(My mattress did not come with this lady.)
I bought the queen-sized four-pound viscoelastic memory foam topper even though I have a full-sized bed because it cost the same and I figured I could just trim it and make cushions or life-sized foam companions with the excess. “Four-pound” is a measurement of density meaning either that (1) each square foot weighs four pounds, (2) it takes four pounds of pressure to depress a square inch of foam X number of inches, or (3) you must hammer your head into the foam four times in order to create a depression that is the inverse of your own greasy coconut. What it means is that a queen-sized “four-pound” density foam mattress weighs five thousand pounds and comes in a box the size of a mini-fridge. I bought the discount version on a discount website rather than pay $170, as Raj suggested, for a slightly more recognizable brand. This is the part of the story where you should start wagging your finger in disapproval. It was delivered to my office yesterday. And because I am cheap/immigrant/etc., I decided to ride the rush hour subway home with my five thousand pound, mini-fridge-sized box rather than pony up $6-7 more dollars for a cab ride. Continue wagging!
I’d biked to work, so my first task was to move my bike from the outdoor bike racks to the secured indoor parking garage to leave overnight. Rather than leave the mattress up in my office, move my bike, then return to my office to fetch the mattress, like any reasonable person would do, I decided to move everything at once. I looped some tape around the box to make a “handle,” then tried to hold this “handle” (for a 30 lb., mini-fridge-sized box) in one hand as I wheeled my bike a block and a half with the other to the parking garage. The tape broke immediately, so I had to do a combination of kicking and shuffling to get the box, now itself also broken, to my destination. This process took about twenty minutes, much more time than it would have taken for me to leave the box in my office and retrieve it after moving the bike. But these are life lessons one learns the hard way! Eventually, I struggled through the handicapped entrance at the
The train was waiting on the platform so I pushed in with my Real Doll-sized box and scraped passed five pissed off people to the end of the car. It was rush hour. The train was stalled in the station for five minutes, and after it started moving again, it started running express. I had to scrape past all those people again, immediately, to get out of the car. The next train came five minutes later. Within a few stops it was doubly packed because the car ahead of it was running express, but I had successfully rushed past the other commuters to the handicapped space in the car – no seats, so room for me and my cadaver-sized box – and I felt pleased as punch. I leaned against the wall of the train thinking “I AM SO AWESOME FOR SAVING $7 IN CAB FARE” and generally just feeling like a sophisticated urbanite for claiming a little space in my city.
As we traveled to the next station, the conductor’s voice came on the PA and said, Who’s calling? I exchanged some bemused glances with my commuting companions. Conductor’s gone off her rocker! said these glances. A minute later, the conductor came on the PA again. Who’s calling?!? Ha ha, our glances said this time, She’s drunk as a skunk! The conductor’s voice came on a third time. WHO IS CALLING? Ha ha ha ha! Mirth train!
Then one of my new commuting friends suddenly looked at me funny, and then said, very slowly, “Oh, you’re pressing the emergency button with your backpack.” OOPS! I turned around. Yes, I was pressing the damn button. My backpack had a button-shaped protrusion that was perfectly aligned with the big red emergency button, and I had been leaning into it the entire ride. OOPS x 100!
The train came shuddering to a halt in the next station, and the conductor again got on the PA, announcing this time that she had to stop the car to investigate an emergency situation. I hope that’s not me! I chortled to my new best friends. No, of course not! they chortled in return. I had congratulated myself for having the courtesy to bring my bulky item to the very last train car, but it soon proved to be a bad decision for
My new life partners were all very kind to me. Ha ha, we are just happy that the emergency system works! they said. It’s good to know!! My God, sometimes I love these fat polite Midwesterners, they are as docile as cabbages. If this had happened on the L train you know those skinny hipsters would have strangled me with their striped deep V-neck shirts. Or done this to me. In any event, my stop was the next one, so I pushed past all the commuters and said SORRY!!! again really loudly and then struggled the five blocks home with this five thousand pound, tapir-sized box balanced on top of my head. I was sweating like a peasant when I got home.
The moral of this story is I AM STUPID. I managed to delay not only the 400 or so commuters in my packed train, but also the 20,000 or so commuters waiting on the platform at stations ahead of us or in trains behind us. Today my muscles are sore and my back is hurting. The best part is that after I got home and opened my package, I found that the mattress topper was not what I wanted it to be. It is too thick, and it smells so badly of chemicals that when I tried to put it in my room, I became light-headed in minutes and was barely able to drag the heavy piece of shit into the living room before passing out on my now-chemical-smelling bed in a druggy stupor. It was like huffing gas (or so I have read). So I think I am either going to have to find a way to return this monstrosity (perhaps via a return trip on the CTA!) or just suck up the hundred bucks and the time, and the time of 20,000 Chicagoans, that I just wasted. You were right, Raj, I was wrong. Every single decision I made in this story was mistaken: HOW CAN MY JUDGMENT BE TRUSTED TO INTERPRET THE LAW!?!?!?!?