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Napping Book of Rule

Like voting in Florida, napping is an activity to be pursued early and often.

However, to call napping an activity perhaps may be a misnomer. Napping is to activity as atheism is to faith or NASCAR is to contemplation, that is, something defined by its absence.

Friends and valued family members label me a nap master, a compliment I accept with both humility and pride. For me, a nap is critical to good health and happiness. Furthermore, napping promotes the general welfare. Because it acts directly to reduce hostility, I believe there is patriotism in napping.

America’s Protestant forebears extolled the value of industry, by which they meant labor. (Pilgrims were a little fuzzy on economic theory.) They placed equal value on ideas of rugged individualism, “Don’t Tread on Me,” taming the wild frontier, winning the West, and so on. In America you’ve got to be your own man, by jiminy, follow a different drum, plant a seed, and stand on the shoulders of giants.

Speaking from personal experience, I would argue that every one of these tasks causes backache, which is easily remedied by a nap.

Accordingly, here is my napping Book of Rule.

  1. Find a hiding place far from your significant other. What she doesn’t know won’t create a rankling in her breast.
  2. Remove garments with elastic at the waist. The belly is the seat of repose, or very near to it.
  3. Cover the eyes and ears with a dense, soft, old piece of clothing, known in my household as “the head rag.”
  4. Place a bolster under your knees. Aching legs and feet cause crankiness, marital discord, and varicose veins.
  5. Elevate the head so as not to interfere with digestion. Tuck another bolster pillow under your chin so that while sleeping you don’t go slack-jawed like a mummy.
  6. Since it is never easy to free the bonds of consciousness, you must focus the mind on some object of transcendent beauty, something ethereal, perfect and pure, for example, a page from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
  7. Breathe slowly and deeply into your belly (unfettered by elastic).
  8. Do not move for at least 20 minutes – for far longer if you can get away with it.

It’s Time for Change…of Shirts

JFK inauguration shirt

In his recently published memoir, The Place to Be, television newsman Roger Mudd writes about a time he was late to Air Force One as President John F.  Kennedy was about to leave for a trip. The reporter was forced to take a different staircase than was usual: “To get to my seat in the rear I had to pass through the presidential quarters. There stood the president of the United States himself, with [press secretary Pierre] Salinger grinning and hovering, ready to pounce if I dared ask a question. I dared not. The president stepped aside to let me pass….As I slipped by, I noticed that there were shelves in the space usually used for coats—shelf after shelf of shirts, stacks of freshly laundered presidential shirts. There must have been four dozen of them. Only later did I learn that Kennedy put on a fresh shirt each and every time he deplaned from Air Force One for a public appearance.”

Waxing Environmental

Harrison Ford getting his chest waxed

To raise awareness for the dangers of global warming, Harrison Ford had his chest publicly and painfully deforested in a public service TV ad.   As the aesthetician slashes and burns him, he says, “Every bit of rain forest that gets ripped out over there, really hurts us over here.”  While the ad is an obvious reference to the famous chest-waxing scene in The 4o Year-Old Virgin, it also reminds Izzy of a memorable scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark in which a wounded Indiana Jones, lying shirtless on his back with his chest hair standing out prominently, points Marion to the few places he doesn’t hurt, and she kisses each one.

Silver-Footed

silver Yoox shoes

Izzy has already noted the perfect shoes for a male Dorothy, but these silver brogues from Yoox are just the thing for the Tin Man.   Good luck, however, finding a shoe-shine man with anti-tarnish polish.

Rogues in Vogue

Ask Me How I Became a Pirate

Arrrrgh. Somehow, me maties, Capt’n Izzy missed that yesterday was International Talk like a Pirate Day. Were Izzy to enter the swashbuckling ranks (which is unlikely given his concern for, er, gallantry, not to mention his fear of stains that no drycleaner can remove), he’d wear a skull-and-crossbones bow tie—threatening, but not too threatening—and be accompanied by his loyal parrot, “Popinjay.” Pirate Izzy, a/k/a Isidore the Mauve, would fantasize about having bigger shoulders, so that he could carry around an actual peacock on them. “Gangway!“, indeed.

skull and crossbones tie

Suing the Pants Off Them

An extremely litigious lawyer is suing his dry cleaner for losing a pair of his trousers. The damages he’s claiming? $65 million. While the suit is obviously absurd, Izzy has had so many bad experiences with dry cleanersincluding shirts that came back dirtier than they went itthat he can find some sympathy for the plaintiff. Just not $65 millions worth.

The Stain Also Rises

Matador

Pedro was damned good-looking. Broad shouldered and narrow waisted, he wore toreador pants that required a shoe-horn to put on.

Facing off against his mortal foe in the bullring, the Spaniard reflected for an instant on his fateful decision to become a matador. It was not fame or women or riches that he had sought, though he had achieved them all. No, he had been driven by a single obsession: to find a profession that would allow him to wear pink silk stockings and shoes with ribbons on them, while at the same time being adulated as the manliest of men.

His reverie, though brief, was ill-advised. In the split second in which he had permitted his concentration to falter, the beast had managed to gore his thigh.

Blood pored down Pedro’s yellow trousers, and even besmirched his beloved pink stockings.

“Ayyy,” he thought to himself, grimacing, “that’s never going to come out.”

But just when all hope seemed lost, when he had nearly been overcome with the bleakest despair, he recalled the advice of a certain Izzy he knew. Over a pitcher of sangria, the foreigner, having recognized the dangers of Pedro’s line of work, had stressed to him the importance of finding a drycleaner worthy of the matador’s skill. But a drycleaner’s reputation, he acknowledged, is hard to determine in many parts of the world, especially if one has recently moved. Izzy, however, suggested an easy solution: To ask one’s local haberdasher whom he uses for his own drycleaning.

Prior to entering the ring, Pedro had indeed followed this simple but sage advice, and, despite the blood running down his leg, felt at peace with world, safe in the knowledge that he had found the greatest drycleaner in all of Pamplona.