So. I have the greatest entrepreneurial idea ever. And I’m gonna give it to you for free. Just ’cause I really, really want someone to do it. Listen closely, I’m only gonna say this once…
We need those Japanese sleep pods things on the CSUN campus. Now would be good. Like right now. Certainly by about 1 this afternoon, or someone might get hurt. By me.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check Al Gore’s Interwebs. Or just accept my loose definition that “those Japanese sleep pod things” are micro-hotels, often found near train stations in, duh, Japan. Just missed the last 12:20 bullet train to Kintetsu? Who cares? Next one’s tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. Just crash out in your six-by-three-by-two foot (okay, so it’s small) pod and grab your five hours of shuteye. You’re sleeping on the cheap, pod-style and not hobo-style. Rates run from $25-$50 a night, guaranteed no pigeons, and the cops won’t roust ya.
Take a look around campus today. If you’re gazing on the same vectors I am, you’ll see drama majors crashed on benches, sophomore political science dudes splayed out on lawns, and the future accountants of America curled up in cubbyholes. There’s a veritable sea of sleepy scholars trying to Rip van Winkle it for those 60 precious minutes they have between classes.
Now. Scale back the nightly rates. Prorate it down to hourly. Get realistic, and lop a bit off the top for college budgets. And what do you get? Pod hotels on campus. Let’s say…$3 an hour. Like you wouldn’t choose that over a concrete bench? For someplace quiet? Clean? Warm? With a blankie and a pillow? You know you would.
Critics will tell you that they’re about the size of, and have the creepy feel of, a coffin. Some will tell you they reduce human beings to the status of vending machine goodies. Suddenly, it’s you that’s the mini-bag of Cheez-Its, selection D-8. Guess what? I DON’T CARE! Sign me up. You can call me Grandma’s Cookies if you want.
Look, I’m a 43-year-old idiot finishing a degree from about a million years ago (didn’t I already mention, “Don’t be me?”). So I try and stack maximum classes in minimum days to work the rest of my life in. On Wednesdays, I start class at 5 in the blessed a.m., the veritable butt-crack of dawn. And I don’t finish until 10 p.m. Think I’d like a nap in there somewhere? Department of “Duh,” Charlie.
And not for half a second will I entertain any argument that naps are great for the toddler set, but not for adults. Nor will I listen to the drivel that somehow, naps are un-American, and our great pioneer forefathers never would have traversed the Rockies and built the Shelby Mustang were they nodding off. That’s the problem—we’ve lost our love affair with the nap. More correctly, society at large has lost its love affair with the nap. Me? I still love ’em. Hell, I have a 3-year-old at home. I need them.
So there you go. Your path is clear. Make it happen. And do me a favor: If and when—you look smart to me, so let’s say “when”—you do this, remember the guy who slid the idea your way. When you become the sleep pod baron of Northridge and your Courvoisier-filled pool overfloweth, cut me in. Chip me off 10 percent, huh? I’ll thank you for the dough.
But more than that, I’ll thank you for the place to sleep.
—Jim McLauchlin has crazy ideas, but dammit! One of ’em has to work, right?