'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
LEAKY MATTRESS IS FEELIN’ GROOVY
After decades of flawless service, our waterbed mattress finally gave up the ghost. Well, I don’t think king-size rubber water balloons actually have a soul. What happened is, our mattress sprung a leak in the middle of the night.
Luckily the leak was not on the top of the mattress, which allowed my wife and me to avoid that annoying situation where you wake up in the morning only to find yourself at the bottom of the deep end of a swimming pool. (I hate when that happens!)
Or the even more annoying situation of re-enacting at 3 a.m. the famous Three Stooges episode where they’re out fishing in a small rowboat, and the boat springs a leak, so Curly decides to drill some holes in the bottom of the boat to let the water out. (In the Dunn Family Players’ version of that episode I would’ve played the part of Curly because I do a killer “Hey Moe! Nyuk, nyuk!!” My wife is very versatile and would’ve done a fine job playing both the Moe and Larry roles.)
The leak was somewhere on the bottom of the mattress, so we stayed dry as water kind of oozed up around the edges, between the sides of the mattress and the plastic-lined frame. Now I know why the Far Out Groovy Waterbed Company of Reefer, Calif., insisted on selling us a frame with a plastic liner. Without it I’d still be trying to Shop-Vac about a zillion gallons of water off the bedroom floor.
Having a waterbed all these years has been the last vestige of our old 1970s lifestyle. Ah yes, the ‘70s, the Era that Common Sense Forgot. The ‘70s gave us mood rings, pet rocks, disco music, leisure suits, Jimmy Carter, and the Far Out Groovy Waterbed Company of Reefer, Calif.
Now that our waterbed mattress was as dead as a pet rock, my wife and I debated whether we should purchase a normal bed and make a final break with the 1970s (not counting my extensive collection of 8-track tapes, which I’ll never give up, even though I haven’t owned an 8-track player since the yellow ’74 AMC Gremlin gave up the ghost many years ago).
We began to shop around at various bed retail outlets, and now I know why mattress store commercials make up approximately 150-percent of all television ads. (Actually, it’s really only 100-percent, but that ubiquitous “Come on down!” guy makes it seem like 150-percent.) The reason a local bedding store can afford to spend more on TV ads than the entire Anheuser-Busch corporation is because they charge an arm and a leg for their products.
I’m not an expert, but just because you put the term “o-pedic” at the end of a name, doesn’t mean you can charge two grand for what is essentially a foam rectangle.
I considered looking way before the 1970s, maybe back to, say, the 16th century, when people would fill a burlap sack with hay, and voilà! a bed! But on further reflection, my wife is allergic to hay and my back ain’t exactly 20 years old anymore, so we decided comfort was also kind of important.
We ended up staying with the 1970s, and purchased a replacement waterbed mattress. However, since it is no longer the ‘70s, the firm is now called: FarOutGroovyWaterbed.com. And to prove this is definitely not the 1970s’ economy, they recently moved their customer service center from Reefer, Calif. to Bangalore, India.
But the new mattress is still far out and groovy! Now, if I could only remember what those words are suppose to mean.
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