Time to Put Whose Feet Up?

ripRandom thought on a holiday weekend: What does it say about us that we use pretty much the same terse phrase when describing death as we do when keeping the housekeeping staff out of our hotel rooms?

The only difference seems to be the subject; for in the case of “Rest in Peace” it is wished for others, those who are shuffling off this mortal coil and thus finally freed of their relentless daily toil, while “Do Not Disturb” is not a wish but a command, given to others but for our own benefit — so that we can put our feet up or just sleep in late.

Picture 5Equating death and sleep has a long history, of course — for example, Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (death) are twin brothers in the Iliad — but we may be the first to use the comparison to keep the hotel maid out of our business.

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