Service of Please Pass the Caffeine: Performing in Front of Nappers

July 1st, 2024

Categories: Boredom, Catnap, Church, Concert, Music, Performance, Sermon, Snooze

I was at a wonderful concert last week in an intimate setting. The soloist played a clarinet accompanied by an accomplished pianist.

Near me was an ancient person who immediately fell asleep. We were in the second row, almost in front of the clarinet player. Surely, he saw Mr. Sleepy.

Because of the fellow’s advanced age, the musician couldn’t have been insulted though it is distracting to see someone snoozing while you play your heart out—or deliver a speech.

I once had a boss who regularly fell asleep during presentations. My colleagues and I wouldn’t look at one another as we might have begun to giggle. A friend whose boss was known to imbibe at lunch and sleep through afternoon pitches scheduled all such meetings in the morning.

I imagine there are plenty of parishioners who snooze during boring–or even fascinating–sermons.

And watching someone text while you speak or perform must be unnerving.

Have you been confronted by a somnolent audience? Did you have a colleague or boss with tendencies to catnap?

8 Responses to “Service of Please Pass the Caffeine: Performing in Front of Nappers”

  1. ASK Said:

    I can’t possibly comment on a somnolent audience when I am the one with a tendency to nod off, especially after lunch, even if I’ve had only a cup of coffee.

  2. Larry Kay Said:

    Larry on Facebook: My former Rabbi would say “we have a serious sleep deficit in this country. So please, if you feel the need to sleep during my sermons, go right ahead!“(you may know that this past Friday was her last service

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Good for the Rabbi! Somehow, I suspect few slept through the sermons.

  4. Larry Kay Said:

    Larry on Facebook: for her departure, someone commissioned a musical piece written in her honor. It consisted of quotes from her sermons. I’m keeping the lyrics, which are one of the most inspiring documents I’ve ever possessed. For example “be the reason someone believes in the essential goodness of humanity”

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’m giggling….and you are not alone. For me, Friday nights were always a problem especially when I worked full time. There was little wind left in these sails. I remember a friend digging into my side with her elbow several times during a Friday night ballet performance. Once, my first husband fell sound asleep in an acquaintance’s living room after dinner on a Friday night. Memorable.

  6. JM Said:

    JM on Facebook: I ❤️a good sermon and a good snooze! 💤 😴 💤 😴

  7. Lucrezia Said:

    Lucrezia on Facebook: No. I avoid public speaking. I’m the sleeping one– especially during long and boring speeches/sermons!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    During boring sermons, I often plan my day or address solutions to work or personal-related issues.

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