Sunny people chirp cheerily in the morning, bee-bopping about the office while singing out hearty "good mornings" like they mean it.
How have they lived so long without someone slapping them silly?
Have I got news for you, Mr. or Miss Smarty Pants Morning Person - you're a ding dong.
OK, that's not the exact scientific term for your annoying condition, but it is more exact.
A variety of recent studies show that we're at our imaginative best when we're groggy. The meandering mind roams unfettered by logic and focus, fitting together random snatches of ideas into brilliant combinations that elude the focused, wide-awake reasoner, according to a study published in the journal "Reasoning and Thinking."
That's right. We who stumble into walls in the a.m.'s while groping for mugs slopped with caffeine outperform you wide-awake irritants. Ha!
Finally, you know what "thinking outside the box" means. The best part is you've already been practicing the process for years. You're a genius! Mumble that the next time the boss glares at you for resting your head on your keyboard for a minute or three.
But we ruin our creative advantage if we leap out of bed at the last second and rush to work in a panic, author Annie Murphy Paul of Time Ideas said. Hectic, blood-pressure raising mornings jar us into too much wakefulness to be of proper use. Stress blocks the intelligent gift of grogginess.
She suggests setting our alarms a few minutes earlier so that we can lie in bed and let our thoughts wander around for a while in the morning haze. Mine usually wander into snores and slumber, but there's pen and paper by the beside just in case brilliance bursts through.
Then stand under the shower for a good, long time. But you can't think about the tasks of the day. You must let your imagination come out and play.
Personally, I like to pretend that I'm Superman, the shower is machine gun fire and the bullets are bouncing off my chest as I carelessly laugh at the bewildered bad guys. Ha, ha, ha!
I had to give that up, though. I got tired of my wife calling 911 and whispering, "Hurry! He's gone off the deep end again. I think it's the one where he believes he's Godzilla and he stomps on his rubber ducky."
Anyway, next we must breathe deeply and calmly on the ride to the office instead of raging at the idiots on the road. This is not the time to imagine yourself as Godzilla and the other cars as rubber duckies.
At your desk, pick up a mug of caffeine for the boost and browse the funniest videos on the Web to enhance your mood and "cognitive flexibility," Paul says.
There. Now, you are a creative, imaginative, problem-solving machine!
So the next time the boss catches you watching Weird Al on YouTube, don't sweat it. You're being far more productive than those perky ding-dongs dancing their reports to production.
This also would be a good time to stretch, yawn, pull out your desk pillow and ask for a raise. I'm sure the boss could use a creative guffaw himself. You may be a creative genius, but bonus points still count.
At least, that's the thought that popped into my head when I sleep-walked into the wall this morning.
----- Wake the genius at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.