Friday, December 10, 1999

Bad Night With A New Bed Buddy


    I bought a new pillow last night.  A Dr. Scholl's firm/extra firm polyester-filled pillow which I fell in love with at first hug.  It wasn't my plan to go to the store and hug the merchandise when I set out yesterday to buy a Christmas tree, but sometimes things just work out that way.  If you're a middle aged man who has ever accidentally found himself in a Porsche dealership at sundown, you know exactly what I mean. 

    It turns out that it's easy to buy a pillow - far easier than it is to buy a Christmas tree.  For one thing, you generally don't have to convince your wife that it'll fit where you want to put it.  For another, you generally don't have to argue with a burly clerk about the best way to shove it into your trunk so it doesn't get damaged on the ride home.  And of course with a pillow, there's rarely any need to spend a lot of time trying to decide which is the bad side that must be kept facing the wall or mattress as the case may be.  If you ever do find yourself spending more than ten minutes contemplating which side of a pillow simply MUST be kept hidden from visitors all the days of its life, you probably really ought to limit your shopping to a better class of garage sale.

     Of course I couldn't wait to try out my new pillow last night, and of course it proved to be a hellish experience.  There's simply no way to tell in a store how any particular pillow is going to behave on the front lines of Slumberland.  Odds are, it's going to be awful.  There are simply too many variables, a single defect in any one of which can prove fatally annoying.
     Pillows can be too hard, too soft, too fluffy, too flat, too hot, too scratchy, too lumpy, too slick, too new-smelly, too noisy as our skin and especially beard stubble move across them, and too difficult to get into a pillow case.  The pillow I got happens to be overly puffy.  It's ok when I first sink my head into it, but if I move that head - POING!  The stuffing surges forth to fill the space my head had been keeping under about 5 pounds of pressure per square foot, sending said head cascading down one of the two fiendishly sloping sides.
     As Lincoln put it so memorably during the darkest days of the Civil War, "Arrgh!"
     And so of course I am now stuck.  One simply cannot return a slept-on pillow, and I'm simply too tired after last night to try to convince a clerk that I actually never slept on the thing - that I'm merely returning it because when I got home, lo and behold, there was a perfectly good pillow on my bed that I had forgotten I had.  You have to be a pretty wide-awake fellow to pull that act off, and quite frankly I don't think I'm even up to the less arduous task of claiming the thing was an early Christmas gift someone gave me and, alas and aleck, it just didn't fit my noggin.
     Oh, Mr. Lincoln - "Arrgh!" indeed!!

     Then I remembered we're in the computer age - hurrah!  I'll turn to the Web for comfort and advice.
     Twenty minutes after learning all about  Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, I moved on, none the worse for wear but still pillow bedeviled.
      The Pillow Book turned out NOT to be the helpful guide I was hoping for but a movie of all things.  And what a movie!  Just listen to this mind-opening synopsis:

In Kyoto in the 1970s, a calligrapher delicately writes a greeting in his daughter's face on her birthday. When she becomes a woman, the daughter Nagiko remembers the event with excitement and searches hard to find an ideal calligrapher-lover to use her whole body as his paper. In Hong Kong she meets Jerome, an English translator who convinces her that she should be the pen and not the paper - she should write on his body and he will carry her writing on his skin to a publisher. The plan works too well. Both lovers become jealous of each other, she of the publisher, he because she impatiently writes on the bodies of other men. In a bid to win Nagiko back, Jerome fakes his own suicide which results in his death. Nagiko grieves, writes a handsome erotic poem on Jerome's corpse and buries him. The publisher exhumes Jerome's body, and
flays his skin to make a precious pillow-book of Nagiko's text. The woman is horrified. She schemes to persuade the publisher to relinquish the book of her lover's skin by sending him some handsome calligraphed young men, the last of whom becomes the publisher's executioner. The pillow-book of Jerome is returned to Nagiko and she lays it to rest in the soil of a bonsai tree. 

     As if I'm ever gonna be able to sleep again after reading that!
     In desperation, I simply typed "pillow" into my Netscape address window.  That automatically took me to - not a helpful result, as it turned out.  If YOU have better luck there, let me know!
     Finally, Fate smiled on me and guided my hand to  The Pillow Tag Revolution .  I'm still as ignorant and hopeless as ever, but at least I'm smiling.  And when you get right down to it, that's really more than all any of us have any right to expect in this life, isn't it?

     Ok, that's it.  I'm tired - even exhausted.  I'm going to bed even though the odds are heavily stacked against me.  If you never hear from me again, tell my lawyer to check safety deposit box #345b at Bank One in downtown Columbus.  There's a feather in there.  A feather from a certain something.  A feather with unique DNA.
     The days when inanimate bedware can push us around with impunity are finally coming to an end!




   (All Material Composed Of 80% New Blather, 13% Recycled Trimmings, 
And 7% Artificial Wit Hereby  ©1999 by Dan Birtcher using a needle and thread)