The Nap King
Alice grabbed the stack of papers and walked into the next room, where Will was sprawled out on the sofa, watching TV.
“Hey babe, can you do me a favor?”
Will clicked off the TV. “Sure, I’m not doing anything. What do you need?”
Alice held up the papers. “I think the first draft of Chapter Two is done. Can you proofread it?”
Will sat up and reached for the papers. “Absolutely!” Alice handed him the papers and her pen and sat on the arm of the sofa.
Will grabbed the papers and stuck the pen behind his ear. “Nice! The next installment of the Great American Novel by Alice Fremont! Cool!”
He furrowed his brow and started reading. About two minutes later, he pointed at the page and said, “Oh…here’s something. This part where you wrote “he was staring at the napkin ring”? You spelled napkin ‘napking’.”
“Aw, crap,” Alice said, reaching for the papers. “Gimme that so I can change it before I forget.”
Will held the papers away from her. “Actually, you may have stumbled onto something here—The Nap King. You could write a whole story about him: Charles Pillowtop II of Threadcount, The Nap King…huh?”
“Will, just give me—”
“I am The Nap King! I demand that my sleep number be calculated to the thousandth decimal place! No less comfort and back support is acceptable! Now summon the Royal Sheep-Counters—it is time for His Majesty’s siesta!”
“I hereby decree that all subjects of the Kingdom must, in tribute, donate one feather from their finest, fattest goose, to be stuffed into the Royal Down Comforter, for I…dramatic pause…am The Nap K—OOF!”
Alice had walked up beside Will, while he was distracted performing, and sucker punched him in the gut. He doubled over and the papers and pen fell to the floor.
Alice silently and angrily picked up the papers and pen and exited the room. “Fine, be that way!” Will called after her. “But you know that’s a good story! I’m gonna write it myself and it’s gonna be a big hit and they’ll make it into a movie starring Kenneth Branagh!”
And three years later–after Will and Alice had married and had a daughter and Alice’s novel had been published to great acclaim–the origins of “The Nap King” was the favorite anecdote Will liked to tell as he made his way around the talk show circuit, promoting the Nap King movie during awards season.