Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Failure of the Day: The Three Stigmata of Eldridge Plush

Just before new years, we made our trifecta of old stuff replacement.

Chris bought our former bed early in the 90s. It was a good bed but its time had come. I began doing research into the arcane world of mattresses and discovered that it is nothing less than a scam on par with scientology. Identical mattresses are sold under different names in different stores to make direct price comparison impossible. They tell you that firm mattresses are better for you and then charge you more for “pillow toppers” to make your firm mattress feel softer. They tell you that mattresses are “engineered” to work with box springs but can’t explain exactly how or what that means. It’s absurd.

We also wanted a headboard because they’re pretty (me) and they keep the wall from becoming discolored from the pillows (Chris). After earning my mattress studies degree, I concluded that our best bet was a platform bed because they cost less than a box spring but serve the same mattress support function and include the nice looking headboard and footboard.

The best advice I read online about mattress shopping was to ignore everything the salesperson tells you and buy the one in your price range that feels the best. We went to three stores, and true to mattress logic, the store with “Discounter” in the name was the most expensive—by a lot. In the end, the moment I lay down on the Simmons BeautyRest Eldridge Plush, I knew it was the mattress for me. A platform bed from Ikea completed the picture, and both were delivered last Saturday.

Chris assembled everything lickety split and by Saturday night we were tucked in and happy, which was lucky because I’d just begun reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and it truly is as grim and compelling as all the reviews say. The main characters spend every moment of the book being vividly uncomfortable and terrified and just shy of freezing to actual death, which I was and am only too pleased to respond to by scooting down deeper under the covers, surrounded on all sides by relentless softness and warmth and comfort. So that's my 2007 so far: the coziest post apocalypse ever!


  • At January 14, 2007 8:48 AM, Blogger The Evacuee said…

    The Road is wonderfully depressing. Actually, it follows a number of conventions of the Western and, to boot, zombie films (certainly in taking the apocalypse for what it is and not explaining its origins). I was elated to discover just stark and grim McCarthy crafts his prose in this book. I must confess, though, that I was initially put off a bit by the sentence fragments and odd sentence structure of some of it. However, I think that works for the nature of the post-apocalyptic narrative. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the ending of the book, though I won't go into it now, as I would hate to spoil it.

  • At January 14, 2007 10:46 AM, Blogger Nancy said…

    Hi Evacuee, and thanks for commenting. Interestingly, I read the page of The Road you quote on the link in your comment just moments after posting this blog entry.

    I actually felt immediately comfortable with the sentence fragments. McCarthy didn’t sacrifice readability for his form, bless him. The first page especially struck me, in its long chunk of a paragraph, as the primer for the writing style: It looks like a brick wall, solid but broken, with huge cracks breaking open slices through both the bricks and the mortar.

    Anyway, I’m loving it, but no kidding, I have to be very very warm to read it.


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