Tag Archives: NSA

My Sleep Number Journey

Sleep Number

By Jack Edwards

My wife announced recently that our bed was hurting her back. She told me that she had visited a Sleep Number store, and that we should consider getting one. So I reluctantly accompanied her to check it out. Of course, it isn’t just a store, it’s a sleep laboratory that sells state of the art sleep systems to solve every sleep problem – real or imagined. After explaining that their beds were beautifully upholstered air mattresses, our sales rep told us that the key to this “technology” was determining how firm we should inflate our side of the bed. He had us lay down on their test bed. A big screen TV was mounted at the foot of the bed, so we could watch our number go up or down as he helped us calculate our “sleep numbers.” After concluding this process and then answering a series of other highly scientific sleep-related questions, our representative was able to determine that my Sleep Number was $8,000. Actually, he said mine was 35, and my wife’s was 60. I told the sales rep that I’d think about it, which he accurately took to mean that I was never coming back.

We went back home, and after climbing onto our current, non-scientific mattress, I announced I had determined my real Sleep Number, it was called “paid for.” My one-liner didn’t go over well in the room. (Tip to you young comedians: Always “read the room” before doing any edgy material).

I will confess, that prior to trading the Sleep Number company my youngest child for one of their beds, I was slightly suspicious of my wife’s claim that our current bed was hurting her back. About two years ago, she announced that the position of the gas pedal in her car was hurting her ankle. She visited a number of dealerships to determine whether any of their vehicles had gas pedals with a more appropriate, less “ankle injuring” placement. Surprisingly, it turned out that several premium models had engineered the placement of their gas pedals at the “perfect angle.” Problem solved.

Along with the bed, we decided to get a feature that lets us pretend we’re in the hospital. Both ends of the bed raise up. I thought for sure that I was going to love this feature, because I love to read in bed, and I could stop piling up all those pillows to let me sit up at the right angle. Well, the first night with the Sleep Number I realized that I had made a serious miscalculation. You see, when I read in bed, I like to keep a beverage on my nightstand. I read a lot of thrillers, and this can be very dehydrating. Only, big problem, when the back of my bed moves up, it lifts me forward and away from my nightstand. My nightstand is now conveniently located at a 45 degree angle behind me. It’s a circus contortion act to reach my glass.

My wife has also taken to raising my side of the bed at a slight angle to keep me from snoring, which I don’t do. And I am convinced that sleeping at this angle is preventing sufficient blood to travel to my brain at night and thus making me more stupid. In fact, I’ve started coming up with stupid ideas. Case in point, since using this bed, I have been considering starting a company that uses giraffes to clean out gutters.

When our bed first arrived, my wife told me that she asked Sleep Number to include a brand new feature. I got excited and thought I was getting some newfangled deep heat massage unit, but my short-lived excitement collided with reality. The new feature was a high-tech computer system that recorded how well we slept. I already knew how well I slept. But when the technicians arrived to install the contraption, they connected it to the internet. This, naturally, made me immediately suspicious that the NSA had found some dirt on Sleep Number’s CEO, and it was now ordering him to pipeline America’s sleeping patterns to them for God knows what nefarious constitutionally-offending purpose. I would be busy writing my representatives in Congress to complain, but I currently have new fish to fry. My wife told me yesterday that the knob on the front door of our house was hurting her wrist.

Google Buys NSA on eBay

Google Final

At a press conference yesterday, Google announced that it had purchased the National Security Agency (NSA) from the US government.  The Obama administration had posted the agency on eBay earlier that day, and Google used the “Buy It Now” feature to secure the purchase.  Google spokesperson Charlie Snort explained that the timing of the purchase was perfect.  “This appears to be the final tool, or piece of the puzzle as it were, which will enable Google to complete its stated mission to collect and catalog all available data of not only those living in the United States and among the free world, but indeed, all seven billion people on earth.”  Snort added that Google already had the ability to filter most email traffic and capture the inner most personal thoughts and desires of the public.  Now, however, with its newly acquired intelligence agency, the company will be able to assure any entity seeking to purchase information the from Mountain View, California company that it can feel confident that few if any secrets remain.  “Very little mystery will continue to exist concerning any particular target,” Snort added.  The spokesperson was quick to correct his use of the word “target” and explained he meant to say “person.”  “Our customers can now feel comfortable that whether they need to know the favorite cuisine of the First Lady of France, or the lingerie tastes of the guy down the street, Google stands ready to deliver.”

Reached during a rare appearance at a White House briefing, President Obama proudly described the sale as a major coup for his administration.  “This is yet another example of my administration’s continued willingness to reach across party lines in the spirit of compromise.  My friends in The Tea Party haven’t been able to shut up about the need to shrink government and privatize traditional governmental operations.  Well, here you go.  Heck, I’ve attended several top security briefings during my tenure as Commander and Chief, and it’s clear to me that most of the ‘intelligence’ the NSA has gathered as of late is from Google anyway.  Just wait until Google staffers unlock the doors to the NSA offices.  I wish I could be a fly on the wall and see their faces.  Believe me, all they’re going to find is a bunch of notepads with Google passwords written on them.  Okay, they might find a Yahoo account in there too, but, come on….” he added with his trademarked chuckled.  “Now, instead of calling in a representative from the NSA for a briefing, I can just type my inquiry into my Google taskbar.  And,” he added with a grin, “don’t forget to note that we got our ‘Buy It Now’ price on eBay.  How often does that happen?  Suckers! This was yet another Obama victory for the American People.”

Later in the day, Google issued a written press release assuring citizens of the United States that the new division of its company collecting and cataloging terrorist threats to the American people would be provided to law enforcement agencies at “a steep discount.”

NSA Saves Billions Converting to “Buddy System”

Buddy System

The NSA announced yesterday it would significantly change the way it spies on the intimate personal details of Americans.  This change is expected to save billions of dollars.  Traditionally, the agency has used high-tech eavesdropping electronics to sweep through trillions of phone calls, emails and other electronic communications and store the data in enormous “data farms” in places where no one lives, like Iowa and New Mexico.  That will change.  Borrowing from the tried and true system developed by the Boy Scouts over a hundred years ago, the agency will now convert to the Buddy System, or “BS” for short.

The new BS system works on a voluntary basis which will be mandatory.  The NSA will randomly pair United States residents with one another.  Those residents in turn keep an eye on their assigned partner, or in BS parlance, “Buddy.”  They read each of their buddy’s emails, text messages and listen in on telephone calls.  And if they happen to be passing near their buddy’s home, they are encouraged to drop by unannounced to just say “hi,” and poke around a bit.  See what’s on the bookshelf, check the medicine cabinet, or if they get a chance, the underwear drawer.  And if a buddy is unwilling to share his or her passwords, they are instructed to immediately submit Form BS-99 to NSA headquarters.  That will “red flag” the person, and automatically place the non-compliant buddy on the no-fly list.

“Patriotic Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of the new system,” announced Frank Eavesdorper, NSA Chief of Homeland Operations.  “Citizens are willing to pay any price to keep the liberty their forefathers died to obtain.  I hear it again and again: ‘I have nothing to hide!  Come into my house.  Search through my family’s photographs.  Copy my computer’s hard drive.’  It brings a tear to my eye.”

The system isn’t perfected yet.  During testing, a few glitches arose.  Ricky, a 19-year-old from Newark complained to his NSA minder about having to read too many emails of his buddy, Betty, a 53-year-old from Houston, about her on-going menopausal issues, in particular, her continual hot flashes.  Bob, a 63-year-old long haul trucker from Seattle, likewise complained about his buddy, Candi, a 13-year-old middle school student from Omaha.  Apparently, Bob was having to sift through upwards of 100 text messages a day from Candi to her BFF Kathi, about their “dreamy” classmate Jack, and in particular, how Jack’s attention had recently been turned toward Charlene.  Of great concern was the fact that Jack had already eaten lunch with Charlene three times this week.  Then there was the unfortunate pairing of two Russian immigrants, one of whom, unbeknownst to the NSA, had been a bank robber back in the Ukraine (No fault to the NSA; he had “expunged” his record prior to immigrating via a wheelbarrow of rubles to a guy named Gladov at the Central Office).  One thing led to the next, and before authorities caught up to them at a Hooters in New Orleans, the two had gone on a three-state robbery spree.

“The new system is a work in progress,” explained CHO Eavesdorper.  “There are bound to be problems when you are stepping up to the herculean task of cataloging and storing the most private details of people’s lives.  But we’ll prevail.  Americans aren’t quitters.  We’ll ‘getter done.’

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