If ever a product was oh-so-perfectly named, it is the burgundy La-Z-Boy recliner that commands the corner of my living room.
At the end of many a day -- and perhaps the middle of some others -- it just cradles my every sense of being, cups my body like fine, Corinthian leather and sends me off to dreamland more often than I'd like to think.
Rarely do I even employ the foot rest, preferring instead to drape my legs over the armrest and take the pressure off weary knees, losers in a war against gravity and exertion.
It all makes me think of my Dad and all those years I witnessed him come home at night after a desk job as personnel manager of a suburban Chicago (Broadview) manufacturing plant. Invariably he would plop down in a living room chair and fall sound asleep as Mom was busy making dinner.
I could never understand back then how he could be that tired. But boy-oh-boy do I understand now.
Yet what happened the other night still defies the imagination.
Sure, I remember being a little tired when I left the office about 11 p.m. And I recall the wind was howling as I poured myself some juice, nuked a couple pieces of leftover Pizza King barbecue pizza, yawned and settled into the Big Comfy Chair to watch "American Pickers," one of my guilty TV pleasures.
But heck, Mike and Frank hadn't even left the friendly confines of their white van before my eyes closed around 11:20 or near as I can figure it.
The wicked wind continued to whisper and moan all right, the TV continued to howl and the La-Z-Boy maintained its spell over me until long about 4:20 a.m. when I finally stirred -- or at least stirred enough to look at my watch and peek over at Chopper, my dog, curled up on a blanket on the floor in front of me.
"Let's go to bed, buddy," I remember thinking to my groggy self, not convinced my brain ever turned that idea into an actual sentence.
At any rate, I never moved from the chair -- not for the warmth and comfort of the bed nor the call of nature after one too many McDonald's iced teas -- and fell back dead asleep.
When my eyes next popped open, infomercials blared away on the TV (Yeah, like the commercials aren't louder than the programs) as my watch showed it was straight-up 6 a.m. I was awake long enough to rationalize I could still get a couple hours of sleep under the covers in a toasty bed that would have to feel infinitely better on my back that the perilous pretzel position I'd contorted myself into in the chair.
But that thought drifted in and out of my head about as fast as it arrived, and at next glance -- which seemed like only seconds since the previous 6 a.m. peek -- my watch said it was 7:48 a.m.
Knowing I had to be at Tzouanakis School to do a story in a couple hours, I struggled to my feet for the first time in more than eight hours of solitary chair confinement.
The dog stood up, too, stretching each leg while balancing on the other three in rotation before trotting down the hallway toward the bedroom.
"This way, bubby," I called out to him as I headed toward the kitchen to kick-start the day.
Realizing Chopper hadn't followed me toward the garage to go out for nature's call, I strolled back through the kitchen and glanced in the living room.
There he was, in perfect repose, snuggled all comfy and cozy ... up on the seat of my La-Z-Boy recliner.
It's a dog's life, huh? Not in that chair.