Friday, June 11, 2021

Happy Hour? America could use a Nappy Hour!

(664 words)

A friend and I were commiserating about our lack of sleep when he told me he nearly fell asleep behind the wheel of his Volvo.

I asked if he thought it would work with a Ford.

“I don’t see why not,” he said, “but it’s nothing I’d recommend.”

The Volvo was at the time moving at about 50 mph.

He came instantly and fully wide awake when the car drifted off the road. It was about 30 yards from the trunk of a sturdy oak that had the potential to once and for all end all his sleep troubles.

He asked if I ever tried napping.

“Tried napping? I’m The Human Nap,” I said, “I spend my entire existence not fully awake, not fully asleep. I’m so sleep-deprived I make zombies seem quick-witted.”

It’s a mind-muddled state of being and the reason if someone tells me they were asleep at the wheel I think, yeah, I’ll give it a shot. It’s just a matter of getting to REM before getting to RAM.

It is said adults between 18 and 64 need 7 to 9 hours. I thought, yeah, that’s about right. I figured I probably got about 12 hours last week. Then I re-read it and saw I was wrong. We need that much per night!

It seems excessive. Where do they find the time?

They must do all their sport drinkin’ at lunch.

Nearly 70 million Americans report being unable to sleep because of job anxiety, past mistakes, worries about the future, current events, etc.

My wife has trouble sleeping, too, but it doesn’t take an expert to figure out the source of her sleeplessness. Every 30 minutes or so she rolls over, sees me and thinks, “I married that?”

I do try and nap in my office, but being caught napping is like being caught in another solitary act of self-pleasure that winds up all messy and ultimately unfulfilling.

I’m talking, of course, about writing books.

You’d think I could knock off a decent nap up here in my office but the necessary elements rarely align. The office can’t be either too hot, nor too cold, which happens about eight days a year. 

My creaky office chair needs to be correctly angled so I can put my feet on the desk. Many have suggested I acquire a cot, futon or small bed for right here in the office. There’s obvious merit to the idea, but I’m fearful bar romantics would use the addition for their illicit recreations and my office would start turning up in the on-line guide books as a make-shift brothel. My reputation would be ruined.

Or would it be enhanced?

I nap better when I know that Buck, the Tin Lizzy owner, is away from the building.

Really away.

I’m talking Florida. He and his wife often fly there to visit the kiddos. I can more comfortably drift off knowing he’s 1,200 miles away

A solid nap is impossible when he’s around. He’s just so loud, always with banging, drilling and sawing. He comes and goes as he pleases and generally acts like owns the place.

It’s one hell of an act because, well, there’s zero evidence to the contrary.

I tried to imagine what he’d do if he saw a sign on my door reading, “Please Do Not Disturb: The Writer is Napping.” I think his reaction would involve either fire or a bucket of ice water.

I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t lead to him reading me bedtime stories about saying good night to the moon.

I may not understand the stigma against napping, but that won’t stop me from working to eradicate it.

Maybe it's time we replace the traditional post-work/pre-dinner drink to dedicated sleep time.

Yes, welcome America, to the Nappy Hour!

I envision a Nap Olympics. There’d be nap & field, synchronized napping, nap obstacle courses and hours and hours of watching snooze-deprived people catching some zzz’s.

With so many Americans stumbling through their days in need of a snooze, Nap Olympics is bound to be a  true sleeper hit.

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