Gabriel's Groans: Why Buying A Bed Made Me See Red
The other day I decided to embark on a little spring cleaning; as little as possible it must be said. Deciding my bedroom was as good a place as any to start and the smallest place, I grabbed a sweeping brush and headed down the hall. I don't own a hoover due to two things: next doors cat and the fact that my recent experience with hoovers has been quite trying and expensive. Albeit the gin and tonics were for me, but that's a whole other story...
Kneeling on my bedroom floor I lifted the duvet cover with one hand while I shoved the brush under the bed with the other. I was marveling at my long lost pearl earring, well I think it was my pearl earring; God! I hope it was my pearl earring; when I noticed a musty smell. Not the bloody cat I thought. I hadn't seen it for a while and something was eating the rat poison laced tuna I was leaving outside on my doormat. I was determined to get rid of that cat, but crikey I didn't want to find it dead under my bed. How on earth would I get it out from under there?
I lifted the duvet higher and peered under the bed. The culprit stared back at me. Not a stiff three legged mangy cat thank God but a hairy looking mould type moss clinging to the corner of my mattress. ''Ugh!'' I recoiled from underneath the bed. ''That doesn't look good.''
Spring cleaning duties were firmly put on hold while I Googled bed mould. To my horror I discovered a million things about bed mould that I really didn't want to know. Bottom line: I needed a new mattress asap otherwise I was at the mercy of billions of little critters that could puncture my heart by creeping up my nose or am I getting confused with last nights movie. Either way, those mouldy old bed bugs were bad dudes and had to go!
Thirty minutes later I was browsing around a well appointed furniture store in search of a new mattress. I ran my fingers over a beautiful cedar wood bed frame complete with a soft duck feather mattress. I sat on the mattress and bounced up and down.
''Excuse me madam. Please don't bounce on the furniture,'' a sales assistant approached, gesturing for me to remove myself from the mattress.
''Oh! I was just trying it out. The mattress, I need a new mattress.'' I stammered, feeling about two years old.
''Indeed madam. You can't try before you buy,'' the sales assistant pointed to a red banner hanging from the rafters way up in the ceiling. His rather large head seemed to bob about on the end of his rather skinny neck, like a nodding toy dog.
I squinted and read aloud, ''You can't try before you buy. I didn't notice that. I wasn't looking all the way up at the ceiling.'' I retorted, ''I was looking at the mattresses.''
''Indeed madam. Perhaps I can help you make an intelligent choice.''
An intelligent choice would be to go somewhere else I thought. However it was getting late and I really needed a new mattress. The thought alone of sleeping on my mouldy mattress made me itch. ''I really just want a basic mattress, nothing too pricy.'' I said.
''It's your back madam,'' the sales assistant chirped walking towards the back of the shop, head nodding. It's my bank balance I thought as I trotted after him.
''This is where we keep the ahh... cheaper bedroom furniture. The more basic run of the mill furniture.''
''The old, falling apart, decrepit furniture you mean,'' I mumbled under my breath. I took in the stacked mattresses and dark wood wardrobes; old fashioned side lockers and ancient dressing tables. Fragile looking bed frames leaned against the wall. ''What price is this one?'' I asked, pointing to a rather small, thin mattress.
''That's 200.00€,'' smirked the sales assistant. ''You'll need a particular frame for that mattress. It doesn't fit all bed frames.''
''What,'' I exclaimed. ''200.00€ for that little thing, no wonder it needs a particular bed frame. A particularly small one. Gosh! Do you have anything for around 100.00€. Preferably big enough to actually sleep on?''
"I can let you have that one for 100.00€."
I stared aghast at a thread bear mattress no thicker than a yoga mat. "Can you give me a discount, it's really not very new looking?" I asked hopefully.
"Sorry, it's already been discounted. So do you want it delivered?'' Mr Noddy (I decided this name was very appropriate for the nodding assistant) asked with a raised eyebrow. I raised my own brows and thought for a minute. I really had no choice. I needed to get a new mattress and I was a little strapped for cash. I guess the yoga mattress was going to have to do. "Is delivery free?''
"No! There's a one off charge or 40.00€."
A one off charge. I thought about that statement and found it impossible to make any sense whatsoever out of it. "A one off charge," I queried, "but it's a one off delivery."
"Exactly. Hence the one off charge.'' Mr Noddy, nodded striding past, beckoning me to follow. I decided not to dwell on the one off charge thing, it was far too complicated.
"I only live around the corner. Can you deliver for a discount?'' I said.
"No! the price has already been discounted.''
"Right, of course it has."
"And you'll need a base for that mattress to sit on.''
"Why do I need a base, won't it just sit on the frame?'' I asked standing on the other side of the counter. Mr Noddy, who I now knew was called Simon, having read is name tag, smiled sweetly.
"Because the mattress needs support. It's a little on the thin side after all. Without a base it will squash through your bed frame."
"How much is one of those?"
"Only one size fits that particular mattress. It's 55.00€ plus a one off delivery charge of 40.00€."
"Surely you don't charge for delivering the base when you're already delivering the mattress! I mean you're already going to my house so why the double charge?"
"No! It's a one off charge." Simon waved his finger in the air.
"No! It's a double charge and a rip off." I scowled. "I'm not paying twice for a one off delivery." I folded my arms and glared at Simon.
You sure showed him, I thought to myself as I lugged the wooden base around the corner towards my flat. I stopped to catch my breath and noted the odd stares I was getting from passersby. I held the base up right and inspected the plastic tied to the bottom. It was peeling off and the wood was already scrapped from the pavement. Either way I didn't care. There was no way I was paying out another 40.00€ for another one off delivery. "Onward and upward!" I mumbled as I continued on my way.
Opening the door into the entrance of my building, I kept one hand on the wood base holding it against the wall while I pushed the door. Once inside I headed for the lift. Having tried every angle possible and shouting every obscene word in my vocabulary plus a few I hadn't realized were in my vocabulary, I slumped defeated against the wall. "Go without me. I'll have to stay behind." I said to the two rather shocked looking people in the lift. "It's not going to fit." Resigned I gave up and dragging the wooden base I headed reluctantly for the stairs.
Finally, what seemed like an age later, I reached my floor and my flat door. Wiping the sweat from my forehead I headed inside, wooden base in thow. Leaning the base against the living room wall, I decided a gin and tonic was very much required and set about making one. A couple of mouthfuls later I was feeling a little more human, when the intercome buzzed. Ah! I thought, the yoga mattress has arrived.
I watched in pure amazement as the delivery guys plonked the mattress in the lift with ease. They carried the thread bare mattress from the lift and left it sagging against the wall in my hall way. They were in a rush and couldn't stop. Typical: The story of my life.
Holding the corner of my old mattress delicatly between thumb and forefinger desperatly trying to avoid any bed mould, I realized movement of any real degree was proovfing futile. Deciding a more hands on approach was required (doning my washing up gloves) and huffing and puffing like a sumo wrestler I finally dragged the old mattress of the bed frame and settled the new wooden base and mattress neatly in place.
Exhausted and red faced I sat down on the new mattress. Laying back I spread out my arms and sighed. Oh well, I thought, a skinny, thread bare mattress is still better than a mouldy one. Suddenly I heard a loud pinging noise in my left ear. I froze. What the hell was that? Gingerly I turned my head.
A huge spring was sticking out of the mattress. I glared in misbelief. How on earth could a spring that size fit inside my skinny little mattress? I struggled into a sitting position and pressed my hand over the spring pushing it back into the mattress. Two more springs bounced through the mattress material. I stared at the two springs swaying happily from side to side. Leaning toward one of the springs; hand out stretched; I heard a sharp cracking noise. At the same time I felt the mattress sink beneath my knee. The goddamn base! With a loud shriek I collapsed on the mattress uttering a monologue of profanity. All I could see was red, oh! and my hands squeezing the life out of Simon's scrawny nodding bloody neck.
© 2012 Gabriel Wilson All Rights Reserved