Performer: Joe Satriani
Songwriter: Joe Satriani
Original Release: Super Colossal
Definitive Version: None
Laurie is a sentimentalist, and I get it to a certain extent. Her mom died when she was just out of college, and consequently Laurie attached a lot of value to things that had been her mom’s. When we met, I would bet that the newest piece of furniture in Laurie’s apartment was at least 20 years old—and that includes the lamps.
But sometimes sentimentality can be impractical. Such was the case with Laurie’s bed, which had been her mom’s bed. It was a king, and at one time, it probably was a great bed. By 2005 when I moved in with Laurie, it was 25 years old and therefore a less great bed. It really was time to get something new.
Laurie knew it, and finally after another two years, she relented. We decided after we moved to our new apartment in 2007 that we would buy a new bed as a mutual Christmas present.
We agreed that we wanted a basic innerspring as opposed to a memory-foam mattress, and we wanted it to be firm. That made the shopping simple: It’s all a matter of the three S’s: Serta, Simmons and Sealy. We picked a day shortly before Christmas and targeted an area where mattress stores that carry all three mattress brands (three different stores) were within a block of each other. We weren’t looking to buy but lie-test a few.
The first place we went to carried Serta, and that’s where we met Big Bill. Big Bill was so named, at least by us, because he must have weighed 400 pounds, which made him look like Humpty Dumpty as he perched atop one of the mattresses while extolling the virtues of the particular type of Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress that we tried—the Langdon Firm.
Laurie liked it, but I wanted to test the others. It was our first stop in what was planned to be at least three, and considering the importance of a good sleep and therefore a good mattress, I felt we owed it to ourselves to be 100 percent sure of what we wanted before we bought. In other words, I wasn’t going to buy anything until I tested other models.
That’s when Big Bill started to give us the hard sell. We told him at the outset our plan to try several mattresses before making a decision, but that meant little to a salesman chasing a commission. He said this was his last day at this particular store, so he could give us this great deal only today. I might have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night. We passed.
Laurie continued to favor the Serta, but I was less sure. I kind of liked the Simmons, and the price was better. So we decided to go back and try both again the next day. When we went to the Serta store, guess who was there? Laurie was ticked that Big Bill would lie to us—to the point where she wasn’t sure she even wanted to buy Serta.
So I said, look, dozens of stores around town carry Serta. Let’s go to another one and see. So we did. We walked in, flopped down on the Langdon Firm mattress that the salesman had there, and just as he was coming over to give us his spiel, we asked: We have this Internet coupon; do you honor that? Sure. OK, we’ll take this one in a king. We had been in his store for maybe 60 seconds. It was the easiest commission he ever made.
We scheduled the delivery for a Saturday. Laurie had to leave to run an errand, and in the time she was gone, the movers came, took the old bed away and set up the new bed. It was perfect, because Laurie didn’t have to go through any emotional disconnect of seeing her mom’s bed being carted off, and lookie here: We have this great new bed.
And it has turned out to be a great bed. Sometimes progress isn’t a bad thing.