February 3, 2015


    I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for those “not available in any store” TV offers that are broadcast, oh, about every five minutes.
For instance, I was watching an intellectually stimulating show the other night…Family Feud, I think it was . . . when, just as each family was about to engage in the gunplay I had been hoping for, Steve “No Man’s Land” Harvey took a commercial break.
It was the beginning of the end.
What followed was an enticing ad for a bed that would change position with the touch of a button.  Imagine that!  Just a touch of a button!  God, how I love gadgets.
I had to have it.
 Credit card in hand, I had the bed ordered before Steve’s thousand-watt smile reappeared.  After the program ended, feeling intellectually richer and thousands poorer, I retired to my ordinary bed, happy and serene in the knowledge that soon I’d be the proud owner of a bed I could really relax in.
Several days later, it was delivered and set up.  Even though it was only four o’clock in the afternoon, I donned my nightshirt and climbed in.
Well, sank in would be more like it.  This contraption had all the comfort of lying on sheet-covered mashed potatoes.
I concluded that perhaps if I adjusted the position, it would somehow make the bed a bit firmer.  Of course, I’m also given to conclude that if the milk in the refrigerator is sour, that putting it back and trying it again later will change the situation.
I pressed the button to raise the back and the front into more of a chair-like position, and when it reached the appropriate configuration, I again pressed the button to stop it.
But it kept right on folding.  This was a bed on a mission.  I began to get the feeling that this piece of furniture had, at one time or another, seen the movie “Jaws.”
When it finally stopped, I was pinned inside what amounted to a mattress sandwich, unable to move.  My chest was fused to my knees, so I couldn’t even draw enough of a breath to call for help.
This was not the way I wanted to die.
Fortunately, my mother chose that moment to drop by, and even more fortunately, had a key to my humble abode.  Hence, when she saw my car in the driveway, but I didn’t answer the door, she let herself in and finally discovered me in my pretzel-like state.
After she stopped laughing and snapped the entire roll of film in the disposable camera she rushed out to buy, she got around to addressing my predicament.
“Comfy?” she asked, giggling.  Payback for those cooking lessons, I was sure.
 “Mmmmfmfmmmffff!” I replied, with as much dignity as I could muster with a mouthful of mattress.
After the police and paramedics showed up and wore out three “Jaws of Life,” they finally extricated me.  Amazingly, I survived and could move my left big toe with no trouble whatsoever.  The rest of me was immediately placed in a full body cast.
One year and a dozen surgeries later, I was sitting in my chair watching TV again, when . . .
“Do you have trouble getting out of chairs?  Try the new ‘Chair Boost.’   It gently allows you to stand from a sitting position with no strain whatsoever.”
I was enthralled.  It was exactly what I needed, since, after the bed incident, I did have trouble getting up out of my chair.  I grabbed my VISA and headed for the telephone.
When the chair was delivered and placed in my living room, I settled into what was undoubtedly the most comfortable chair I had ever sat in.  Naturally, as soon as I settled into it, there was a knock at the door.
The perfect time to test the “Chair-Boost” feature!  I pressed the button.
Nothing happened.
I swore at the controller.
I pressed the “up” button again, and this time, the chair gently rose and catapulted me across the room, through my bay window, and over a cyclone fence like a BB in a slingshot.  I came to rest in a crumpled heap in my neighbor’s backyard, after ricocheting off the west wall of his bungalow.
This time, even my big toe checked out.
You think smoking is hazardous to your heath?  Try television!


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