SAN FRANCISCO, CA—There are many exciting things to do in San Fransisco. One can enjoy exquisite sushi, sit at home and watch half-decent movies, and, of course, shop for mattresses. On a street in downtown San Fransisco, posters for brands such as Tempurpedic, Stearns & Foster, and Snuggle Home, plaster shop windows from top to bottom. On this street, dubbed Pea Avenue (referencing the popular Disney film Princess and the Pea), countless visitors browse shops such as Supreme Discount Mattress Outlet and Buy Cheap Sleep Things Here.
One store was run by a young man named Tunde. “That mattress is cheaper, but this one reclines when you press a button on the remote. Thanks to innovative vibration technologies, you wake up feeling like you slept on a cloud,” Tunde told a customer. When asked how much the Cloud Mattress Deluxe was on sale for, Tunde explained that although the mattress was 40% off, Tempurpedic no longer produced the model, and it is worth more than your everyday reclining mattress. However, as he seemed eager to get across, “The batteries are included in the remote.”
In a second shop, A slightly older man named Jim stood behind the counter. “My store offers nothing but the best mattresses, sofas and bunk beds. I have the broadest selection in the area,” Jim excitedly boasted. To be clear, Jim seemed reluctant to explain, “The area” included his storefront and the one adjacent to it, which actually didn’t sell mattresses at all, but was a Japanese restaurant with a low health rating.
Jim seemed fixed on the idea that his shop, Supreme Discount Mattress Outlet, offered much better mattresses than Deluxe Delight Mattresses, Tunde’s storefront. When asked to expand on his statement, he angrily explained his resentment. “I used to work there,” he told reporter Dan Wastetimer. “Those bastards fired me for sleeping on the job. How could I have helped it? The new Sleepmonster 2000 had just come out, so I sat down for a minute to test it out, and holy cow that thing is comfortable.” Jim went on to explain that the Sleepmonster 2000 was almost immediately taken off the market due to the fact that it had sparked thousands of affairs, and was being used in Russia as a sedative preceding illegal surgeries.
Countless visits to similar stores all proved the same irrefutable truth: the mattress industry is a ruthless, bitter market. Employees move from store to store like major-league basketball players, and shops bribe brands to give them an early supply of the latest releases. It is undeniable, given this evidence, that stores such as these are, ruthless as they may be, the backbone of the global economy.