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Cover Story Queens of the West Plant Life Northwest Living Taste On Fitness Sunday Punch Now & Then

Go Ahead, Snooze
What have you got to lose?
As soon as you finish reading this article, go take a nap.

I'm hoping that the column isn't so boring that you need to take a nap or you need to take a nap because your lips got tired reading it. I just like the idea of taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon, especially if it's a warm Sunday afternoon.

The idea for taking a nap came from a loyal reader, Gloria Kautzman, who wrote that she enjoyed reading the Sunday Punch column. That alone made her suspect, but then she added:

"I have a suggestion for a future article: Napping!

"This idea came to me today as a student was waiting for his father to pick him up. He said when he gets home, he is going to take a nap. It reminded me of how when we were little and our parents told us it was time for a nap. We said we weren't tired. But as teens and now adults, we just can't seem to find enough time to squeeze in a nap."

When I read this letter to The Truly Unpleasant Mrs. Johnston, she rolled her eyeballs to the back of her head, and kept them up there as she searched to find the right words.

"See?" Mrs. Johnston said. "You're even putting the readers to sleep."

We all have a function in this world, and if putting people to sleep is my function, then I accept the task. But on the off chance that Mrs. Kautzman wasn't talking directly about my writing ability and instead was making a reasonable suggestion, I am going to pass it along to other readers.

The other day I was watching the news and they had one of those medical stories that the television stations put in their broadcasts because apparently they cannot find any real news stories to fill the time. This story was about the value of taking a nap on the job.

The medical people said a nap during the workday improves a person's mind and makes them more productive.

Well, duh. This is one of those studies that fall under the "No Brainer" category. Anyone who has ever worked more than a week at the same job knows a snooze in the middle of the workday makes you feel a lot better. Plus you can get out of doing actual work.

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There might be some jobs where it isn't smart to take a nap, like driving an 18-wheeler down I-5 or running a drill press at a sweatshop. But most jobs allow people to take a quick snooze. Sometimes I think the cashier at my favorite clothing store, "R Clothes B Cheap," takes a little nap while ringing up my jumbo combo pack of sox and drawers.

Matter of fact, right now the editor reading this column is starting to nod off. I figure it is a Friday afternoon and she has had a long week of yelling at writers (writers are fun to yell at because they always think they are getting away with something by being paid to write), and if she could just get through this column, she could take a nap.

But why wait? If the reader has gotten this far, then the reward is a nap. For the editor finishing this column without screwing it up too much, have a stiff shot and take a nap.

As for me, I plan to give Mrs. Johnston a shake so her eyeballs will roll back down, and then I plan to find a quiet corner of the house and take a short nap.

Thank you, Mrs. Kautzman. Now you, too, can take a nap.

Steve Johnston is a retired Seattle Times reporter. His e-mail address is
Paul Schmid is a Seattle Times news artist.

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