Saturday, August 23, 2008
Existing as the cover for the whole operation, the front office is set up to look normal as it concealed the variety of nefarious activites that found homes in the warehouse, including series of un- certified Russian accent lessons. The woman sits us down at a desk, which is very non descript and therefore suspicious. She begins to fill out paperwork furiously, referencing price charts, size and name descriptions, America's Most wanted ads, and a collection of missing persons milk cartons. Knowing that any minute now our senses will return, she races through these background checks to get to the payment and signature on the dotted line part. Finally, having spilt milk all over her gloves while massaging her cramping hands, she says aloud "Do we have any more of the Hotel/Motel beds left, kingsize, Mom?"
Realizing this was a family operation, our senses begin to come back.
What happened next is a bit of a jumble, senses coming back and all. Turns out Mom sold the last of the taco hotel/motel beds and the only things left in the warehouse that were king-sized were the Windsor. I realize that this Windsor would sound much better than Hotel/Motel when the women in the village get together and discuss what kind of mattress their husbands bought for them, I insist we try it out. We go back to the warehouse, repeat the entire sit, roll over, hit with flimsy twin mattress, etc process, and eventually walk out of the place with a very nice mattress to our name. And a five year old's Stephen Hawking's boxspring.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Maria and I arrive at the warehouse, Saturday, July 19th, 12:30 PM. I come dressed as a carnival popcorn vendor and I borrow a dancing monkey from a friend of mine who has monkeys. The monkey does not contribute in any way to my disguise as a carnival popcorn vendor; I merely want to see the monkey dance. Maria shows up shortly after the monkey and I, beneath the guise of Amelia Earhart. She looks lost and forgotten.
We pull aside some fake bushes, discover the Batbike, put them back, and then come across the front door. It is unlocked. We step into a dark room, and immediately bags are placed over our heads and burdens upon our shoulders. A woman with a Russian accent speaks to us.
"So, you have come to buy the mattress?" Maria and I are silent; we've played this game before.
"I return to repeat myself once more again," she says. "So, you have come to buy the mattress?"
Maria surprises herself and me by responding to the woman in perfect Russian. I assume that she is answering in the affirmative or that she is just having a really good day.
I hear the woman laugh a shrill laugh. "Ha, your words are useless to me. I do not speak Russian; I am just fond of the accent." She roughly removes the bags from our heads and we find that we are surrounded by mattresses of all shapes and sizes, or pretty much rectangular and twin to king sized. In the corner stands a bald man in a white lab coat.
"Now, Yegor, show these two what we mean, in our Russian accents, when we say "king sized mattress". The bald man in the white lab coat brings his fingers to his lips and whistles. Four men carrying a king-sized mattress arrive, followed by several dogs who had entered the warehouse. There is confusion for some time while the bald man herds the canines out of the building. He assures himself that all doors are shut and secure.
With a gesture of her hand, the woman with the Russian accent invites us to inspect the mattress. We do so, and Maria gives it a light kick with her right foot, and the bald man exhales quickly, almost a hiss. "It looks good," I say.
"Ah, but you must try it," says our Red friend. "Sit yourself, roll over, and bounce lightly." Maria and I do all three, in that order. I ask, "Can we try that whole wine glass trick?" The Russian-accented woman smiles slightly and says, "I never drink...wine." I have further questions.
"How long does it last?"
"Well, how long do you want it to last?"
The bald man in the white lab coat barks a "ha" as well.
"What I mean to say, " I begin, but then end because I feel that she knows that I'm still getting at the whole longevity question.
"I...we recommend that you purchase a new one in seven or nine months."
"Wow. Seven or nine months. That's not a long time, is it?"
"To a dying man, seven or nine months is a long time to die."
"Okay. But what will happen to it in seven or nine months?"
"It will get, how you say in English with Russian accent, taco bed?" With her gloved hand she draws a U in the air.
"Hmm, that seems pretty quick, I say, " I say.
"Ah! But the boxsprings! Yegor, the boxsprings!" Yegor stands straight and claps his hands. The lights in the warehouse go out. Yegor claps his hands again and there is light. He does a light but audible tap dance and the four men return, this time with the boxsprings on their shoulders. Somewhere, I think, there is a five-year old boy crying over his missing bedsprings. The boxsprings are decorated with planets, spacemen and women, flying saucers, and other astral objects.
"There is everthing, the entire package," the woman says.
The conclusion to this account, in which Steve and Maria go to purchase the mattress, only to find that the last one of that kind has been sold to a buyer from an anonymous South American country, but are then given a much better mattress for the same price, only in much more detail and Russian-accents, will be included in tomorrow's entry.