OSHKOSH, WI—Joyous tidings were trumpeted throughout the hamlets of central Wisconsin this week after 43-year-old Mattress King James Koepke III, Lord and Master of a vast bed and box-spring empire, selected Beth Lowery, a buxom, flaxen-haired maiden from the small village of Waukau, to be his bride.
The 36-year-old queen-to-be, red of cheek and unmarred by pocks or the great widening of the hindquarters endemic to females of the region, reportedly accepted the king's matrimonial offer without hesitation. The new queen will reign alongside the noble bedroom furnishings monarch, and together they shall rule the mattress kingdom, which spreads across four convenient locations in the Fox River Valley.
Following the royal proclamation, the Mattress King and his retinue reportedly celebrated with great relish amongst the citizenry at Tinker's Pub, where Wild Turkey and Miller High Life did freely flow until the early morning hours.
"I'm real happy for [King] Jimmy," said James' most trusted consul since high school, Sir Louis of Wilkinson. "This new one seems like a great gal. All's I gotta say is, it's about time!"
James III—the territory's unchallenged sovereign of discount prices on Sealy, Serta, King Koil, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses since his father, James II, became too enfeebled to run the empire in 1999—has been in search of a suitable queen ever since his last bride, Linda, the Great Bitch of Pewaukee, absconded in the night with a lowborn scoundrel from whom she was taking skiing lessons.
Though she was banished from James' sprawling split-level Oshkosh palace in 2002, the former queen was able to empty his vast coffers by half, leaving the Mattress King much embittered by romantic conquest for many years.
Sources close to the king said that he remained most dubious about his prospects of ever again finding true love until he was instantly smitten by the fair and reasonably chaste Beth of Waukau, a common serving wench at a local Applebee's.
In his great languishing for his beloved, the Mattress King reportedly could not rest his mighty head in slumber for nigh a fortnight, and supped at the simple chain tavern every day for a month, walking amongst his subjects as one of their own. At last, no longer able to contain his desire, His Highness summoned the courage to request that he be permitted to court her in the customary manner with an evening of bowling.
Though he cared for her deeply, King James at first did hide his noble birthright from Lowery, afraid that his lady love was indeed one of a roving pack of money grubbing whores that had befallen the area.
"I think Jimmy didn't tell her who he was because he got burned so many times in the past," said Kyle Osterberg, trusted ward of the king's fiefdom in Appleton's Fox River Mall. "He wanted Beth to love him for who he is as a person."
According to sources, the dirty-flaxen-haired Lowery finally discovered the king's true identity after seeing him in all his regal dress on a printed edict on the back of the Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper. In the full-color announcement, His Majesty declared himself insane due to the unheard-of discounts he was offering on all Simmons mattresses throughout his kingdom.
Soon after, the Mattress King asked for her hand, paying a handsome tribute to her parents in the form of a 25-percent lifetime discount at any of the franchises under his purview.
"Jimmy is such a great guy, and so much better than the other jerks Beth was always dragging home," said Melinda Lowery, the future Mattress Queen's mother, clearly still in awe of her daughter's unimaginable providence. "And [the queen's father] Clark [Lowery] and I just love our new mattress set."
Though the benefits of mattress royalty will be many, the new queen will not be without her sacred duties. From the day their union is formed, Lowery will be at her husband's side in the back office of the North Main Street location, where her most important charge will be balancing the royal checkbook, because, according to the king's decree, "she's got a great head for numbers."
The Mattress King and his betrothed will reportedly be wed this May, with a lavish reception for the local peasantry to be held at the Delmar Party House. Sources said that no expense will be spared for the wedding feast, where local delicacies will abound, including innumerable hot wings from Purcell's Bar & Grille.
The queen is expected to produce an heir to the throne in six and a half months.