A guy goes to a store to buy table salt. Everywhere he looks are bottles of ketchup crowding every shelf.
“Excuse me,” he says to the proprietor, “Do you have any
The shopkeeper takes him to a small shelf downstairs that’s loaded with various
products and hands him the salt.
“You must sell a lot of ketchup,” the customer said, observing cases
of ketchup along the walls.
“Not really,” the proprietor sighed. “but the guy that sold me
the ketchup, well, he sells a LOT of ketchup.”
I use this story as a parable to describe a vendor at last week’s trade fair. This guy pushed just one product; a $60 bamboo pillow. Well, it wasn’t exactly a bamboo pillow, despite a sign saying, “Bamboo Pillows!!” As Buddy the Salesman explained, it was actually a memory foam pillow with a bamboo
Sixty bucks for a pillow! I was amused by Buddy’s audacity. Amusement turned to alarm when Cupcake suddenly expressed interest in Buddy’s spiel. She’s an intermittent sleeper and would do anything to remain in the clutches of Morpheus for an entire night; even gambling sixty smackers on an itinerant
I remembered her other fad pillow purchases, including one filled with barley or oats or something. It felt like a really hard, uncomfortable beanbag. It wasn’t as hard, however as some materials historically used for pillows such as
rocks. (Sweets for the sweet, dear, have a rock for your head.)
Porcelain pillows were popular in China for centuries, too. The only time I’ve used porcelain as a pillow was when I was a young adult first learning to drink
alcohol. (I also believe in being a life-long learner.)
“The advantage of the bamboo cover is it wicks away perspiration if you’re a night sweater,” said Buddy directly to Cupcake, trying to ignore my harrumphs. This wasn’t his first rodeo. I wanted to mention sucking moisture out of our heads while we sleep sounded gross and unhealthy. There’s a reason I don’t sleep on a Sham-Wow. Okay, there’s lots of reasons I don’t sleep on a
Sham-Wow, most notably since they don’t come in my size (petite).
I also wanted to mention about Cupcake’s memory being already spotty and was curious if memory foam helps that or actively sucks memory from your head like it does your gushing skull sweat. This is important because Cupcake needs help remembering events, even those that just occurred minutes before. Her recollections invariably differ wildly from mine and I never remember anything incorrectly, ever. In her sweet, feminine way, she considers my memory seriously flawed and hers near photographic. I understand this is common in long-term relationships, though, like forgetting whether you’re having a nice, quiet evening together, or if you’re giving each other the silent treatment
from a now-forgotten spat.
I had to interrupt my memory foam reverie when I heard Buddy going in for the
“Do you want one pillow for sixty or two for a hundred?” he brazenly inquired, knowing full well, I felt Cupcake was a bigger sucker than an
industrial vacuum cleaner, just for considering buying one, never mind two.
“Do you want one, too, honey?” Cupcake asked, oblivious to my disgust
at her gullibility.
“Of course your husband wants a good night’s sleep, as well,”
murmured Buddy, “If you really love him, you’ll buy him one, also.”
“Whoa there, Buddy,” I quickly interjected. “I believe there are ways she can demonstrate her love for me that don’t involve purchasing bedroom accessories from a traveling salesman. If you’re not careful, I will start
listing those ways. Open-mouthed kissing is at the top of the list.”
“So just the one pillow, then?” Buddy said, stabbing his fingers on
the keypad of a portable debit machine before thrusting it quickly at Cupcake.
I’ll admit I was a little excited to get the full report the morning after the
maiden voyage of the good ship Sixty-Dollar Pillow.
“Well? Was it worth it?” I asked immediately upon her being fully
awake, later that afternoon.
“It was wonderful!” she proclaimed. “I think it has lots of
“So why did you put another flat pillow on top of it? Doesn’t that defeat
the purpose of the bamboo cover?”
“I didn’t like the thought of drying my head out,” she admitted.
“But I don’t regret it!”
She didn’t regret the one filled with barley, either. She didn’t use it much, mind you, but she didn’t regret it.
That’s my job.