'I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinion I have no respect.' - Gibbon
Some young newlyweds bought their first marriage bed from The White Elephant. It was one of those heavy, carved oak, Eastlake Victorian affairs with the tall 7' headboard and rolled footboard. The bride was smitten with that bed the instant she spotted it. I saw her motion excitedly to her husband to come join her rapture. He took one look at the price tag, made a face and turned away.
As happens all the time, I watched the bride set about cajoling and finally convincing her groom to purchase her hearts desire.
While the husband went to get their vehicle, the young wife gushed over the bed. It was just what she'd always wanted. Wasn't it beautiful? Wasn't it romantic?
Together the young man and I got the headboard outside. It weighed a ton. I looked around but didn't see the truck, just a little sub compact pulled up to the curb. I thought it was a not-to--funny joke when he voiced his intention of strapping the headboard to the top of that pee-wee mobile.
'You aren't serious? There's no way you're going to get 40 miles down the road with this bed, strapped to that car, in one piece. You need a truck.'
The groom became agitated. He muscled the headboard away from me and onto the top of the car (which promptly went concave). He was obviously intent on getting the bed home - that night!
'Listen. It's simple physics. The air currents....'. He cut me off, continuing his bungy job. 'Hey. What's it to you? It's MY bed. I'll handle it.' The bride, who wore a worried expression assured me, 'We'll go slow'.
I tried to appeal to her common sense. 'Even if you go 10 miles an hour your bed is going to be some expensive kindling long before you get to the belt way at which point, if you're going 10 miles an hour, you'll be road kill anyway.'
The guy flipped me the mental bird with his dirty look as they got in the car. I took the girl's arm in a last ditch effort, 'When your dream bed makes like a Frisbee, and it will, it could kill someone behind you.' She looked from her new husband to the bed, to me and back to the husband, starting, 'Honey, maybe we should....'
'Get in the car,' the impatient groom finished for her. She gave me a shrug as they drove off.
The following week I was talking to some fellow shopkeepers who came out from Washington on week-ends. One of them started a 'retail-tale'. Last weekend, on the way into town we passed this couple dodging traffic on Route 50 like madmen! They almost got themselves killed several times. We wondered what they were doing. Then, on the way home we noticed this big pile of wood by the road where they'd been. It's still there. Some kinda post is sticking up from the middle of it. What's that all about? Got a clue?'
I had to laugh, I'm sorry. I guess the newlyweds never slept on their first real bed. But I'll bet 'ya the groom got to spend a couple of nights on the couch!
From 'Tattletales of The White Elephant' by Leslie Broockman