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Mattress on the Move

June 17th, 2009

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I own a pick-up truck but am ashamed to admit it has not been on the road for at least five years. Some might say I’m saving the 1965 Ford F-100, purchased in Bandera, Texas 14 years ago, but the truth is, I simply have not taken the time to get it out of storage and solve the back bumper problem that will bring its never-ending restoration to fruition.

There are times that, like most folks, I require the dexterity of a pick-up truck and, although my old Ford remains in hibernation, I have the best next thing, a twin brother with a pick-up truck.

Larry does not really need a pick-up and once in a while he threatens to sell it. Thin out the driveway, streamline his vehicular realm and bank a few bucks in the process is his mantra.

I’m dead set against this for a couple of very good reasons. First, the 2001 red Chevy Silverado short box is a very nice truck in immaculate condition. More importantly, whenever I need a truck to haul something around I can borrow his. Like a grandparent reaping the benefits of grandchildren letting the parents deal with the problems of rearing the little rascals, when it comes to licensing, insurance, maintenance and fussing over the Silverado, that’s Larry’s problem.

A couple of weekends ago I solved a pesky mattress dilemma with Larry’s truck. Our youngest daughter, Layla, going into third year at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish this fall, announced she was renting a house in metro ‘Laylagonish’ and planned on getting a job or three for the summer.

Of course furnishing her flophouse became high priority and although her mother and I saw this as an opportunity to clear our home and garage of stick furniture, bad draperies and worn-out couches, the fact remained that Layla, at 6’ 2”, required a proper bed.

I’ve moved a lot of things over the years but when it comes to mattresses and box springs, I’ll take a chesterfield, washing machine, antique sideboard or dining-room table any day. The box spring is always just a bit too big for the doorway and there is something corpse-like about a mattress. Bending and twisting one around corners enroute some far-flung bedroom gives me a straight up case the heebie-jeebies.

But first we had to find a mattress. Of course all the relatives got in on the action with advice on where to score the best buy. My mother Edith, forever the bargain hunter, even suggested a ‘used’ unit but sister Susan, who had recently been through the mattress dilemma with my nephew, vetoed that prospect.

So Lisa and I did the rounds looking for a deal. The Bay and Sears were too simple. Score a good deal, they deliver to Antigonish and the problem would be solved. No borrowing Larry’s Silverado or mattress wrestling to angst me? Too simple.

We ended up at Turner’s Rooms in the Burnside Industrial Park. The mattress liquidators’ slogan, ‘We Beat All Deals’, convinced us this was indeed the place to get the mattress deal of the century. And it was. Fifteen minutes later, Lisa waltzed out with a bill of sale itemizing a double box spring, mattress, bed frame and even a mattress cover that was the only way to keep the warranty on the mattress intact. Delivery to ‘Laylagonish’ was even included.

Hey there would be no drive to Antigonish involved but the deal was done: until mother Edith called that night and announced she was buying a new mattress and box spring at a big sale at the Bay that is.

“Layla can take my old mattress.” Mum insisted. “It’s like new. And it’s a family mattress.”

No sweat. I’d just call the friendly folks at Turner’s Rooms back and have them reverse the $625 credit card payment. Pennies from heaven.

NOT! After days of wrangling that lead me right up to the Turner’s Rooms head honcho in Ontario, I was stuck with a credit note for ‘the next mattress I might need’. Beyond the credit note for another mattress, ‘Buyer Beware’ was the most I got out of Mr. Head Honcho. Just what I needed. How long does it take to wear out a mattress?

The only positive attribute to the mattress matter was getting Mother’s heirloom to Layla’s new abode. So a road trip in brother’s Silverado became the silver lining of the Great Sowerby Clan Mattress Caper.

I reveled in securing Mum’s box spring and mattress to the tie-down rings in the back of the Silverado and even though my handy work came unraveled a half hour out of Halifax, Lisa and I delivered the mattress unscathed. Layla and her new housemate, Jaci Phillips, even unloaded the bed booty.

Back in Halifax I telephoned Turner’s Rooms to announce I was not going to go storming into small claims court and to see if I could divide the credit note into a dozen or so smaller notes. Hey, I’d be set for weddings, birthdays and retirement gifts for years.

But the telephone number was disconnected, and so was the toll-free number they gave me in case I wanted to exercise my mattress credit from afar.

After an Internet search, I got hold of the folks at Turner’s Rooms in Saint John, New Brunswick. Sure they would honour my credit from the store that closed up in Burnside Industrial Park. They might not go for my multi-credit note strategy but would give me a year to pick up my next new mattress.

And in the meantime I’ll have to convince Larry to hang onto his Chevy Silverado for another year.

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