I apologize, gentle Podunk readers, for my lengthy absence. I have legitimately been on several “special assignments” that have distracted me from documenting my daily absurdity. As always, I pledge to do better, with no real conviction that will be true.
But since you asked, on one of these special assignments, a longtime friend and gearhead was looking for productive ways that I could invest my extra earnings — all of which involved upgrading my mountain bike to one that costs exponentially the amount of my additional earnings. As a founding member of the elite Lost Riders cycling club, he tells me, I really shouldn’t be caught dead without a carbon frame.
Instead, I dropped my extra cabbage on a mail order mattress. I am all too aware that this is a certain sign of … let’s call it, maturity. Her Royal Highness, for example, now 25, sleeps on a nest of orphaned socks while her carbon-framed bike is insured by Lloyd’s of London.
I’m not meaning to judge HRH’s prioritization, because in my senior year of college I purchased a $6 mattress from Goodwill in Spokane because it a) fit my budget, and b) fit on top of my 1972 VW superbeetle. It was a twin mattress with springs on just one side, likely donated to Goodwill by a homeless shelter or state penitentiary. It was worth every penny.
I came to realize this summer that Iron Chef and I were in dire need of a new mattress when I slept on the ground for 4 weeks and felt like I had undergone a chiropractic adjustment.
Living in Podunk, the mail order mattress option is a godsend since we are a good distance from such provisions. Shopping for a mattress is similar (for me) to shopping for a mountain bike, whereby I mimic technical jargon and ultimately become swayed by colors and/or marketing plus price tag. Mattress marketers are clearly exploiting their target audience, which is NOT 20-somethings content to bed down on laundry lint or castoffs from the bedwetters’ society. They market to those who have, even briefly, slept in a luxury hotel, and to the multitude of menopause and manopause sufferers in the world vulnerable to claims of cooling coils and geltops.
What they undersell, however, is the miracle of suction so powerful they can deliver your mattress in a shoebox. I shit you not, our Helix Midnight mattress arrived and I mistook the box for the new hiking shoes I had ordered. Except, the wee box weighed as much as a cruise ship anchor (PS, why do UPS trucks not have a tip jar?).
Fortunately for me, with Iron Chef away on special assignment, Her Royal Highness and another lovely river guide goddess-type were here and hefted the new investment upstairs before I truly needed a chiropractic adjustment or full-on hernia surgery.
Then the magic happened. Upon opening, the shoe box revealed a highly compressed, luxury, cooling mattress. The technology that makes this feat possible could very possibly be employed to make my thighs look good in bike shorts. And, and, and, if we do not LOVE our Helix Midnight after 100 days, we can return it — so long as we can fit it back in the shoe box and get the UPS driver to take it away.
Good night and good luck, my friends. I hope to see you more often.