WASHINGTON – In what many are calling “a moment of visionary leadership”, the nationwide law banning napping went into effect today. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, spearheaded the bill which he hoped “would put America back on the path to prosperity.”
The history of napping in America has always been turbulent. Unlike in Southern Europe and other less civilized places, the nap in America has never been viewed in a positive light.
“It’s a sign of weakness,” added Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and co-sponsor of the bi-partisan bill. “To nap, as we all know, is to miss out. Be it a child’s first steps, that promotion, or the winning field goal in a football game. This is for everyone’s own good.”
The bill, though finally passing the Senate 84-14, was not without its opponents.
Senator Diane Feinstein, D-CA, stated in opposition: “While I agree, in principle, with the foundations of the bill, the logistics of enforcing such a ban left many of us concerned that the government would spend more time and money chasing down violators than was reasonable. Also, I would like to reiterate that at no time have I expressed a pro-nap agenda. The last time I had a nap I was fourteen. And that was after I went into anaphylactic shock subsequent to a bee sting.”
There were, as with any sound piece of legislation, certain compromises worked into the bill.
First, nap-time in kindergarten will still be permitted, though schools will have to submit affidavits from all teachers ensuring that nap-time was limited to 15 minutes or less. Once children enter first grade, a zero-tolerance policy will go into effect.
In addition, certain exemptions are permitted for those who suffer from medical conditions that make napping an inevitability. These conditions include narcolepsy, epilepsy and chronic fatigue syndrome, among others. When asked about “old people’s proclivity towards extensive napping,” Senator McConnell replied: “Look, we know old people are going to nap. We’re looking into ways to deal with this problem. Culling has been proposed and, as of now, I — and many of my colleagues — are not willing to take that option off the table.”
“One of the principal problems,” Senator Feinstein added, “was in defining what a nap is. Is it some fifteen minute shut-eye, or is it something far more insidious?”
Finally, it was agreed that a nap is defined as “a temporary loss of consciousness, induced by the willing self, that lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 2.75 hours.”
Opponents of the law point to the imperfection of such a calculation. Senator Baucus added: “Look, we know there will be people who will make a point of setting their alarms for a 3 hour nap. As with any government mandate, there will always be those who make an art form out of cheating the system.”
In enforcing the ban, lawmakers are counting on family and friends to keep each other in check. A system will be put into place that rewards proactive violation reporters.
The overworked and unambitious are being encouraged to enroll in productivity seminars, which will be offered at the local level. To fund this program, lawmakers have set aside $500 million for the first three years.
“All round, I believe we can feel good about the work Congress did on this bill,” stated President Obama. “Look. We all know that the Chinese are coming. I recommend that, in addition to this bill, Congress look into a provision that will incentivize sleeping with one eye open.”