By Jack Edwards
My wife announced recently that our bed was hurting her back. She told me that she had visited a Sleep Number store, and that we should consider getting one. So I reluctantly accompanied her to check it out. Of course, it isn’t just a store, it’s a sleep laboratory that sells state of the art sleep systems to solve every sleep problem – real or imagined. After explaining that their beds were beautifully upholstered air mattresses, our sales rep told us that the key to this “technology” was determining how firm we should inflate our side of the bed. He had us lay down on their test bed. A big screen TV was mounted at the foot of the bed, so we could watch our number go up or down as he helped us calculate our “sleep numbers.” After concluding this process and then answering a series of other highly scientific sleep-related questions, our representative was able to determine that my Sleep Number was $8,000. Actually, he said mine was 35, and my wife’s was 60. I told the sales rep that I’d think about it, which he accurately took to mean that I was never coming back.
We went back home, and after climbing onto our current, non-scientific mattress, I announced I had determined my real Sleep Number, it was called “paid for.” My one-liner didn’t go over well in the room. (Tip to you young comedians: Always “read the room” before doing any edgy material).
I will confess, that prior to trading the Sleep Number company my youngest child for one of their beds, I was slightly suspicious of my wife’s claim that our current bed was hurting her back. About two years ago, she announced that the position of the gas pedal in her car was hurting her ankle. She visited a number of dealerships to determine whether any of their vehicles had gas pedals with a more appropriate, less “ankle injuring” placement. Surprisingly, it turned out that several premium models had engineered the placement of their gas pedals at the “perfect angle.” Problem solved.
Along with the bed, we decided to get a feature that lets us pretend we’re in the hospital. Both ends of the bed raise up. I thought for sure that I was going to love this feature, because I love to read in bed, and I could stop piling up all those pillows to let me sit up at the right angle. Well, the first night with the Sleep Number I realized that I had made a serious miscalculation. You see, when I read in bed, I like to keep a beverage on my nightstand. I read a lot of thrillers, and this can be very dehydrating. Only, big problem, when the back of my bed moves up, it lifts me forward and away from my nightstand. My nightstand is now conveniently located at a 45 degree angle behind me. It’s a circus contortion act to reach my glass.
My wife has also taken to raising my side of the bed at a slight angle to keep me from snoring, which I don’t do. And I am convinced that sleeping at this angle is preventing sufficient blood to travel to my brain at night and thus making me more stupid. In fact, I’ve started coming up with stupid ideas. Case in point, since using this bed, I have been considering starting a company that uses giraffes to clean out gutters.
When our bed first arrived, my wife told me that she asked Sleep Number to include a brand new feature. I got excited and thought I was getting some newfangled deep heat massage unit, but my short-lived excitement collided with reality. The new feature was a high-tech computer system that recorded how well we slept. I already knew how well I slept. But when the technicians arrived to install the contraption, they connected it to the internet. This, naturally, made me immediately suspicious that the NSA had found some dirt on Sleep Number’s CEO, and it was now ordering him to pipeline America’s sleeping patterns to them for God knows what nefarious constitutionally-offending purpose. I would be busy writing my representatives in Congress to complain, but I currently have new fish to fry. My wife told me yesterday that the knob on the front door of our house was hurting her wrist.