This gave me the idea for the subject of this week's interview. Who better than the world's deepest sleeper, Rip Van Winkle? So, let's see if we can rouse ourselves enough to chat with ol' Rip.
Greg: Welcome, Rip Van Winkle. Thanks for taking some time to chat with us today. I know time is precious to you.
Rip: That's right, sonny. I wasted 20 years up in the hills, don't ya know.
Greg: Can you tell us a little bit about that? How did you come to be lost in the hills for 20 years?
Rip: First off, I didn't come to be lost. I came to hunt. Second, I weren't lost, I was bewitched.
Greg: Oh, yes. My mistake. How did you fall asleep for 20 years?
Rip: Well, it were like this. I like t' take things easy like, but m' wife is always after me t' be doin' things. Plow the fields, chop the wood, wash up for supper. She gives me so much t' do that I don't know whether I'm comin' or goin' most o' the time.
Now, I think you'll agree that I were totally in the right t' go off every now and again t' ramble in the woods, or t' go off and get myself some shut eye. This time, I decided that I needed t' get away an' do some huntin'. So, I took my ol' dog, Wolf.
Greg: Oh, so you sat down and fell asleep for a long, long time?
Rip: No I did not, dadgum it! I fell in with some strange characters, don't ya know. I was walkin' up the mountain, an' there was a powerful loud thunder boomin' over m' head. Wolf an' I caught up with a strange feller. He was dressed all in old fashioned clothes and he was totin' a keg. I walked with him up the mountain.
Well, what do I see at the top, but a group of fellers playin' nine-pins. Every time the ball hit the pins, it made a sound like thunder, don't ya know. These fellers had long beards, an' was wearin' ol' fashioned clothes, just like the man with the keg. I hung around for a bit, watchin' their game, but after a spell, I got t' be powerful thirsty. I looked around, an' saw the keg.
The other fellers had been drinkin' from it, an' they saw me eyein' it. They give me a mug, an' I went over an' filled it, then drank it down in one go. It were powerful cold, an' refreshin'. Well, I drank down a few mugfuls, an' soon I was feelin' powerful tired. I laid m'self down under a tree, an' before I knew it, I fell fast asleep.
Greg: Yeah, but you didn't really fall asleep for 20 years--did you?
Rip: I did, sure as you're standin' there. When I woke up, m' gun was rotted away, an' Wolf weren't nowhere t' be found. I had a long beard, an' m' joints was all creaky. I tottered down the mountain, an' I almost didn't recognize m' village. Everything was different, don't ya know.
Greg: That must have been a little bit disconcerting.
Rip: Ya got that right. I let out a cheer for ol' King George III, an' folks got right upset. See, I didn't know there'd been a revolution or something. Some other George was in charge--Washington his name was. Everything was different.
Greg: How awful.
Rip: I were a bit taken aback, I can tell ya, but it weren't without it's benefits. My children were about, an' m' daughter took me in. I didn't have t' do a lick o' work, just sit on the porch an' watch the world go by. Sure was a change from m' earlier days. Much more peaceful.
Greg: What about your wife?
Rip: Dead an' gone, God rest her.
Greg: That must have been a blow.
Rip: Well, I'll tell ya. I was sad she'd died, don't misunderstand, but I felt like I had a new lease on life, don't ya know. That ol' battleaxe never gave me a minute's peace. Like I said before, she were always givin' me things t' do. Paint the house, fix the roof, dig a well.
An' jawin' all the time. 'Get up an' milk the cows, muck out the barn, feed the chickens. Don't just lie there, get up, there's work t' be done! Listen t' me when I'm talkin' t' ya!'
Well, it all worked out. She got almost 20 years o' not havin' t' nag at me all the time, an' I got me a nice rest an' some peace an' quiet in m' old age. Ya can't ask for fairer than that.
Greg: No, I suppose you can't. It certainly sounds like your dreams came true. Well, thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. I wish you all the best.
Rip: Thank you, young man. I don't know about you, but I'm powerful tired all of a sudden. If you'll excuse me, I think I'll go home an' take a little nap. Time's gettin' on, an' if I hurry, I can get that nap in an' be done in time for supper, don't ya know. It don't pay for a man o' my age t' miss out on his sleep.