Every day I drive down War Memorial Drive and catch I-74 to go to work. And every day on that trip I look over at Brandywine Drive across from the Northwoods Mall and see something that has caused me great wonder: There’s four mattress stores on the same block. Is it me or is this kind of weird? This has caused all kinds of questions in my mind. I mean, how often do you buy a mattress? And why are these stores all within a couple of minutes distance of each other? How long have these stores been in operation? What is the square root of 979? Why do fools fall in love? Today I’ve decided to go and investigate this block of boxsprings on Brandywine Drive and get some answers to these questions. And you’re invited to come along with me, so let’s roll!
Off we go into the wild blue yonder, it won’t be a long trip, I don’t live far from Brandywine Drive.
See, we’re almost there. Look, you can see the first sign of mattress mania over there in the distance.
Alright, here we are at mattress store number one, Mattress Firm. Right off the bat I hate the name. I know it’s not politically correct to say something sounds retarded, but that really does sound retarded. Mattress Firm...it’s like a candy store calling itself, "Candy Sweet." It reminds of that old Saturday Night Live skit where Phil Hartman played Frankenstein and said, “Fire...BAD!” Okay, so we’ve determined that the name of this place is retarded, let’s go take a look at the windows.
Can you say redundant? Can you say redundant? Can you say redundant?
Hmm...do you think credit is needed here? It’s really hard to tell from this repeated signage. I wish they’d quit being so vague about things. I think the same person who thought up the name, “Mattress Firm,” is in charge of their window dressing.
Enough already! Enough already! Enough already! Sheesh!
Let’s go inside. Let’s go inside...okay, I think I’ve beaten that into the ground.
Well, I went inside and there was just one sales guy in there. And he kind of freaked out when I asked if I could take pictures inside of there. He said that was uncharted territory and he’d have to make a phone call, but he was waiting on a couple, so I told him I’d wait till he was done. Well, about ten minutes went by, so I told him I’d come back. We’ll go to the other three stores and make this our last stop of the day.
These stores are so close, I’m just walking to them. The next one is right down the road.
And one minute and nineteen seconds later, here we are at the Lebeda Mattress Factory. I’m willing to bet that that name is a little bit of a lie. I’ve got a feeling there’s no factory in there at all.
They now have futons. Thank God for that!
Is it me, or does this sign seem kind of threatening? I’m going to be half afraid to close my eyes tonight for fear of waking up to a substantial bill from the Lebeda Mattress Factory laying on my pillow when I wake up the next morning!
As you can see, redundancy looms large in the mattress world. Oh the things we learn at MBIP!
Okay, let’s go inside. Hey, is that a bear sleeping there on the door? Well, we all know that a bear shits in the woods, now know that after they take care of their bear-business, they dress up in pajamas and sleep at the Lebeda Mattress Factory.
I see plenty of mattresses, bedroom furniture and yes, futons—but no factory. Time to get all investigative journalist on Lebeda Mattress Factory’s ass!
Here’s Scott Hoffman, the manager of Lebeda Mattress Factory and he turned out to be a great guy and a good sport. You’d probably never guess it, but I can be a bit of a wise ass in person and Scott played along great. Plus he explained there is a Lebeda Mattress Factory, it’s just located in Iowa. Okay, fair enough. He also had a great theory about the four stores located on the same street within walking distance of each other. Scott likened it to streets that have auto dealerships next to each other and people can do comparison shopping easily. Check out the big brain on Scott! You're a smart motherfucker!
He also showed me an article that the PJ Star did about the four mattress stores written by MBIP pal, Steve Tarter. Shit, that son of a bitch scooped me! But I read the article and Steve missed the redundacy factor common in mattress stores and the fact that Mattress Firm sounds retarded, so I’ve got that going for me!
Scott said people are welcome to take a nap in here, so I did just that! Then I remembered that sign in the window: “Sleep Now...Pay Later...” so I got up and ran out in search of the next mattress store before Scott could charge me...
Which appears to be right up here. Either that or someone’s showing off their Halloween outfit a little bit early.
Uh, oh...another mattress factory, Verlo Mattress Factory. Time to put that investigative journalist hat on...oh wait, I don’t wear hats. Never mind.
Once again, lots of mattresses, but I don’t see a factory anywhere.
Here’s salesperson, Travis, along with the Mattress Man we saw outside. Is it me or does the Mattress Man look like he’s stoned on something? I think he’s been snorting bed bugs, but don’t quote me on that. What happens in Verlo’s stays in Verlo’s.
I asked Travis about the mattress factory and he told me to follow him through this door...
To the mattress factory! Holy shitballs, there is one in here! Pretty cool! Travis also told me that the store has been here for 23 years, making it the oldest mattress store on the block.
And not only is there a mattress factory in here, there’s free candy! If only there was free beer, I’d probably never leave.
But, alas, there’s no free beer, so we’re on our way to mattress store number four...
The Mattress Guyz. Okay, lots of problems here. First there’s the spelling of the name of the store. It’s bad enough they spelled Guys, with a “z” at the end, they’ve also used the moon in place of the “e” in Mattress. I didn’t major in English...okay, I didn’t even go to college, but I’m fairly certain you can’t replace a vowel with something from the solar system. It’s just plain wrong. Plus there’s all those signs crammed in the front window and then there’s...
This guy. How creepy is this fucking thing? One minute he’s standing at attention with a look on his face like someone just shoved a chicken up his ass and then...
He goes all double jointy on us. Like I said, creepy. If I was Mattress Firm I’d say it this way: Creepy. Creepy. Creepy.
I went in and met the manager, but I can’t get past the fact that they use a moon to replace a vowel. I’m half afraid that they’re going to start setting fire to midgets and use them as consonants, so I decide to bolt and go back to Mattress Firm and wrap this tour up. I’ve just about had enough.
And so it’s back we go, up the long and winding mattress road.
Well, I went back in, the sales guy called somebody and I was told that their corporate office doesn’t allow pictures to be taken. Can you say: “Avanti’s flashback?” Now can you say: “Corporate Fucking Weasels?” I knew that you could!
Okay, let’s sum up this tour: Lebeda Mattress Factory—This was probably my favorite stop on the tour, Scott was a fun guy to talk to and he didn’t even charge me for my nap; Verlo Mattress Factory—They’ve got an actual factory and free candy, if they add free beer, I’ll put them above Lebeda Mattress Factory, yes, I can be bought; Matress Guyz—Get a dictionary, learn to spell, realize that the moon is not a vowel and get rid of that creepy fucking orange thing in front of your building and last and certainly least: Mattress Firm—Corporate Fucking Weasels. Corporate Fucking Weasels. Corporate Fucking Weasels. See you all tomorrow!