'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
NAP-CITY IN BLUE
As I write this, I am overwhelmed by a sense of peace and serenity, the likes of which I have not experienced in ages. It is the peace of perfect contentment; a peace devoid of any unfulfilled desires; a peace which says, ďIf I could capture this moment in a bottle, I would have Heaven on earthóor at least a consumer product that would put me in Bill Gatesí tax bracket.Ē
Though practically perfect, this peace is puzzling. Yes, I am finishing up a few days of vacation, the first time Iíve been away from the office in many, many months. Vacations are usually relaxing, but they have never produced a peace such as this.
Did the quiet cottage by the Rhode Island shore, with the soothing sound of the waves, produce this peace? I donít think so. Iíve stayed in equally wonderful and soothing places in the past.
Did the fact that I watched a lot of TV and snacked to my heartís content while on vacation produce this peace? No, channel surfing and a bushel of Hostess Fruit Pies are not the answer.
What then is the cause of this bliss? My perplexity about the source of this peace is beginning to jeopardize the peace itself. I do seek an answer, but I fear my search may break the magical spell. I think the best thing to do right now is take a nap and dwell on this topic later.
Wait! Thatís it! A nap! Thatís the answer! Thatís the source of my serenity! I have now taken a nap for five consecutive afternoons, the first time I have done so since about age two, and it has transformed me.
I possess all the tranquility and carefree joy of a happy little toddleróminus, of course, the inconvenience of waking up with my Pampers in need of changing. (That scenario, I suspect, will come in a decade or two.)
Now I know: itís the naps. Sleeping at night refreshes the body and the mind, but napping in the afternoon refreshes the soul. If I did not already believe in God, I would go out and form a religious cult that worships napping. (We would be called Jehovahís Nappers, and travel in pairs going door-to-door. ďQuick, Marge, hide! Nappers are at the front door. The last time they were here it took two hours to wake them up!Ē)
But now, hereís the major dilemma: I have to go back to work soon. How am I going to continue napping each afternoon? Falling asleep on the job is not exactly encouraged where I work.
No, the only way Iíll be able to keep napping is if the government sets new labor guidelines ordering companies to provide nap time for employees. Politicians are already gearing up for the 2012 national elections. Weíve got to get a presidential candidate on a new third party ticket, the Siesta Party. (Donít get me wrong. I like ďtea,Ē if you get my drift. But the caffeine from that party might keep me awake.) So I nominate Rip Van Winkle. And it doesnít matter that heís a fictional character, since weíve already set the precedent by having non-human fictional characters run for president in the past: Bob Dole and Al Gore.
Sure, some people are interested in the economy, the national debt, Social Security, health care, and other trivial issues. But once we educate the public about the soul-refreshing benefits of a daily nap, Rip will be a shoo-in. Iím going to start campaigning for him right away. Well, Iíll start right after I take a nap.
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