80. I actually experienced a case of spaghetti writing, after staying awake for 10 days in a marathon of final projects and exam-cramming during the last semester of my sophomore year of college. (A word of advice: Don’t ever try this. Ever.)

    I had finished painting around 20+ paintings, acted in a theatre piece, written four papers, taken three finals, and sat down to take the last final of the year, in Women’s Literature (piece o’ cake.) The room was dimly lit, and I began answering the essay questions in the little blue book… before I knew it, the professor announced we had fifteen minutes remaining. What happened to the other 2 hours and 45 minutes???

    I looked down, and I had written several paragraphs… After a few coherent sentences, my handwriting changed into what resembled my second grade penmanship, and the content went something like this:

    “In Adrienne Rich’s ‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’, it is evident that melodrama can see ochre sienna character sky painting. Her blue tiger sprawling landscape inner monologue exploding vocal choices in dialect through physical control shades of opaque laundry…”

    This went on for several paragraphs. As in, I had answered ALL the questions like this. I scrambled to scrawl out some sort of logical answers in the few remaining minutes, turned in my book and ran out the door.

    I was not too surprised when my professor called me in to discuss my final grade and started the conference with: “You had an A in this class before the final, so I have to ask: Are you on drugs?”

  81. Last night I told my boyfriend that we had to go find the people who were doing the volunteer work.

  82. Unfortunately, I am very boring in this area. So is C. Apparently neither one of us says anything very interesting in a semiconscious state. I’ve been told that on those rare occasions that I do sleep-talk, it’s all stuff like, “mumumumumBANANAmumumumumRIGHTARMmumumumORANGEJUICEmumumum…” Fascinating, right? (Zzzz.)

    My XH, though, was one of those people who could seemingly wake up to a ringing phone, have an entire reasonable-sounding conversation, and fall back asleep not remembering a syllable of it. So from him, I expected the occasional bit of sticky pasta, and there was one time I totally overinterpreted what wasn’t there. He was in the kitchen humming the “59th Street Bridge Song” which I was quite well familiar with since childhood, and when he got to “feelin’ groovy,” I said, “what was that you said – ‘feline gravy’?” Because that damn well sounded like something he would have been humming, but he insisted he was rendering the song as written. Later he made me a “Feline Gravy” button to commemorate the occasion. Once in a while he’ll still make a a “feline gravy” joke when he talks to me. Shows you what a special thing it is when it does happen to me.

  83. scene: husband’s family’s house, we were with his parents and some of his siblings watching tv or something, apparently his father had fallen asleep.
    He wakes up, stands up, and says:

    “Doesn’t anybody have any chocolate?”

    References to chocolate are still an inside joke with us and husband’s sibs :)

  84. My husband once told me as he was falling asleep that “mmm, ampersands are SO erotic.”

    Even better was the ex-boyfriend who shot up straight in the middle of the night, shouted “Sperm bank!” at the top of his lungs, and then went right back to sleep.

  85. These stories are amazing.

    The summer after I graduated from high school, I would get home from work (at a fast food place, it was awesome), pick up my boyfriend at the time, and then more often than not we’d end up napping together, because I was tired from standing around frying shit and he was tired from staying up until 4 am at band practice. I would wake up and try to talk to him, he wouldn’t understand me and be too sleepy to realize it was because I was still mostly asleep, so I’d get mad at him for not understanding me and yell at him and he’d still have no idea why.

    Nowadays I am pretty good at recognizing that I’m still too asleep to make sense and just keep my mouth shut. But maybe I should go for it, and tell P (current boyfriend) to keep track of my spaghetti language…

  86. My boyfriend once said to me, “You be the red guy, and I’ll be the blue guy! Hee hee hee!” Giggled like a schoolboy, he did.

  87. The women in my family are notorious for this (including me). One of my favorites is when I came home really late. I heard a noise, so I went to see if my sister heard it too. She was asleep, so being the thoughtful sister I am, I tried to wake her up.

    Me: “J…J! Wake up! Did you hear that noise?”
    J: “huh…whaaa?”
    Me: “The noise! Did you hear it?”
    J (sitting bolt upright and speaking in a loud stage whisper): “SHHHHHHHHHH….was it…the BLUE people??”

    And then she promptly went back to sleep. I asked her the next morning if she was dreaming about Smurfs. She had no idea what I was talking about.

  88. My mom like to remind me of a time when we were sharing a room on a trip, and I sat straight up in my sleep and called out, “Denominator!” I woke myself up doing so, but I was dead asleep when I did it.

    HATE being woken up for sex. Let me sleep!

  89. This is topic adjacent, I think, but has anyone else ever had this problem?

    When I lived at home with my parents, my mother would come in to my room during summer vacations and tell me what chores she wanted me to do during the day. I would open my eyes and talk to her, and say things like: okay I’ll surely do those chores, and I love you too. But really I was still deep asleep. Then, when she got home she would be pissed that I never did any of the chores, and I would swear that she never gave me any chores to do.

    This went on for years before we realized that I am craftily good at holding completely understandable sleep conversations, no spaghetti language for me . . .

  90. Dude, waking people up for sex is UNCOOL and he deserves what he gets.

    My bf hasn’t tried it in years, but when we were first dating he used to give it the old college try (I’m a morning person, he’s a night owl, so I go to sleep waaay before he does). The last time he woke me up for sex, apparently I attempted to bite him.

    He’s never done it again. :D

  91. I don’t know if I’ve used spaghetti language, but I’ve had whole conversations while fast asleep. And I’ve been told that I talk and sing in my sleep sometimes.

  92. I remember an episode of The Angry Beavers called Up All Night. It was the best spaghetti language cartoon ever. Just non stop overtired babblingness. Maybe you can find it on Youtube.

  93. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does spaghetti writing! My favorite is when I fell mostly asleep in my psych of learning class in college but kept taking notes. I woke up at the end of class to discover I had written about squirrels, mostly. I checked with a classmate; no, nothing about squirrels in lecture that day!

  94. My brother fell asleep in the car on a long road trip. When we stopped for gas, he half-woke up, looked around, and asked, “Did we follow the stripes the whole way?”

    He used to have nightmares as a kid, too. Once he woke up my mother screaming, “The BIRD is OUT of the CAGE!”

    And my sister woke me up, like, three or four times (I’m a light sleeper) saying “No, I don’t want a puppy!” She doesn’t remember this, but I swear she had a recurring bad dream about someone giving her a puppy.

  95. My XH, though, was one of those people who could seemingly wake up to a ringing phone, have an entire reasonable-sounding conversation, and fall back asleep not remembering a syllable of it

    I was sick a lot as a kid (when I was skinny, tyvm), so my parents used to wake me up for medicine around 11 on a fairly frequent basis. Apparently, I would get up, take the Robitussin or whatever, and have entire conversations with them — sometimes spaghetti-ish, sometimes not — but I would never remember it at all the next day.

    OH! And my prom date was a friend who came in from out of town and stayed at my house that weekend. Friday before or Monday after prom — don’t recall which — was Senior Ditch Day, when seniors traditionally fucked off for Six Flags. My friend knew about the plan and wanted to go, but when I went to wake him up, he was completely hostile, and had no interest in getting out of bed. We had an entire convo in which I very clearly asked him if he wanted to come with us to Great America or stay at my house and sleep, and he very clearly responded with something along the lines of, “I WANT TO SLEEP I DON’T WANT TO GO FUCK OFF NOW.” So we went without him. And when we got back, he was so fucking angry at me, I couldn’t believe it — at first, he didn’t believe we’d had that conversation at all, but even after I convinced him we had, he was like, “Why didn’t you physically drag me out of bed until I woke up?” To be fair, the poor guy was stuck in a house in the suburbs with no car all day, while the rest of us were at an amusement park — but he was so totally clear that he didn’t want to go when I asked, I was utterly shocked to find out that had been sleep-talk and not his actual feelings on the matter.

  96. My favorite is when I fell mostly asleep in my psych of learning class in college but kept taking notes.

    I’ve done that but I’ve never written actual words or even letters, just scribbles that look like words. I was trying to study my notes for the final, and in mid sentence they just trailed off and turned into scribbles. I had to get the notes from someone else.

  97. This is the second time that the fatosphere has had me laughing out loud today, except this time it went on for about 20 minutes. OH MY: :D

    My boyfriend is good at this, too, but most of the time I either don’t understand what he says or forget what it was later. We’ve had some hilarious incidents, though.

    As far as I know, I only did this once or twice in my life. The first time I was about five years old and kept shouting at my mother that a certain part of my body was hurting – except the word didn’t exist! I continued saying, “But my […] hurts, my […] hurts so much!!” Well, eventually she figured it out: “Do you have to pee, perhaps??” – “YES!!!!!”

  98. “Because we’re all going naked.”

    Just now I was in the work bathroom and thought about this and LOLed from the stall, and then realized I was laughing out loud in a toilet stall and was like “Phew, at least I’m alone” and then somebody from another stall coughed. Hopefully she couldn’t ID my shoes because I don’t need the reputation as “the woman who laughs while she pees.”

  99. Kate: My husband also does the hostile thing, and won’t remember it. So I egg him on. Sometimes it makes him wake up though, and I’m screaming back at him. Awkward but hilarious! (Maybe you had to be there?)

    What’s funny is his older sister does it, too. She was over at our place last Thanksgiving and fell half-asleep on the couch. I guess I didn’t notice she was sleepy and tried to ask her something–she shot DAGGERS out of her eyes at me, like someone fully conscious if you hurled insults about their mother’s genitals. Of course I then started laughing uncontrollably. She went back to sleep!

  100. Ha ha ha! Mr. Thorn talked me out of a planned trip to Great America once in his sleep! We were living down in central IL, so it was a couple-hour drive, so we woke up early one morning, after having stayed up unwisely late the night before, and I was all, “Okay! We’re exhausted but who cares! Let’s go go go!!” And Mr. Thorn very calmly and reasonably talked about how broke we were at the time, and how the cost of admission plus the cost of gas just weren’t worth it to stand in line at an amusement park for hours on end, and summed up by saying we ought to be responsible and stay home and save that money for the little things like, y’know, rent and such.

    Well, Mr. Thorn is NEVER the responsible one, so I felt thoroughly chastened, that my big plan was so irresponsible that even Mr. Thorn could see how unwise it was. So I sighed and agreed that we would do the mature thing and skip the trip. Mr. Thorn and I then both went back to sleep.

    A few hours later, he woke up, bolted up straight in bed and started swearing his head off. “Omigod! It’s almost noon! We totally overslept! Even if we leave right now we won’t get there until at least two! Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!” I stared at this in bewilderment, and finally had to explain to him that no, we had decided against going. And then had to explain to him that it was all his idea. He had no recollection of the conversation whatsoever.

  101. I guess since I put my husband’s business out on the street, I’ll tell on myself a little, too:

    I don’t speak spaghetti language, but I did go through a two or three month phase of intense adult sleeping walking a few years ago that included waking up on the telephone having a conversation with a friend, at which point I said, “Did I call you or did you call me?” because I had no idea how I got there; and waking up one morning and then suddenly remembering that I got up in the middle of the night, ripped a cover off a book and tried to flush the cover down the toilet (I got up and looked and sure enough – book cover in the toilet). My bed was up against a wall that had a window in it and a couple of times, I woke up sitting up in bed looking out the window, which if it lasted more than a couple of minutes, I’m sure looked fucking bizarre from the street.

  102. Oh, and I’m totally a pro at spaghetti language. I think my favorite was when I had an entire conversation with an ex stating my desire to be hit by lightning, because I apparently thought it would be a really interesting experience.

  103. Heh. I don’t know that I have had any spaghetti language issues (I can hold a completely coherent convo when I’m asleep. I won’t remember it later, mind you.) My mum’s the same way–have convo, won’t remember unless she’s actually awake. Problem is, she has what I’m now gonna call “spaghetti hearing.”

    I’ll say something like: “Hey, let’s go grab some pizza for dinner.” What my mom will hear is “Hey, I need to go piss at a diner.” And when she’ll say “One, don’t say ‘piss’ around me, and two, where the hell is a diner around here?!” I’ll give her the most puzzled look and she’ll say: “That isn’t remotely what you said, is it?”
    Me: “Not even close.”

  104. Also, now I’m wondering if there’s a connection between sleepwalking and spaghetti language. I was a champion sleepwalker when I was a kid — I often woke up on different floors of my house with no memory of getting there.

  105. Whoa, ampersands ARE erotic. I have a love/hate relationship with them as an editor, but perhaps it’s some sort of lusty envy.

    I am afraid after reading all this what MY spaghetti language will be during this long weekend!

  106. The husband definitely speaks in spaghetti language, though I think at least half of the hilarity stems from the fact that he sounds so awake. Tuesday night I had come home from my parents’ (I take martial arts lessons from my dad twice weekly and hang out with him and my mom for a couple hours after workout) to find hubby asleep. I kissed him hello, and he seemed to wake up. He turned on the light, said, “Oh hey, come cuddle with me.” So I got into bed and snuggled up. He asked me what I had had for dinner (I eat with the parents on Tues and thurs, so it’s not an especially weird question), to which I replied, “Joe (my brother) was over, so he grilled cheeseburgers for us. Did you have anything for dinner?” He looked me in the eyes and said,”Mostly I ate lucid dreaming.” Cracked my shit right up. He had lucid dreaming for dinner. I’m going to have to start a diary.

  107. Mmm sleep and sex…

    I actually don’t mind it. I sleep so deeply that I don’t seem to need much each night. The downside of that is that, often, my OH and I will both wake up to find that we… got started… while we were both still asleep, and more than once we’ve been having a grand old time and I, unbeknownst to him, have still been lulling in and out of sleep, resulting in some rather odd dirty talk.

    Honestly, we just giggle about it. Nothing like having to stop what you’re doing because you’ve got the giggles!

  108. Hee! I was recently at a friend’s house watching basketball and one guy fell asleep – when we tried to wake him, he said, “Vodka will make it grow.” And my dad once conked out on the couch and announced “I wouldn’t vote for shoes.”

    I also had an ex who spoke 4 languages and spaghetti-sleeptalked in all, usually in combination. Franglais, Denglish, Spanglish, you name it. (And since someone brought this up, he also had a penchant for 6am nookie that earned him 2 nicknames – “mr. wake-up call” (to his face), and “the alarm cock” (to my friends, and I hope he never found out). I’m sure I bitched him out in spaghetti language but alas, we no longer speak so I can’t ask.)

  109. SM, me too! Hell, I’ve voted for shoes instead of the rent. I’m choosing to believe it was shoes rather than Jews, which is what my stepmother heard. (He’s Jewish, so I figured that wasn’t it…but that assumes rationality.)

  110. Oh, I would DIE if I talked in my sleep. I wouldn’t ever sleep, actually, out of fear of what I might say. I occasionally have dreams that would not provide much marital happiness were snippets of them to be blurted out. (Sean Connery and I had quite a date last week,)

    My parents say that I used to be like that when I was a kid, though. I’d come wandering out of my room at night, start up a conversation, and about 3-4 sentences in when I was making absolutely no sense they’d realize I was asleep and send me back to bed.

  111. This is the best thread! I’m definitely passing it on.

    Many years ago, my husband worked as an assistant manager at a grocery store. He was constantly busy filling in within different departments, running a register or whatever and his biggest complaint, besides generally hating his job, was that nobody would ever answer the phone. He always had to stop whatever he was doing to go answer it. One night, out of a dead sleep, he said, “Brakery line 1!” Not bakery, brakery. Re-telling this will never get old for me.

  112. I was just mentioning all this to my mother… well, the parts I could without completely cracking up… I eventually just gave her the link. So… Hi Mom!

    Anyway, she reminded me that when my cousin A and I were young, she would often sleep over, and they would hear us talking and giggling in my room quite late. Of course, one of the parents would inevitably open the door and scold us to go to sleep, only to find that we had been all along. Whole conversations. Who knows if they were coherent or not? Perhaps that’s why we giggled so much!

  113. That would be when I was falling asleep at my high school boyfriend’s house (which I was NOT SUPPOSED TO DO!) and in my earnest desire to stay up I began spitting out the following accusation – “The Pope! He’s trying to steal my purple socks! James, do not let the Pope take my purple socks. I need them. I love them. I love them and you. Socks and you.” He thought I was nuts.

  114. @ bellacoker: Yes, that happened to me constantly. I was living at home my first year of college, up most of the night talking to my long-distance boyfriend, and trying desperately to catch a few hours’ sleep before class. My mom left for work at 6am and would barge into my room to give me all kinds of instructions and orders, and I would tell her “yes, yes, of course, love you”. Later when she got home from work, none if it would be done, and she would scream at me. :( I always reminded her that I do not remember early-morning instructions, but I don’t think she ever believed me, as she never stopped trying to give me things to do until I moved out.

    My husband has experimented with my sleep-talk, and I’m apparently extremely coherent. Even he has trouble telling whether I’m awake or not.

    He, on the other hand, speaks in spaghetti language sometimes and it’s hilarious. We call it “Hamburger talk” though. One night he woke me up coming to bed much later than I, and it took me a few moments (during which he fell asleep) to wake up enough to ask, “What time is it?” and his reply: “Hamburger.” It’s a shame I can’t remember much of the strange conversations I’ve had with him. :)

  115. “I was trying to study my notes for the final, and in mid sentence they just trailed off and turned into scribbles. I had to get the notes from someone else.”

    I used to do this ALL THE TIME (I went through a period with a serious falling-asleep-in-class problem!) Half of my notebook would be notes and/or math (usually with hand-drawn graphs) with crazy scraggly lines drawn and gibberish written all over them. Sometimes my hand wouldn’t move so I’d write all the letters on top of each other, and othertimes I’d write or squiggle at crazy angles to the real lines. I had to borrow notes a LOT.

  116. Oh and SM, I think you’re right that the sleepwalking seems to go with this. I mean, I’ve always been floored by the part of the marshmallows story where Mr M gets you to *brush your teeth while asleep.* I can’t even imagine that happening!

  117. I read somewhere that you can tell if somebody is asleep when they are talking by asking them to solve a simple math problem. Apparently sleeping people aren’t supposed to be able to add two and two.

    Of course, the one time I tried this on my husband, his response was, “I’m can do math! I’m not asleep!”

    He was totally asleep.

  118. OTM, I’m not so sure about that. I definitely transposed a French horn part from C major to F major in my sleep two nights ago.

  119. I’m gonna go get some, uh, fat cat power in my pants. You know how it goes, you know.

    If I were marshmallows, would I get to have a marshmallow face?

    But what about my dreams of making an ultimate lemon machine?

    T-Shirts. Want. NOW. *refreshes the cafepress store a bazillion times*

    My brother used to mutter about cowboys and magnifying glasses in his sleep – though I think my Mum told me to get up and go to school as a kid and I responded with, “What about my Big Mac?”

    The best one was when we were on a cruise ship and my Dad exclaimed “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH JESUS JESUS JESUS”. My brother responded, “You IDIOT!”, naturally, for waking everyone up, and my Dad, in his sleep, said “What alien?!”

    Good times!

  120. I think we definitely need a Ultimate Lemon Machine shirt.

    I have no good stories, except an ex-roommate who used to yell at her little siblings in her sleep. “M! Stop that!” was common. Also common was things in Denglish, as she was a German major. Fun times!

  121. Oh! I have this friend who sleeps insanely hard and will have whole conversations, take showers, etc. without waking up. We were staying at a hotel one time, and I guess her sock came off in her sleep, and she was really upset about it. She was whining that the bed had eaten her sock. Another friend, who is mean, started messing with her, telling her that *I* had eaten her sock.

    “Give it back!” she yelled at me. “Don’t make pancakes with it!”

    The mean friend declared, “We’re going to make SOCK PANCAKES,” and that pissed her off so much that she woke up. Of course, once she was awake, she knew she was mad at both of us but couldn’t remember why.

  122. Karin: I’m in Munich.

    I did quite a lot of sleepwalking growing up, too. For instance, one night before a plane trip, I got up, got dressed and completely ready to go, and then woke up. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s a connection between that and spaghetti language (or maybe even more with coherent conversations that you don’t remember after waking up).

    I’ve dozed off in class and gotten scribbles that look from a distance like writing but contain no actual letters, too.

  123. Oh I just remembered one! I was at summer camp, and one of the girls in the cabin was laughing and babbling about making macaroni in her sleep. At one point she said, very excitedly, “Ooh YES, they drained ’em!!”

  124. “Are you the tall one or the short one?” <– My son’s reply when I got in late one night and said, “Honey, It’s Mom. I’m home.”

    “:Are you married to the church?” <– My college roommate sat upright in bed one night and said this appropos of nothing.

  125. Linz, you just reminded me of when one of my friends fell asleep flopped across a bed with her shoes on. Another friend tried to take off said shoes for her to make her more comfortable, but every time she touched them, the sleeping friend said, “Eh-eh.” Imagine the sound a very pissed off dolphin would make. She didn’t remember this when she woke up, and still tries to deny it. :)

  126. OTM – We managed to train on of friend to believe that squares are always red and a piece of string is always 50cm long when she was half asleep.
    However, she got very very upset when we suggested 2+2=5.

  127. I love this thread, except now I want another one about sleepwalking antics (my boyfriend likes to fight ninjas in the middle of the night) and laughing/crying in your sleep (other people do this, right??)

  128. These are secondhand spaghetti stories. My best friend was in bed with her boyfriend at the time and was very close to falling asleep. She looked at her boyfriend and said, “I love it when you put it in me with the clown.” Then, when she was still living at home, she was about to fall asleep as her mother was leaving for work. Her mom poked her head in the door, said “I’m going to work” and my best friend said, “I’m going to the moon!”

  129. There is lots of that in my house.

    Me: Fraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank
    Uniballer: (his name is not Frank, we call each other frank) What?
    Me: *Arms flailing/flapping/feet shuffling all at the same time*
    Uniballer: What what?
    Me: Mmmmmmmmm pie.

    And Meg other people totally do that. I have been known to burst into song in my sleep.

  130. Linz and killedbyllamas, you both reminded me of an incidence with my roommate:

    It was her 24th birthday and out of some reason I cannot comprehend, she decided it would be the right time to try pot (remember kids, drugs are bad, mkay?). One minute she was partying, the next minute she was hunched over a bucket. Anyway, between the vomiting she drifted in and out of consciousness and said some pretty funny stuff. Her best comment was when she woke up (she was lying on the floor of her room), moved her arms and felt my obnoxiously green fuzzy bunny slippers with rhinestones which I LOVE. She asked “What is that?” and I answered “My shoes” and she said “The ugly green ones?”. I knew that my shoes weren’t something that she’d wear, but they aren’t THAT bad. *big grin*
    The next day she couldn’t remember saying that (or anything else for that matter) but was embarrassed when I told her what she had said. :o)

  131. I love this thread, except now I want another one about sleepwalking antics.

    Someone I know attended a party at which one guest fell asleep on the couch after many hours of drinking. While the party was still going on around him, he woke up and started sleepwalking. Apparently believing himself to be asleep in his own bedroom, he stood up and walked over to what he perceived to be the bathroom, but which was in fact the corner of the living room. He unzipped his fly, peed on the carpet, flushed a nonexistent toilet, washed his hands in a nonexistent sink, dried them on a nonexistent towel, and flopped contentedly back down on the couch.

  132. Jane, you’ve reminded me of a great babysitting story:

    I was sitting for an adorable but somewhat anxious four-year-old, and I told him at one point that his mom would be home soon. For the next fifteen minutes, he kept on going out onto the porch and staring at the sky. I’d ask him why, and he’d say he was looking for his mom. Finally, I asked him why he was looking in the sky for his mom. Turned out, when I said that she’d be home soon, he had misheard it as “Your mom’s on the moon.”

  133. This was an incident my friend in Toronto reminded me of last weekend when I was visiting there; about 10 years ago at a party when I was half drunk and half asleep in a chair I reportedly announced to no one in particular that: “lesbian and spiderman have the same number of syllables” I have no clue why I said that (or any memory of the experience) although I do remember being at that party (sort of)

  134. Oh gods, Epiphenomena, my first husband used to do shit like that all the time. It was one of the myriad reasons we did not stay married.

  135. Woohoo my boss just walked through the office and told us all to go home.

    Peace out ladies :)

  136. Wow, buttercup. I’m equally alarmed and intrigued by idea that there is even a category for “shit like that.”

  137. AHH! I love this post.

    Along with writing gibberish notes I would SPEAK in spaghetti language in class. I was a very type A student and was very busy through college with class, plays and producing my own works. I never slept. Sometimes I would fall asleep in class. I hated this because I loved my classes. So somewhere, in my sleep induced mind, I would decide that I should ask the teacher questions during lectures so he would know that I wasn’t asleep.

    After class I would look at my notes (which consisted of scribbles and words not written in a traditional left-right fashion but in a swirly motion, almost as though the words were being flushed down a paper toilet) and someone would come up to me and ask why I was screaming in class today about Aristotle’s Poetics.

    Eh, I am sure whatever I sleepily screamed about that day was probably on par with my other classmates’ self-important bullshit rantings.

  138. Also, now I’m wondering if there’s a connection between sleepwalking and spaghetti language.

    Dan was definitely a huge sleepwalker as a yout. According to legend he would come downstairs and have entire coherent conversations.

    Of course, like everything else you two have in common, that means that everyone who grew up in your hometown is a sleepwalker and spaghetti linguist.

    At Nerd Camp, SM and I had a friend compose an entire song about a guy with no eyelashes while asleep. In later years (yes, they were still singing the song years after we’d all left camp), SM and I got credit for it. That is fine because the girl who really wrote it kind of sucked.

  139. Also, I believe I have two relatives who have mistakenly either peed or almost peed on non-toilet items while asleep.

    They may both be parents of mine, actually. At least one of them is. (Neither were adults at the time!)

  140. At the young age of 3, whilst my mum was napping my brother, taking full advantage of knowing full well that any answer my mum would give him would be spaghetti language, asks her:

    Mummy, did the elephants wee on you?

    Mum answers, “Yes, they did”.

  141. Yep, wake up drunk, pee in the corner. Wake up drunk, pee in the wastebasket. Wake up drunk, pee in the laundry basket. On a couple of memorable occasions, fail to wake up and just piss himself and the bed while he was at it.

    Ugh. NOT the best years of my life, let me tell you.

  142. Oh God. Speaking of peeing in inappropriate places. (Don’t you love stories that begin that way?)

    There’s this amazing, like, hippie commune type place (that’s the best I can describe it) up in the mountains, where they used to have an annual poetry festival. The people who lived there were insanely cool and welcoming, and the poets who participated tried hard to be pleasant and gracious guests, because their home was so lovely and we were so stoked to be invited up there.

    EXCEPT… for this guy who caught a ride up with us, one year. He got raging drunk, leaned against a pillar, and pissed on the dance floor. For a LONG time.

    My friend was shrieking at him to go outside, but he insisted that he WAS outside.

    A few minutes later, having no memory of this (and while someone else was cleaning up his pee) he looked at me mournfully and asked, “Why is everyone mad at me?”

    AND THEN MY FRIEND STARTED DATING HIM. Like, they got together the next DAY.

    I do not understand.

  143. I apparently woke my beloved last night by asking him if he knew anything about the soggy cheque book. Previously examples of spaghetti talk on my part have included me turning over in my sleep, patting my beloved’s hand comfortingly and saying to him “Don’t worry, the Tea people will sort it out.”

    It must ran in the family though because my sister was staying with us a couple of weeks ago and scared the bejesus out of me in the wee hours by saying loudly, and in very pompous tones – “The short answer is I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA!”

  144. I once insisted that my husband “had to go back ten spaces.” Apparently, I continued to insist this no matter what he said.

    Our best spaghetti-language moment, actually, wasn’t technically spaghetti language at all: it appeared in an interview the local paper did of my husband about his work (high-voltage physics) and his nonprofit (The Geek Group). The reporter must have misheard him with a vengeance: we were both shocked to discover, when the paper came out, that amperage is measured in “microferrets.”

    (For the non-voltage-initiated: the word is “microfarads.”)

  145. Also, I’ve just noticed that my little monster icon on the main page has a halo.

    Ahahaha, random monster generator. You go right on thinking I deserve a halo. :D

  146. My mother still insists that on a family vacation my brother and I had an entire conversation, questions, answers, etc. from across the hotel room. in our sleep, but all the words were numbers. Neither of us remember, but I think it actually spooked her.

    Dani: Haven’t been hanging around the Geek Group for a while, but I remember the microferrets incident, at least I remember someone giving him crap about it :-)

  147. I totally need to incorporate some of these into everyday conversations. Especially ““Don’t worry, the Tea people will sort it out” (when comforting a friend) and “Go back ten spaces!” (when telling off a biatch.)

  148. In fifth grade a friend and I went through this phase where we pretended we were aliens. We told everyone we’d been sent to Earth as infants to be raised in Earthling culture. We’d now gathered enough data for the experiment, we explained, so our real parents were going to come in their spaceship next Tuesday night and take us back to our home planet. No one believed us, but I’m sure we had a few people convinced we believed it ourselves.

    My mother told me that on the appointed Tuesday night, I got up, walked out of my room and loudly asked, “ARE THEY HERE YET?”

    I have absolutely no recollection of this.

  149. oh man, this was recently so thankfully i remember it…

    me: is your cell phone alarm set?
    sleeping BF: yes
    me: do you know where your cell phone is?
    him: (indignant) yes!
    me: where
    him: it’s in the “cell phone box.”
    me: * laughter * and where is that * more laughter*
    him: uh, on top of january.

  150. This isn’t really spaghetti language, but here goes. I was at camp sleeping in my bunk bed, when suddenly I started banging on the locker next to me yelling,” Jonathon! Jonathon!”

    Jonathon, I know not. My cabinmates were very giggly about it. (We were all like, 12, so of course they thought he was my crush.)

    Oh, and I have a grandmother who can knock out entire cakes and pies in her sleep.

  151. This is the best post ever.

    My boyfriend does this ALL THE TIME. And at least half the time … he is talking about Dungeons and Dragons.

  152. I did quite a lot of sleepwalking growing up, too. For instance, one night before a plane trip, I got up, got dressed and completely ready to go, and then woke up. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s a connection between that and spaghetti language

    I don’t remember what it’s called, because it’s a long time since I took any psych classes, but there is a part of the brain that translates your motion-impulses into instructions for your muscles to actually move, and during sleep, this part of the brain is supposed to sort of disconnect. Both sleepwalking and sleeptalking are the result of this part of the brain not properly logging off for the night, so the impulses you get in your dreams turn into real life actions.

    The opposite effect (much more rare) is when this part of the brain doesn’t properly “reconnect” itself (I guess you would say) for few minutes after waking up, or when you should be half awake, and so though you tell your body to move, it doesn’t. This is the cause of sleep paralysis, and is the root of a lot of old myths. Sleep paralysis is often considered to be the root of the myth about cats taking your breath away in your sleep, because if you woke up and you couldn’t move at all or breathe well, and there was a cat sitting on you, and this was pre-science, wouldn’t you blame the cat?

    A lot of alien abduction stories are also waved off as being half-sleeping sleep paralysis stories. “I woke up, but I couldn’t move, and there was an alien standing over me!” (because the people are still dreaming when they wake)

    (I had a dream once around the time I was studying sleeping and dreaming in psychology, where I had a conversation with Jack Skellington and I was like “So if I woke up right now, and I had sleep paralysis, would I see you standing over me? And think it was real?”
    “Probably. Would you find that scary? Or cool?”
    “I dunno.”)

    When I was about nine or ten, I was watching a movie with my friend and my little sister M, and M fell asleep during the movie. And at some point she started yelling in her sleep. It went like this.

    M: NO! It’s my turn to wear the blueberries! You got to wear them last tiiime!

    *my friend and I look at each other*

    M: It’s my turn! Jessica!!!! It’s my turn!

    hearing my name, of course, I respond (trying not to completely crack up)

    J(me): But I had the blueberries first!

    M: No! No you didn’t! Don’t lie! It’s my turn! I want to wear the blueberries!

    J: I’m going to wear the blueberries~! I’m going to put them on right now!

    M: NOOOOO! No! D can have the orange, and maybe you can have strawberries or something!

    J: I’m putting on the blueberries!


    J: But, M-


    And we couldn’t get her to respond anymore. Not that we cared. We were too busy crying with laughter.

    I also narrowly avoided what would have been some pretty embarrassingly nerdy spaghetti language a few months ago when I was having my blood drawn.

    Take note here, I always pass out when I have my blood drawn, no matter how little blood they take. I have no idea why. I just do. So what really happened here is that I was sitting in a chair and the nurse was taking my blood, I passed out, and then woke up. I know, intelligently, that this is what happened. But that’s not what I remember happening. I guess I immediately fell into some dream, because this is how I remember it.

    I was talking to the nurse. I was trying to explain to her that I pass out easily when I have my blood drawn. Every time, in fact. She was telling me that, no, I wouldn’t pass out. She really wasn’t taking very much. I told her, okay, I’ll be good. I looked across the room and away from my arm while she gently stuck the needle into my arm, barely even causing a pinch.

    And then A BUNCH OF DALEKS came BURSTING into the nurses’ office!!! We were doomed. I started thinking of strategy plans to get away from the Daleks. Nothing. I was going to die. This was it, end of the line. I looked out the window and could see them flying through the sky. I turned towards the ones in the office and awaited my fate.

    And then I was pulling my head from the armrest of the chair. The nurse was saying something I couldn’t quite make out. Something about being sorry for not believing me. Not believing me about the Daleks??? Where were they???

    “Where did they go!?”

    The nurse looked at me, “Where did what go?”


    “Here,” said the nurse, putting a garbage can in front of me, “You might feel a bit nauseous.”

    Can I just tell you how glad I am that I didn’t say “DALEKS!” after she asked me what I was talking about? She still thinks I’m crazy, though. I went to get my blood drawn again a month later and she was like “I remember you! You’re laying down this time.”

    Also, after one of my friends was in a car accident when we were in high school, she got A LOT of trippy pain meds, and the resulting conversations were hilarious. This one was my favourite.

    “I’m totally for freedom of religion.”

    “That’s nice”

    “Especially for bugs. I’m going to build a church for ladybugs.”

    *totally trying not to laugh* “Oh, really?”

    “I’m going to build a church for ladybugs on my head!” (said with such pride, you would not believe)

  153. Spaghetti language happened at my house a few nights ago.

    My girlfriend and I have a new puppy and a resident dog of 10 months. Puppy sleeps in a bed on the bedroom floor. Resident dog sleeps on the bed. Anyhoo, we’ve really been working with both dogs to get them to release objects on command. We say “drop it!” or “release.”

    The other night, a ceramic object on the wall in the guest room fell and crashed into a thousand bits in the dead of the night. This is what followed, almost simultaneously:

    Puppy, springing up: “BAROO! ROO! ROO-OO!”

    Resident dog, spring up & leaping off the bed: *Sneeze!* WOOF!”

    Me, springing up: “Wha? The hell!?!!”

    My girlfriend, springing up: “NOW! DROP THE GERBIL! DROP IT!!!!

    She doesn’t remember.

  154. Laughing too much to remember any spaghetti language but I have laughed in my sleep. One morning I woke myself up by laughing at a joke in my dream. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember the joke.
    Maybe the Tea people will help me remember.

  155. Great thread (she says with tears running down her cheeks)!

    One time, my ex woke me up laughing such an evil laugh in his sleep that I crawled over the side of the bed and sat on the flooring peeping at him for many minutes before I would get back under the covers. I should have taken it as an omen.

    My sister talks in her sleep. She had gotten my brother-in-law a model train for Christmas. He wanted to know what she got so he asked her while she was asleep, “what’s in the big box under the tree?”

    She told him, “the big box is filled with little boxes that go round and round and round.” If you think about it, she told him the truth!

  156. I have very vivid dreams, don’t sleep well, and my brain never turns off, so my spahgetti language is mostly to myself and partly recorded in stories I write or things I draw. I always seem have the best ideas at night, or at least I think so at the time even if they make no sense, and sometimes get up to write down whatever I can recall before I wake up too much and forget whatever crazy dream or half-awake thought I NEEDED to remember. Also I will doodle out things, characters or ideas or whole little comics.

    Recently I had a semi-awake lucid dream where I was arguing with someone about religion. It was a bit of a complex analogy but the basic gist was that I knew Stephen King better than he knew God. No really. I amused myself awake with this theological nonsense and doodled up a mini comic about the conversation, complete with a little claw-hand pose in the last panel while quoting “too late, Ruth!”

  157. Hee hee hee! This is all so funny that I laughed so hard I spit out my tea!

    This is sort of Spaghetti language–more like Druggie language, though:

    I had a kidney transplant (11 years ago, yay!) and afterwards in the immediate recovery room, They were trying to wake me up from the anesthesia. One of the doctors with the transplant team was trying to a sonogram of the newly installed kidney to see how it was working, and I vaguely remember him fiddling around. What I DIDN’T know was that I shouted at him, ” YOU are SUCH a F@CkING IDIOT! Go get someone else to do it!” and passed back out. The recovery nurses told me after I was fully conscious what happened and they thought it was hysterical.

    The thing is, I have been going for check ups every 2 months for the past 11 years and I see this guy every time I am at the clinic–he isn’t my doc, but he’s there– and all he ever does is stare at me grimly.
    So embarrassing!!!

  158. Peeing! We might have moved on, because I got excited and didn’t read all the comments, but — peeing!

    So, this one time my friend Lyndie had a party, and afterward T and C and I passed out — T & C in the living room, me in my room (I lived with Lyndie). When we woke up, Lyndie’s husband was REALLY MAD; apparently there was beer all over his keyboard, and he thought we’d done it. None of us could remember doing it, but Lyndie and I started making plans to buy him a new keyboard — and then a few days T came back over very casually with a new keyboard. “Just because,” he said, “I felt responsible since I was drinking too.”

    WELL! A few days after THAT, C came back over and let slip that T had GOTTEN UP AND PEED ON THE KEYBOARD. As in, he got up, asked C, “Is this the computer desk?” and then peed all over it when he got an affirmative answer. WHAT THE HELL. Also, the end. Perhaps that was funnier in my head.

    As an aside, I was trying to think up some good spaghetti language for y’all when my husband reminded me of the time I woke him up because I was plagiarizing Vanessa Carlton, to wit: “Just a cooch, just an/ordinary cooch, just/trying to get laid…”

    I have NO IDEA where that came from. However, I later decided it was hilarious and rewrote the entire song to be about a cooch and its travails. Yep. I am one classy broad.

    (Apologies for length. Shit, isn’t this why I have my OWN blog?)

  159. Hahaha, peeing. The ex-Mr. llamas had a roommate who was notorious for peeing on their other roommate’s wallet. Twice.

  160. I see this guy every time I am at the clinic–he isn’t my doc, but he’s there– and all he ever does is stare at me grimly.

    Hah! BUt he should be used to that by now. Reacting weirdly to anaesthesia runs in my family. When I come out of it I have long conversations, make long-distance calls, plan appointments, and then completely forget about it.

  161. I can’t believe how hard this thread has me laughing. While I don’t have any stories of spaghetti language of my own since I don’t really seem to do it (I steals the covers but don’t seem chatty about it); I do have a couple good ones to share.

    My brother J was like 8 at the time. He was crying hysterically in his room; crouched on the floor looking for something. Mom went in to ask what was wrong…

    J: I can’t find them
    Mom: Find what?
    J: The noodles! I can’t find the noodles!
    Mom: Where could they be?
    J: They’re in the J!!

    Of course he doesn’t remember this at all. The same brother also got pretty looped a few years ago (long after the noodles in the J) on pain meds in the hospital and started crying cause no one else believed him that cats were working on the electrical wires in his room…

    Another time I was over in Germany with two friends who got blitzed drunk on Jim Beam and both passed out on the beds; fully clothed mind you. Now this hotel room had a shower stall in it. A plastic/glass stall. Just IN the room. I could SEE the head where the water should come out but there was nothing else…no knobs or anything. I was so puzzled and in dire need of a shower so I tried asking one of the girls, A, how the heck to turn on the damned shower:

    Me: Hey, A, how the hell do I turn on the shower!?!?
    A: You turn the knob
    Me: ??? There ARE no knobs!
    A: Turn the dial
    Me: There ARE no dials!!!!
    A: Turn it to 10…. [zzzz]

    (I did eventually find the button that I need to use to start the water; but there WAS no knob…)

    Okay. My friend D has always been one to stay up wicked late and sleep in even later. Back in HS I tried calling her at the fairly reasonable time of 1pm to chat on the weekend. Her mom tried to give her the phone. All I could hear was discontented grunting and muttering. After a minute I hear D’s mom again and she says “D will have to call you back later when she’s awake. She’s just spent the last minute talking into her palm, convinced she’s chatting with you”

    Lastly, my mom hasn’t really chatted much in her sleep (although I think she might have been sleep walking the night she came downstairs and unplugged the bubbler on our fishtank cause it was “making too much noise”). But recently she has taken to falling asleep on the couch while watching TV. And then she snores…(which she denies). The last time we were visiting though she fell asleep again and snored so hard she woke HERSELF up….and was very disgruntled! :D

    Oh man these are all so great….I think I love the one about the kitchen-free pillow. And the stuff about sleep whispering would freak me the fuck out!

    OOO I did just think of one thing I kinda had; I woke up one night and was just suddenly awake; looked at the moon, coughed and fell back to sleep. The next morning I remembered it so vividly that I wrote a poem “Why did I wake up? To look at the moon? Just to roll over and cough”. For some reason my brother loved it….weird.

  162. After a minute I hear D’s mom again and she says “D will have to call you back later when she’s awake. She’s just spent the last minute talking into her palm, convinced she’s chatting with you”

    *can’t stop laughing*


    I am so happy to hear that I am not the only person who talks into her hand thinking it’s a phone when she’s tired. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have woken up to find my hand against my head, me talking into it, and then pulled it away, surprised to find it holds no phone. Especially if my phone actually starts ringing, I’ll open it and start talking into it without actually remembering to grab it off my desk. Meaning I just opened and started talking into a bit of air.


  163. Oh, here’s one that VERY a propos.

    I had a stoner hippie chick floormate my freshman year.

    Rosemary was a real trip and everything she said while she was conscious was absolutely insane anyway, so when she spoke Spaghetti Language it was a major doozy.

    *Fire alarm bells go off at 2a*

    Me: Shit! Shit, shit shitshitshit.

    *Puts on clothes/shoes, leaves room, knocks on Rosemary’s door.*

    Me: Ro, there’s a fire alarm. Get up, we have to get out of the doom.

    Rosemary: MmmmfffppphhllttttMMFF?

    Me: *opens door* Ro, GET UP. The fireman want us out of the dorm.

    Rosemary: Uggggghhhhhh. Wha? Where. Wha…

    Me: Get UP, Ro, we have to get out of THE DORM!

    Ro: *suddenly sitting up, startled* What? FAT WOMEN WILL RIDE THE WIND?!?

    Me: …


  164. Does the wind have seatbelt extenders?

    (Which I originally typed as “sextenders.” Which, um. I’m not sure.)

  165. @bellacoker : Yes, that happened with me and my stepmom a lot! She finally started writing stuff down.

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. :-) My husband just knows to keep checking if he has to wake me because I’ll say, “Yes, I’m awake,” many times and then fall back asleep the minute he leaves the room.

  166. My sister talks in her sleep a lot, usually reasonably coherently, unless her dream involves horses. Then it’s more along the lines of horse sounds and clicking and whinnying etc.

    Anyway, one time she was on a reasonably short flight, about 1hr30 from Birmingham UK to Shannon IRL and she just woke up on landing to see the man beside her and his wife in convulsions laughing at her. She was a bit confused until the man said to her

    “Will I help you bring in that fucker of a horse now, or will we wait till we get off the plane?”


  167. Many years ago, back in student land, sharing a single bed with the then love of my life: me asleep, him awake and just returned from the pub….

    Me: “Careful, careful, you’ll hurt the raspberries!”
    Him: “I’ll do what? What rasperberries?”
    Me: “Them! Those! Oh you know! Them over there. Stop pretending!”
    Him: “There aren’t any raspberries anywhere!”
    Me: “They’re HERE!! They’re whispering to each other!”
    Him: (laughing) “Really? Can you hear what they’re saying?”
    Me: “Yes and so can you. Stop pretending!”
    Him: “What are they saying? I can’t quite hear.”

  168. Once I shouted, very vehemently, “DON’T TOUCH MY ORANGE COLLECTION!” then after a while of being asked ‘what on earth are you talking about?” I said, “Okay… you can borrow one… BUT DON’T MESS THEM UP.”

  169. My husband is actually more accurate about what time he works than when he’s fully awake. It’s scary. He did once wake me up and scare the crap out of me by clearly stating “No, those go on the end-caps.”

    This happens a lot.
    Me: Roll over, quit snoring.
    Him: Hmm?
    Me: Quit snoring!
    Him: Don’t cry, it’s just the kitty.
    Me: You’re snoring! Quit snoring!
    Him: Oh, ok. (rolls over)

  170. I totally want to have a sleepover with all of you, and then stay up late, goad you into sleeping conversations with each other, and tape the whole thing. :)

  171. My husband is in the military and he has been working 36 hour shifts, and he came home one night and promised to spend some alone time with me, but he immediately fell asleep. I said, “goodnight honey.” and he started whining in his sleep, “I should really have sex with the car because it keeps me warm and you can put a food in it and you can put a daisy in it” (daisy is my friend’s dog)

    I can only interpret that as him feeling guilty for not giving me affection since I bring him food and keep him warm, lol

  172. I’m a big spaghetti talker AND I have OCD, so often my spaghetti talk is something that satisfies a tic. For example, I was once napping at then bf, now dh’s apartment. And you have to understand that I fix on odd numbers. So anyway, this car outside honked its horn four times at evenly spaced intervals and I, without missing a beat, added a fifth in my sleep.

    When I used to teach, I also once gave my husband a pop quiz over a lecture that apparently had to do with logical fallacies and grammar in my sleep. Yet another time, I told him if he didn’t sit quietly on the alphabet rug, he couldn’t play with the green big wheel.

    He, on the other hand, despite being unquestionably the NICEST human being (this is unanimous among everyone who knows him, not just marital bias) while awake, can be a totally asshole in his sleep. The first time I slept over was almost my last, because at about 5:45 a.m., he rolls over and says, “Yeah, I’ve got stuff to do, so you need to get out of here now.” I, baffled, asked him if he was serious, to which he replied, “I’ve got shit to do! Leave!” I got dressed and stomped out in a huff and just as I was opening the front door, he sleepily staggered into the living room, looking seriously wounded and whimperingly asked why I was leaving. He called me about ten times that day to apologize and to swear he had absolutely no recollection whatsoever of that conversation.

    Another time, he demanded I leave again, and when I asked him why, he said “I told you I don’t like you like that! I love Miz H! Now leave me alone!” Apparently, he was dreaming about a girl who had come onto him on a trip. It was very sweet :)

  173. Early in our marriage, my husband woke up from a deep sleep, sat straight up in bed (just like they do in the movies) and yelled,

    “Bread … Bread…. BREAD!!!”

    As if a giant baguette had suddenly appeared on the scene and was about to ravage the town.

  174. JB fights creatures and monsters and vampires and intruders in his sleep. So I get a lot of night terror responses that are mostly yelling and grunting and not intelligible.

    But the very best time ever was his yelling, “Fuuuuu Mannnnn Chuuuuu” over and over again. Long and slow and drawn out and so loud. Crystal clear inflection. Nothing funnier than your husband waking you up yelling about a mustache.

  175. My husband, KarateMonkey, has done this several times. One night he woke me up

    KM: “How many slots do our statues have?”

    RS: “Whut?”

    KM: impatiently “How many slots do our statues have?!”

    RS: “Honey, I think you’re dreaming…”

    KM: huffy “FINE. We’ll talk about it in the morning.”

    The next morning, he sheepishly recalled the entire conversation, as well as his utter frustration with me that I couldn’t answer such a simple, yet important, question.

  176. Haha I write in spaghetti language too. One night I was working on a case I’d brought home from work (I work in the Criminal Division of one of the courts), and I was supposed to be writing “A search of Mr. So-and-so’s person uncovered 9 small clear ziplock baggies filled with powder and one small black baggie.” what came out instead was “9 small clear ziplock baggies and a pair of opaque tights.” good thing i woke up enough to realize what i’d written before turning it in!

  177. Oh, God, I am laughing myself into hiccups here.

    As for personal examples — as an eighth-grader, I once rather infamously shouted “Can I have that line again, please?” at my mother when she came in to wake me up for school.

    I also once answered a ringing phone “Hi, can I talk to you?”, but unfortunately I was wide awake at the time.

  178. My boyfriend, coming into the bedroom after I had been asleep for a few hours already: Eww, you drooled all over the pillow!
    Me: Excuse me for being partially human…

  179. This thread is one of the greatest things I have ever read. In my life. Seriously.

    There’s a legendary story among two of my best friends, which unfortunately I was not present for. Friend A was spending the night at Friend B’s house, and was having trouble sleeping in a strange place, etc. (this was way back in middle school) so she was lying awake for quite awhile. According to her, Friend B suddenly sat bolt upright in bed, pointed to no one in particular, and said in an amused tone “You know what? You have issues.” It took Friend A a minute to realize Friend B was asleep, so she thought she was talking to her and got all indignant about it. (It’s a lot funnier when she tells it, for the record.)

    Also: not spaghetti language (although it may have produced some; I was alone so I don’t know) but all the talk of Denglish in this thread reminded me about a dream I had the other night. I’ve been studying German pretty intensively this summer – perhaps too intensively, because I ended up having a dream wherein I was concentrating really hard on memorizing a list of German words. Mid-dream, I suddenly thought “hey, these are just words I made up” and stopped paying attention, although I still kept reading them. Closest I’ve gotten to a lucid dream.

    And this may indeed be spaghetti-reading, because I’m quite tired today, but I totally just thought Karrigan wrote “I am crying tears of math here” and I started laughing really hard before I realized I read it wrong.

  180. OMG! I talk ‘spaghetti language’ all the time. My fiance loves it because I say the weirdest shit and then have absolutely no recollection of it afterwards.

    About a year ago, I was hooked on World of Warcraft and I played quite…er…frequently. One night, my fiance came to bed and woke me a little to say, “I love you” and I said “I love you spell!” So he said, “Are you casting your ‘I love you’ spell on me?” and I replied, ” Yeaaaaahhhh!”

    My best friend had a pretty good one a few years ago. I was staying with her family at their summer cabin and she and I had to share a bed because there wasn’t much space. I didn’t know she spoke spaghetti so as we were drifting off to sleep one night she said: “There’s a lizard in the bed!” This freaked me right out and I jumped out of the bed yelling, “WHAT? There’s a lizard in the bed?” and she just rolled over and said quite angrily, “NOTHING! NEVERMIND!”

  181. This is the most awesome thread ever!

    I read the post and some of the comments yesterday and mentioned it to my friends and we spent all day saying, “You should have an L on your forehead for douchebag.”

    Of course, the first reasction when I explained the idea of spagetti language was for them to say, “That’s how you talk all the time.” Which is very true, I just try too hard to speak before I know what I’m saying and it make no sense. For example, today my sister was playing, pretending she was going to poke me in the nose and I was dodging her and trying to wave her away. I just could not think the words “Please stop” and eventually just said in a pleading voice, “No one!”

    I’m also known for my spagetti hearing, and reading. Mainly hearing, there are quite a few phrases thatare in jokes with my friends now that come from me misshearing things, but we almost never remember what was said in the first place. We call a barman at our local “Hotsauce leg”, one of my friends is occasionally, “Oscillatin’ G” and on wednesday I swear I heard a friend say something was “pissing hot!”

    I’ll stop now, or I’d go on all day. I love all of the comments here.

    Actually, one proper spagetti language phrase I just remmbered. A few years ago a friend was sleeping over in my room and in the middle of the night I just heard her say, “Acceptable, if I could give you part of my neck, I would.” Still cracks me up! Apparently she was dreaming she was a giraffe and I was a horse.

  182. I have no reports from anyone of me talking in my sleep on a regular basis. Though, I apparently snore. I do, however, have one fever delirium / sleep talking story.

    When I was 12 years old, I had the chicken pox. The first night that I was sick I had an extremely vivid dream about Poison Ivy, from Batman. I was dreaming that she was turning everyone into trees. I woke myself and my mom up screaming “But, I don’t WANT to be a tree!”

  183. Just remembered another favourite from when I was having a sleepover at a friend’s house when we were all in our teens. My pal Jill, who was apparently asleep on the sofa, woke up and said “Please come to the Rub-a-dub-dub club!”. All ten teenage girls make snorfling noises, trying not to laugh. Jill then adds “You have to bring your own loofah though”. Fun times!

  184. I have a whole concept of Spaghetti hearing and reading called Orbing.

    Like when you read or hear something you think is insane and once properly sorted is NOTHING what you thought it was.

    Here’s a good’un:

    I was driving down a major street in Chicago and was about to pass a hugeass Barnes and Noble. The bookshop always has an interesting theme for its windows — baseball or politics or what have you, with lots of signage and visuals.

    As I approached the storefront itself, I had my eyes on the road ahead of me, so it was in my peripheral vision that I caught the B and N window display.

    I could have sworn it said “SERIAL KILLERS.”

    My jaw dropped! SERIAL KILLERS?!? In the Barnes and Noble window?!? Yikes!

    In a state of utter shock, I slammed on the brakes and turned my head to get a closer look!

    Alas — the window display was actually merchandising for SPIRITUAL MATTERS.

    Oy vey! That was one hell of an Orb!

  185. This is a wonderful thread and I wish I had something more worthy to contribute. I tell my son to “go vacuum the lawn” on a depressingly regular basis, but sadly I am completely awake at the time, and that’s as close to Spaghetti language as anyone in my family gets.

    In my sleep apparently I am as coherent I ever get. My brother called late one night, waking me up (he thought), and said he was having car trouble and wanted me to come get him. I don’t remember the phone call at all but I remember with crystal clarity realizing I was driving down a major street a few miles from home knowing he needed a ride but without a clue where he was supposed to be. And with no real memory of the drive to where I was, either.

    Another time a friend from high school I hadn’t talked to in some time called late one night and I exclaimed “Pam! How great to hear from you!” Which probably would have worked better if I’d done it when we started the conversation rather than ten minutes into it…. No idea what we talked about the first ten minutes, actually, since Pam wasn’t interested in going back ten paces for me.

  186. my bf is always spewing nonsense about warcraft in his sleep, but I think I win in the spaghetti language department.

    The other day I was sleeping and my bf tried to wake me up because I was rolled around moaning and holding my head and;
    BF: What’s wrong? Did you have a bad dream?
    Me: yeaaaaah….. subway anddddddd chickennnn….
    BF: what?
    Me: Aaaaah!! SAWBLADES!! my head! owwww!
    BF: wake up! what’s wrong?
    Me: chicken.. hahahaha

    And straight back to sleep

    (the subway kinda makes sense since I work there, but I don’t eat chicken.. and sawblades?)

  187. I have two pretty good experiences with this. The first was my sophomore year of college during my first degree, when I was living in the dorm. Apparently my roommate and I both talked in our sleep, and would occasionally have conversations. So our suitemates decided to tape us one night. It went something like this:

    Me: You are such a bitch.
    Roomie: You are, loser.
    Me: (scoffing sound)
    Roomie: You know, what, get out of my car.
    Me: What the hell are you talking about, we’re not in a car! We’re in the dressing room!
    Roomie: You’re stupid.
    Me: You’re ugly.

    What’s weird is we got along really well when we were awake.

    The second was spaghetti reading. Just a few weeks ago, I was brushing up on some Micro for a review test, and realized after about three pages that I must be very tired, because Gram negative diplococci have absolutely nothing to do with rhinoceri. Or cookies.

    Then there’s the time I dreamed I was really angry at some woman I was arguing with, and just had to slap her. I hurt my hand very badly slapping my bedside table. And the time I told a beeping alarm clock to “go away.” But those aren’t really stories as much as vague memories.

  188. Oh, I envy anyonne who is skilled at Spaghetti Language. I think I only mumble garbled sounds when I’m in the half asleep state. Bummer.

  189. Re: spaghetti reading. I was just looking at my Pandora (internet radio) window. It was playing New Order, I recognized the song and knew damn well it was playing New Order. Yet somehow, when I looked at the box where it said “New Order”, I read it as “Sexy Church”.

    I have no idea how I saw that, exactly, but I think that’s a sign I need to start going to bed earlier.

  190. When I was little I shared a room with my older brother. One night I went in when he was already asleep, and he says, in this accusing voice,”I know what you’re thinking! Summer’s cold and winter’s hot.”

    I had to go tell my sisters in the living room what had just happened, then I came back in and he bolts upright and yells, “The BOOTS! The boots are coming! BEWARE!” and then went back to sleep.

    Another gem was him muttering in his sleep, “Oh, free HBO…” as if he wanted it, badly.

  191. Oh Meghan… you’ve said much funnier things than that… I just wish I could remember them. But the WoW moment was pretty amazing. You cast your ‘I Love You’ spell on me. That is awesome. I slept good that night. At least, until you stole the covers – more things you don’t have any recollection of doing while asleep.

  192. This might be the best thread ever. My husband does spaghetti talk fairly often, and my daughter and I (if she’s there) will do our best to keep him going, laughing the whole time. When we tell him, he gets kinda pissy. So I was thrilled to see this, and see that other people do **exactly the same thing** and laugh over it later. He was happy to hear it too; I doubt he’ll get annoyed next time :) It usually starts with him sleeping and starting to laugh, then laughing harder. I’ll quietly ask him what’s so funny, trying not to wake him up. Then he’ll be annoyed I’m trying to wake him up and say something like, “No! You don’t even have the music!”

    Once, lying on his back, he laughed and his head turned as though he was watching something fly rapidly across the ceiling. Still laughing, he asked, “Did you see that??!” I asked, “What?” He said, “That racecar. Oh. Oh yeah, you weren’t with me.” Then he really cracked up.

    Once as a kid I walked to the bathroom and was definitely still mostly asleep. I stopped at my parents’ room and said, “Don’t forget the money for my lunch.” They asked, “What? What are you talking about?” I said insistently, “The library! I have to get it to the library!” They kept asking, but by then I was annoyed and realized I was being woken up, so waved them off and went to the bathroom then back to bed. The next morning I had a vague memory of saying something, but no idea what, and asked my mom if I’d said something on my way to the bathroom. She said snidely, “Yeah, you did, why are you asking? You know you did.” They never did grasp the concept of somniloquy.

    I’m a tad disgusted because this obviously hilarious phenomenon, which has spawned such an uproariously funny thread, is listed as a “sleep disorder.” Hmph. Source of FUN more like it!

    Fillyjonk, you seriously crack me up. First this: “I couldn’t figure out why they were saying “SMS,” which seems like a weird thing for a spider to say.” and then “come in really handy if one of us gets locked-in syndrome. Way faster than waiting for people to cycle through the alphabet a la Bauby. There are definitely stories about hams who have gotten paralyzed”

    Try reading that last one through with no prior knowledge what the heck locked-in syndrome, bauby, or paralyzed hams might mean, and you’ll realize why I actually thought you were parodying some spaghetti-talk. Uh, I figured it out. But it took a minute.

  193. I’m a total arsehole in my sleep too. Happened just this morning, in fact — my mother came in to give me my meds and I’d gone to bed something like an hour before, and I was all, ‘oh my God, fuck you, get the fuck away’. But I was still partially awake at the time, and my usual response to being woken up is a lot of swearing, but less coherent than that, more like ‘oh my god fucking cunting doughing fuckwit motherfuckering shitdickeatering whorehead’.

    One time I said, ‘I’m fucking eatering the cheesedick! Go away!’ and it turned out I’d been munching the drool spot on on my pillow under the mistaken belief it was cheese. Or a penis. Or both. I’m still not sure.

  194. Glarg, forgot one other thing I’ve done – sleep-typing. It comes out in real words – with no typos either! – but spaghetti language. One of the most memorable was when I was programming a meat-weighing/wrapping/pricing machine about 25 years ago, and was supposed to be putting in things like “pork shoulder picnic” and “.25 per pound” but I was dozing off and typing in god knows what. No one checked it all before it went out; it was shit detail. I still laugh thinking of the first time someone tried to weigh head cheese and got a label printed out saying it was “Phileas Fogg melange” for “$135 per lira”. There were a lot of goodies in there, I know.

  195. Also, mathematician/philosopher Ray Smullyan has an interesting account in one of his books about sleep-writing. He had a dream in which he had found the single, perfect counter to every major philosophy in history, and one by one all the great philosophers came to him and elucidated their philosophies, which he promptly dissolved with his own genius counter. One by one, Locke, Hobbes, Aristotle, Socrates, Pythagorus – all dejectedly walked away from him. He had cracked them all. He came awake enough to scribble the answer in his sleep-notebook, and the next morning eagerly went to find out what this brilliant counter-philosophy was.

    Written on the paper were four words. “That’s what YOU think!”

    My daughter and I still use this line as shorthand in a great many situations. It’s positively brilliant.

  196. I caught myself about to speak spaghetti language last night — I was falling asleep and wanted to say something about how my stomach was too full from our dinner (lasagne), but the sentence that almost left my mouth was “I drank so many tacos!” For once, I was able to recognize it as spaghetti before I uttered it — maybe because of this thread?

  197. Time-Machine, I think you should be glad I wasn’t the person drawing your blood. I probably would’ve just played into what you were saying, like “Oh Daleks..yeah, you know they went down the hall. Something about getting lost, thinking you were who they were looking for. Oh boy, were they embarassed. They told me to apologize.”

    Alot of the spaghetti language stuff posted here has majorly cracked me up. I can’t reall recall any spaghetti language I’ve said myself. Maybe I’ve become so used to Insomnia, and being somewhat overtired I can manage it. That or all the spaghetti language I’ve used, probably has been in chat rooms. I mean chat rooms actually are pretty funny if you’re overtired enough.

    I do think I’ve probably said a good deal of spaghetti language at the dentist, because I use a nitrous oxygen mix sedation, cause I have huge dental phobias after several bad dental experiences. I remember one time I turned on the Steve Wilkos show, (they have a TV at the dentist I go to as well, I guess it’s all about the distraction from what’s going on) and was like “Heyyy that’s the guy who was on Jerry Springer!” and the dentist was like, “Yup..”

    I think my dentist has heard so much nitrous oxygen induced spaghetti language, he’s actually grown bored with it. Can you imagine? Or perhaps he’s just trying to remain professional.

  198. Most of my family/friends won’t speak to me if I am in a reclining position. I can hold whole conversations without being awake–the problem comes later when they try to revist the conversation and I look at them like they are crazy. If they are intrepid enough to start a conversation while I am in a “comprised” position, the only time they know is if they continue long enough and I devolve into spaghetti language.

  199. The following is an example of spaghetti hearing. A friend and I were driving, with his teen-age son in the car with us. Bobby said he hoped he didn’t get stopped by a cop for his broken taillight, he didn’t need a repair ticket. His son wanted to know why the hell a cop would give him a bare chicken. We just howled, and then had to explain to Al why we were howling. So now, repair tickets are bare chickens and we laugh every time someone mentions getting a repair ticket.

  200. Vesta44, I have one like that. My first work-study job in college, when I was 17, I picked up the phone and the person calling said they were calling from “the cow stable.” At least that’s what it sounded like to my waxy ears. Turns out it was accounts payable, a phrase I’d never heard before. Oops. Fortunately my boss thought it was hilarious. (“The cow stable”? I was in lower Manhattan, where the hell would THAT have been?)

  201. emmy and jazzy just cracked my shit up.

    My story is not so much ‘spaghetti language’ as ‘weird shit I do while asleep’, but wevs. One time I was staying over with my then-boyfriend and I had a dream I was having a full-scale argument with my mother over lamps and whether they made rooms brighter (my mother’s position being that they didn’t, which is actually more logical than many things she has said in life). I opened my mouth to SCREAM at her full volume, except I actually screamed out loud and woke my boyfriend, so he screamed because I was screaming, and I woke up because he was screaming, and we both sat there screaming in one another’s faces in the middle of the night without any idea what was going on.

    I can’t remember anything about what happened next or how we resolved it, but I have to conclude we did given we are no longer in that bed or, indeed, together. So if we hadn’t that would be awkward.

  202. Vesta and Meowser, you’re reminding me of when my choir went to New Zealand. When we first arrived, there was an announcement that anyone on a connecting flight should proceed to the “chicken disk”. Our entire 80-person choir stood there in confusion about what on earth kind of weird farm airport we must be in, and what a chicken disk could possibly be, until finally one of us figured it out: “check-in desk!”

  203. emilymorgan, my ex had a similar story… he was talking on the phone to his wife, who lived in NZ (she might have been his girlfriend at that point, I dunno, she still lived in NZ and he lived in the US for a lot of the time they were married), and she said she was playing with a purple pig. He was like “a purple pig?” and she said “no, a purple PIG.” “A purple pig?” “NO, not a purple pig, a purple PIG!” This went on for a bit until she finally said she’d send him one in the mail. A few weeks later he gets a package full of various things, and he’s searching for the purple pig, but there are no pigs, and the only thing that’s purple is a clothespin. Turns out she was saying a “purple peg.”

    I like “chicken disk” better though.

  204. I have not laughed so hard in FOREVER!!! I seriously laughed until I had tears in my eyes! My husband swears in his sleep all the time. He talks in his sleep quite often, but he’s boring, he always dreams about work. The other night he said” G-damn truck stuck in the lake again.”
    One I remeber from when I was young was when I woke my sister up from school when she was about 6, and she said” I’m too tired to be REAL!”
    Another one is one my friend Naomi said long ago at a sleepover when we were kids(this is my favorite). She was moaning ,”nononoNO!” When we asked her what the matter was, she said ” HELP, the MONARCH BUTTERFLES! EVERYWHERE, THEY”RE EVERYWHERE!”

  205. Chicken disks and purple pigs, what an interesting farmyard that would be.

    Reminds me of the day my mother told the family she had seen “snogies”. I innocently asked, “Mom, what the heck are snogies?” whereupon the entire family burst into laughter. For the life of me I had no idea what “snogies” were until someone took pity and said it slowly. Snow geese.

  206. “A sleeping friend at a sleep over sat up abruptly and said “I know why arm pit hair and crotch hair are so dark” and someone asked her why and she said “because they are always in the shade” and then laid down and was fast asleep.”

    OMG, I’m laughing so hard. My Dad (a farmer) once started talking about a girl named “Sally” in his sleep one night and Mom just about hit the ceiling. Mom asked him “Who is Sally?” All he could remember was that she had big, brown eyes. A week later he bought a new cow with big, brown eyes and decided that Sally was a beautiful name for the Gurnesy cow. Of course, he didn’t remember telling Mom that he dreamed of a brown-eyed girl.

    My brother used to go in the corner of our room to pee and he used to yell at Mom, “You’re making me miss the hole!” as she steered him to the bathroom.

    Thanks for the laughs today!

  207. This thread is sooo awesome.
    I’ve had my fair share of spag talk from my hubbie.
    the two most meorable are:

    “Yoda with you and the spiders with the random expiry date **mumble** bum”

    He was actually trying to tell me that he thought our cat (who I’d placed between us) was originally me prodding him in the bum.

    Also “Elves and the shoe-maker and cranberry juice” came out once.

    Unfortunately he’s aware of his gibberish and can now catch himself so I hardly hear it.

    I’m very interested in the repitition we have here with spider/bugs and fruit in spaghetti speek!

    My BIL also will say “spiders” in his sleep. (Cheeky SIL goes: “gorillas” back at him and then he’ll be all “oh no GORILLAS!!)

    Maybe there needs to be some research done about the subconcious’s connection with spiders and fruit.

  208. I crutched my way down the hall to write this before I forget; figures it would happen tonight.

    I’m reading, watching TV while hubby fell asleep, and he rolled onto his back and said something about planets. I said, “What?” He said, “I’m weighing stuff on other planets.” I asked, “Weighing what?” He said, “You know, your food and stuff.” I asked, “Is it working?” “Is what working?” “The diet.” He says, “I don’t know, you didn’t make an appearance. You have to go to reality for an appearance. I’ll try to schedule you for a cameo later.”

    Not bad considering it hasn’t happened for a while. I’d say the Lortab (he just had a tooth pulled) is partly responsible. Heh.


    “Sleep talking is a part of the sleeping disorder parasomnia. This is caused by non-restful or unfulfilled sleep stages. People with parasomnia often display activities in their sleep such as sleepwalking, sleep talking, teeth grinding, and night terrors. They also may experience body jerking and they may thrash about in their sleep.” (I didn’t agree with what they said next, but this part was helpful for some of the questions asked earlier.)

    I’ve gone the other direction with sleep paralysis, but there’s nothing fun about that one. Most of my dreams are also lucid, but they’re still mostly nightmares lol. So I get the best of everything, sigh.

  209. this thread is hilarious. i am cackling here.

    neither i nor my husband speak spaghetti language, although he tells me i did at one point laugh in my sleep, which he found rather freaky.

    but when i was in my first year of university, i shared a room, and my roommate slept-talked a lot. but the first time it happened, i didn’t know she was asleep. a door banged in the halls of residence, and she said ‘what was that?’ ‘don’t worry, A,’ i said, ‘it was just a door banging’ ‘who’s there’? she goes on, and on, and on, time after time, and after trying to reassure her at least five times i realised she must be asleep. i then lay there for at least half an hour watching the shadows made on the wall by the trees moving in the wind outside, totally freaked out, saying to myself ‘you know there’s nobody out there, calm down!’

    she talked all the time, and i’m a light sleeper so it woke me up, but because i was half asleep myself i’d never remember what she said in the morning, which was a real shame. then one time i was still awake reading or something and she was asleep and started talking so i ran over to the desk and wrote down what she said.

    the next morning i told her – ‘A, i wrote down what you said!”

    and what was it?

    ‘see if the soup needs salt’

    which was hilarious, but not as hilarious as one might think – apparently it was a line from a play she was in! rehearsing in her sleep – so conscientious!

    she also sleep-walked once – that was scary.

    and i remember a male friend telling me that when he was a young kid he’d often sleepwalk to the toilet and pee. and then they remodelled the house, and he walked into his brother’s bedroom and peed in his sock drawer!

  210. When my mom flies, she falls asleep almost instantly. On a trip last year, she says she got comfortable, closed her eyes and fell asleep. When she woke up, the plane was on the ground. She said something to the guy sitting next to her about being there already. He calmly told her that they were still waiting to take off. I think he thought she was crazy.

    But I think this must run in families. My mom does it, I do it, my kids do it. I can’t think of any examples right now though. Our family did learn that if we wanted to talk to one of my kids, we had to make sure he was out of bed. Even if he looks wide awake and have a conversation with you, unless he is standing up, he is likely still asleep. There have been many times I have gotten mad at him for not doing chores I told him about.

    Glad to know that my family is not quite as odd as we all thought.

  211. My boyfriend woke me up once, because I was giggling in my sleep. When he asked me why, I just said happily, “Bunnies, bunnies, bunnies.”

  212. Alls I have is the most recent one:

    Me: Hey!  You shouldn’t do that!  Don’t do that!
    Him, confused: I wouldn’t do that.  I love you.
    Me: Oh.  *goes back to sleep*

    It turned out I was dreaming he was trying to steal my food.  *amused*

  213. My husband and I do this all the time, but I can’t remember any good examples. Except for this morning:

    Him: [godawful noise complete with facial expressions]
    Me: What’s wrong?
    Him: Feel my throat!
    Me: [dutifully feeling throat=nothing] I guess it’s a little swollen. I’m sorry.
    Him: Yeah, you’re pretty fucking sorry!
    Me: [trying not to get upset] I was trying to be sympathetic.
    Him: You can’t be sympathetic. You’re a cop!

    At which point he woke up completely realizing that he was spaghetti talking. (This would not, however, be funny at all if I was actually a cop. I’m not.)

    My favorite though, was one I did when I was little. I sleep-walked into the family room where my parents were still awake and said “Zoom zoom zoom” complete with flying-airplane hand motions, and then turned around and went back to bed.

  214. This is a gem from my brother.

    Me: Sam? Time to wake up.

    Sam: (dreamily) Customers want metal cupcakes.

    I wish I had tried to continue the conversation! Instead I just stood in the doorway and howled with laughter.

  215. I do the spaghetti-writing thing. I once found in my notebook — in my handwriting, in a page of graphs copied from the lecturer, with NO recollection of having written it — the words “The Ostrich in Exile”.
    I still don’t know what I meant, but I like it anyways.
    Also, one ex of mine once woke me up and started asking me a question in Turkish. I have no idea if it made sense because I don’t speak Turkish, but I think he’d forgotten that. He, of course, didn’t remember it.
    This is a fucking spectacular thread.

  216. Chiming in a little late, but…

    I know that when I was living with my parents I often had coherent conversations while asleep that I couldn’t recall later. And I used to talk in my sleep occasionally.

    I have no idea if I still do, as I live alone.

    In any case, my favorite was from when we were camping when I was about 7 or 8 years old… My dad woke up when I was apparently insisting that:
    “Squirrels are eating my feet!”

  217. My personal favourite, from J, my boyfriend:

    [gazing over my shoulder with an expression of bewilderment] “Rachel….. there’s an angry mob behind you!”

    Closely followed by:
    “Wow! You have a moustache and it was your eyebrow!”

    And, one of my own:
    Me: “If we have a baby we can call it Elizabeth and it can become Queen and rule the world”
    J: “what if we have a boy?”
    Me: “We’ll call it Elizabeth.”

  218. I was once awakened by my roommate ringing the doorbell. She proceeded to thank me profusely for getting her a wireless internet connection last night as she ascended the stairs; when I confusedly said I hadn’t said I was getting a wireless link, she said something about Comcast being now called Comcrap (… Some people still have good judgement in their sleep…), announced she was going to her room to drink her food and eat her sex, and promptly sat down on her purse at the top of the stairs and went to sleep.

    (I eventually managed to relocate her to her room. Where she promptly curled up into a ball seated on her purse and went back to sleep.)

  219. Once, at the age of eighteen, I stayed up all night on the phone before attempting to go to work. At the time I was working in a physics lab, plugging different materials into a variety of machines to test their electrical properties, and had to take extensive notes on everything I tried.

    It was hard to concentrate without sleep, but I made it most of the way through the day, and even diagnosed a problem with the “gain” knob on one of the machines … before nodding off in the middle of my lab book. When I startled awake, I looked down and read the incriminating sentence:

    “The resistivometer appears to be malfunctioning when there is not enough love in the world for horses.”

    Initially I was horrified, and tried hard to blot out this evidence that I was an incompetent (and apparently quite sentimental) lab assistant — but it quickly became my favourite piece of spaghetti language, and I told the story whenever the subject came up in conversation. Then one night many years later, at an hour when I really ought to have been asleep instead of just talking about it, I nodded off while telling the story, and concluded triumphantly:

    “So I was trying to write down that the problem was with the ‘gain’ knob, but the real Mr. Bentley has been dead in his chair for hours!”

  220. I once fell asleep on the couch while watching Roman Holiday with my sister. She hadn’t seen it before, and I had this vague desire to explain and comment on the movie to enhance her viewing experience. So near the beginning of the film, I pointed to Gregory Peck and slurred out, “You see that guy? That guy’s a pussy.” I was confident that I had made a witty and not at all nonsensical joke about the film. A few minutes later, I woke up and realized something had been off about my sleep-addled movie commentary, and we had this conversation:

    Me: …..Did I just call Gregory Peck a pussy?
    Her: Yes you did.
    Me: I need to go to bed.

    Spaghetti language happens to me because I get weirdly embarrassed about zonking out on the couch at 10pm. So I’ll try to maintain the illusion of wakefulness by making conversation-like sounds and insisting that I’m not sleeping, I’m just resting my eyes.

  221. My husband was on a business retreat last weekend, and he just told me that his room-mate says that he said “Who is this?” or something like that in the middle of the night. In English (he’s German). He said to me “I guess my default language is finally switching.”

    My immediate response? “Then why do you talk in your sleep in German to me???”

  222. I am redefining “late to the party” here but I can’t believe I forgot my best piece of spaghetti language ever. We have these lights in our room. At the moment we barely ever turn them on but in the old apartment we did. One night I’d fallen asleep without turning them off, and when Dan came to bed he asked me if I could get them (they were on my side of the bed). Instead of unplugging them I waved at them and said “hello heads! Hello heads!”

    We still call them “the heads,” and in fact other similar string lights are “paper heads” etc.

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