April 19, 2014
Long live the nap! Send it to Congress! PDF Print E-mail
Local Columnists - Coonridge Digest

Greetings from the Ridge.
Google may be onto something. At their Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, they supply their employees with an Energypod, a device made by Metronaps, which allows you to stick your reclining upper torso into a sound-buffering cocoon and take a nap. The pods include a built-in Bose music system for those employees who drift off best with a few tunes, and the timer uses light and vibration to gently bring them out of their techno-slumber. It’s hard to laugh at any idea from a company that brought in $50 billion last year.
I grew up in the pre-nap generation as kindergarten was a “big city” thing that only gradually seeped into the rural areas and “pre-school” merely meant the hours you did your chores before breakfast. So at age five I was thrown unwillingly into first grade where napping was not allowed. To be honest, this was a thrill. I never did want to lie down for an afternoon nap and the prospect of staying awake all day thrilled my little soul. That attitude lasted for perhaps a month. Now I regard a good afternoon nap as a mini trip to the Bahamas and without the bother of airline security or people wanting to sell me necklaces on the beach.
Churchill was known for his two-hour naps. He said, “Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts 20 minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital sources.” Sometimes the Prime Minister’s explanations ran as long as his naps.
Lyndon Johnson was able to maintain his 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. schedule with the judicious use of a pajama-clad nap at 3 p.m. each day. Napoleon could go battle-filled days on end without sleep, but had the ability to nap any time he wished, often just prior to a battle, and John F. Kennedy gave orders that his afternoon nap not be disturbed for anything short of pesky missiles headed for Cuba.
Thomas Edison often bragged about his work ethic, claiming to work for 72 straight hours. What he mentioned less often were his frequent naps, often on top of his worktable. His assistant once told an impatient Henry Ford, “Mr. Edison doesn’t sleep much at all, he just naps a lot.” Edison said he could sleep “as sound as a bug in barrel of morphine.”
Stonewall Jackson assigned a man to hang onto his coattails while he rode his horse so he could nap in the saddle, and although Nancy Reagan denied that her hubby president took naps, he told his aides upon departing the Oval Office that there should be a sign that read, “Ronald Reagan slept here.” Harry Truman was famous for always insisting on removing his pants for his afternoon siesta.
Looking over the above list, one might be convinced that some pretty successful folks have made the nap a part of their daily routine, so that’s my proposal for the scallywags in Washington D.C. Every afternoon at 2 p.m. the entire legislative and executive branches of government will be required to retire to their quarters and take a nap. I’ve excluded the Supreme Court since a glance at their portraits tells me that they’re already into the siesta routine.
Think what a blessed respite this would give the rest of the nation that to know for at least one hour a day these yingyangs aren’t making mischief! Our local kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Rue, used to walk up and down the aisles of her sleeping charges and gently push any raised head back onto its pillow. Surely we could find a couple of Mrs. Rue’s to do a little head poking in the Senate and House of Representatives.
And once this gets established, let’s extend it to the cable news. For one hour a day they must crawl under their desks, lie down, and stop spitting venom. Word has it that Mrs. Rue carried a yardstick for any head that popped up twice. In the case of the media hate mongers I’d furnish a hammer.
My Herb says he’s a non-napper, claiming to spend every waking minute, well…awake. Of course if you ask him what happens between 12:30 and 2 p.m. each day he’ll claim that the world shut down and there was nothing of interest to report. Some wives would grouse to have their husbands unconscious for 90 minutes every day, but this old gal sees it as a reason to rejoice, an opportunity to get something done, and every important decision in our household is made while my husband is sleeping. He doesn’t argue, he can’t growl, and except for an occasional snort he agrees with everything I say. Long live the nap! Let’s send it to Congress!
You ever in Coonridge, stop by. We may not answer the door but you'll enjoy the trip.