Nov 25, 2004

Godzilla vs. the Mighty Mattress Mite

by Biz Stone

Recently, I ordered a new bed from IKEA. I will be notified by the delivery company when they are ready to give me an approximate date of delivery. At that point I will know, give or take a few days, the general date when I can expect to have a bed. Except for the occasional business trip to a hotel, I have not slept in a bed for over a year. I've been sleeping like Persian royalty of yesteryear—on the floor.

Now, just because I ordered a bed, that does not mean I can sleep in it right away. I'll have to order a mattress and box spring. Hopefully, I will get that accomplished in a more expedient manner. The floor has its charms, of course, but I tire of the experience to the point where I long for the days when I caught my z's on an Aerobed.

Aerobeds are comfortable and they seem futuristic. Years ago, when I lived in Manhattan and worked at Xanga, I used an Aerobed as my permanent bed because I convinced myself that it was superior to an old-fashioned mattress. After all, its not filled with billions of mattress mites. Theoretically.

"Mattresses are heavy, cumbersome, and filled with all kinds of junk." I told myself. Imagined conspiracy theories left me with questions. "Why are you required to buy a 'box spring' to go with it? What is that supposed to be, a foundation? What a scam." Also, I once saw an exposé about mattresses alleging that they are often filled with all kinds of suspiciously recycled stuffings.

To their credit, Aerobeds are quite ingenious. They're made out of some kind of strong, lightweight, space-age polymer—you just press a button to inflate them and it’s really fun to lay on it while its inflating. Unless of course you're too busy with your social life or important things to try that, like me.

Late night television had me completely sold. I mean, Aerobeds are available in twin, full, or queen size and they come with a light-blue fitted mattress pad that says "aero" all over it. It takes only a minute to inflate—just plug it in and go. Once its inflated, you can adjust the firmness by touching a button that releases air slowly to your preference. The touch of a button!

I slept on an aerobed every night for more than a year. They deflate easily, just open the release hatch, roll it up, and stuff it inside the duffel bag that comes with it. The bag has a shoulder strap on it so you can sling it over your shoulder for an overnight trip or just hang it up in the closet. It was quite convenient for saving space in a two grand a month, four hundred square foot apartment.

Still, it was risky. There was always the looming threat—the potential piercing of the Aerobed was a real possibility. What might happen in the middle of the night? Visions of the Hindenburg disaster flickered through my dreams. I would wake up and tell myself. "Its okay, Aerobed comes with an emergency patch kit. And there's only nominal amounts of hydrogen molecules inside." Thankfully, I never had to worry about over-inflating. Some kind of automatic regulatory system addressed that issue.

The best thing about sleeping on the Aerobed was the knowledge that when Godzilla came to Manhattan to fight the giant Mattress Mite—inevitably causing a giant tsunami and deluging New York City—I could float to safety on my futuristic space mattress. The thing is, that never happened. What did happen was I moved to Los Angeles for a while and adopted Brewster (a cat). He popped that sucker and I never patched it.

Nowadays, its all neither here nor there. No longer do I concern myself with box spring conspiracies and this I know: When Godzilla comes to San Francisco he will be so busy wrecking the Golden Gate Bridge he'll be too winded to climb Potrero Hill. So I'll be safely sleeping in my Noresund. That's the name of the IKEA bed. Not futuristic, I know. However, it does sound kind of viking like. Which is nice.