JOHN D. MacDONALD – The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything. Gold Medal #s1259, paperback original, 1962. Reprinted many times.

   Kirby’s a clumsy doofus. Handsome. Winsome. But a doofus.

   Kirby’s got a rich uncle. Super-duper rich. And Kirby has a cushy job from his uncle going around giving oodles and oodles of money, anonymously, to charitable causes.

   Then his uncle dies, leaving him nothing, though Kirby was the sole surviving heir.

   Nothing, that is, except a gold pocket watch.

   In fact, the estate has nearly nothing — even though his uncle seemed to have millions and millions of buckaroos. What happened to the freaking money?

   Turns out that Kirby’s uncle got rich by screwing the Mafia and other nogoodnicks by sneaky and conniving means — means of which were so top-secret as to never having been divulged to anyone — much less poor Kirby.

   A couple of supervillains of the Boris and Natasha type try to kidnap Kirby to tell them his uncle’s business secrets and where hides the boodle.

   Kirby doesn’t know. They can’t figure out if he’s really an imbecile or if he’s just a great actor.

   Then one day Kirby is sleeping at a friend’s house, hiding from Boris and Natasha. A luscious, ravishing, blond bimbo leaps naked into his bed in the middle of the night, screwing his brains out, believing in the dark that Kirby is the guy Kirby is house-sitting for.

   At first, she’s mad — but she forgives Kirby and they fall deeply in love, discovering meanwhile that the secret to his uncle’s success was the pocket watch!

   Turns out, if you wiggle the watch just right, it freezes time!

   Of course, freezing time wouldn’t do much good if it froze for everyone. But the bearer is immune from the time freeze.

   So while time is frozen, you can engage in whatever high-jinks you like for up to an hour at a time: taking money from tills, changing the trajectory of bullets, sinking subs, altering evidence.

   It’s all quite fun and silly. And nobody loses an eye.

   Made into an even sillier made-for-TV movie starring Robert Hays (of “Airplane!” fame) in 1980.