It’s Up to You

Posted on February 7, 2005 by Jenna

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It is important to have two beds. You need one bed for sleeping in and a hot backup bed. It does not actually have to be kept hot but if someone is always sleeping in it that will help. However it can be difficult to find someone so sleepy. You might have to ask at a sleeping clinic or hold some kind of sleeping contest. Even if you find them they are very unreliable because just when you need them they are asleep.

The reason you need a hot backup bed is that there could be a bed emergency. Then you wouldn’t have a bed any more. For example, there could be a cobra and a mongoose living in your bed’s mattress. This is normally okay. It even provides a soothing massage while you sleep. The snake slithers. The mongoose crawls. This provides the perfect balance of yin-yang energy on your back for a comfortable sleep. Unfortunately, the cobra and the mongoose are natural enemies. It is inevitable that one day they discover one another. Then suddenly your bed is not so comfortable. Instead it is very difficult to sleep. The cobra and mongoose engage in eternal battle. There are occasional screeches and hisses. Sometimes fangs will burst from the bed and bite on anything that might be there, like a silk sheet or a teddy bear. You can say, “No! Bad snake!” but it does not help. The dharma of the cobra is to fight the mongoose. How can it stop just because of some person chiding it? You could say, “No! Bad mongoose!” but then the mongoose would die. It’s too docile! That’s its problem. The snake would kill it. Then you would just have a cobra in your bed. If you want to sleep in a bed with a cobra in the mattress, that’s up to you. I recommend having a hot backup bed instead. The worst part is that once the cobra and mongoose start fighting you cannot possibly get a refund. You can look very severely at the mattress salesman but he will only say,

“This is not in its original condition! When I gave you this bed it had balanced yin-yang. Now they fight! How do I know you weren’t running some kind of pit fighting establishment and inviting your bed cobra and bed mongoose to pitch in?”

If you have evidence that this is not the case, which you can get by having 24 hour surveillance of your room, then you might be able to get a replacement. This is one of the many benefits of a far-future police state. Everyone is always watching. Big Brother can tell the mattress salesman, “No! It was not the customer’s fault. It was simply inevitability hard at work.”

“Ah,” the mattress salesman always agrees. “Inevitability works very hard. If only people worked so hard! Everything would be in order. People would sleep less, mattresses would have less disturbance, and more cobras and mongooses would live in sweet peace with one another like in a waterbed!”

“That’s not what happens in a waterbed,” you might feel yourself tempted to say. “In a waterbed, the cobra and mongoose drown. Then they are eaten by special sharks made entirely out of bubbles.” You must not do this. Doing this will tip off your special knowledge too early in the bargaining period. You must never admit that you’re savvy about mattresses until after the first few compromises.

Perhaps the salesman might object further. “There was no gambling,” he might say, “but how do I know it was not the customer’s bad karma, or perhaps excessive radiant energy of the customer’s emotions, that led the cobra and mongoose astray?”

He will hold up a cobra and a mongoose, one in each hand, in demonstration. “See? They are very good animals. Very peaceful!”

The cobra and mongoose at the mattress shop are on valium. It gives them very happy dreams. They look at one another. It is not hate in their hearts. It is boundless universal love. Their instincts disturb this love, but it is like fish moving below deep water—just a shadow against the depth of their love.

“It is time to give them private time,” says the mattress salesman. “For snuggling.”

This is actually to get them out of the way before the valium wears off. But they will snuggle, too, so it is not a lie.

The best response when the mattress salesman says this is, “I cannot be radiating bad emotions at my bed.”

“Oh?” he might say.

“Well,” you say, “in the matter of my bed, my heart is at peace. So how can I be sending it bad thoughts? The very notion is ridiculous!”

“Ha,” he says smugly. “Everyone has bad thoughts.”

He thinks some bad thoughts demonstratively. The thought police look at him with an expression combining disgust and admiration.

“I have a hot backup bed!” you then say. “Why should I worry?”

“Ah!” he will cry, and grasp his heart. Technically he will actually grasp at his chest. If he physically grasped his heart the bargaining would take an unexpected turn. “Ah!” he will cry. “You have defeated me. I will give you a new bed, only a small service charge.”

If you look at him hard enough and project good thoughts, you can make him yield the service charge; but if you think bad thoughts at him, he’ll probably be bitten by a heavily drugged mongoose. It’s up to you to choose!