Where Are Today's Mattress-Sales Visionaries?

Top Headlines

Business

Listerine Introduces New Mouth Styling Gel

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Announcing that consumers no longer need to settle for plain, drab dental features, Johnson & Johnson unveiled its new line of Listerine mouth styling gels Wednesday.

Executive On Hot Streak With 2 Straight Logical Decisions

CHICAGO—Saying the impressive display of business sense came entirely out of nowhere, employees of public relations agency Davidson Communications confirmed Wednesday that CEO Donald Marshall was on an absolute hot streak after making two straight logical decisions.

McDonald’s Turns 75

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the McDonald’s restaurant chain, which was founded in 1940 as a Southern California barbecue joint and has since expanded to more than 35,000 locations across the globe. Here are some highlights from the company’s history

Corporate Wellness Programs

Following in the footsteps of Google’s new employee meditation program, companies across the country are introducing more wellness initiatives aimed at keeping health care costs down and boosting worker productivity.

The Pros And Cons Of Open-Plan Offices

More companies are remodeling offices to incorporate open-plan layouts in an effort to save money and encourage collaboration, though many employees complain that the setup eliminates privacy and makes it hard to concentrate.

Walmart Vows To Defend Whichever Gays Buy Their Cheap Shit

BENTONVILLE, AR—Despite Governor Asa Hutchinson’s refusal to sign a controversial religious freedom bill that seemed to permit businesses to discriminate against homosexuals, officials from Arkansas-based retailer Walmart announced Wednesday t...

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Fast Food Customers Less Appealing Than In Commercial

GREENVILLE, SC—Expressing his disappointment shortly after sitting down for lunch at a local franchise location Wednesday, area man Peter Strauss told reporters that the customers at Burger King were actually far less appealing in real life than the...

Pfizer Mercifully Puts Down Another Batch Of Trial Patients

NEW YORK—Following unforeseen complications during a trial of the company’s new cholesterol medication Lipodrin, researchers at pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer said they were forced to put down another batch of test patients out of mercy Fr...

Benadryl Introduces New Non-Drowsy Allergy Dart

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Promising consumers rapid relief from seasonal allergies without any drowsiness, Johnson & Johnson announced the release Friday of Benadryl Pierce, a new blowgun-administered antihistamine dart that will soon be available in dr...

Timeline: The Collapse Of RadioShack

Electronics retailer RadioShack filed for bankruptcy after 94 years in business, ultimately unable to keep up with consumers’ shift to the wireless and digital technologies of the internet age.

Company To Experiment With Valuing Employees

SAN DIEGO—Cautioning that the initiative was being instituted on a trial basis only, Forrest Logistics CEO Wayne Gartner announced Thursday that the company had recently begun experimenting with valuing its employees.

Most Controversial Super Bowl Commercials

The commercials airing during the Super Bowl each year have become incredibly popular in their own right, and nearly every broadcast seems to include at least one ad met with criticism from audiences, media critics, and others.

The Pros And Cons Of Fracking

Gas prices are plummeting across America thanks in part to the country doubling its daily oil exports, which is made possible by chemical fracturing technology that scientists have said wreaks havoc on the environment.

KFC, Midas Team Up For Much-Anticipated Crossover Meal

LOUISVILLE, KY—Saying the new product brings together the best that two of America’s most trusted brands have to offer, fast food giant KFC and automotive service chain Midas introduced their long-awaited crossover meal, the Road Bucket, this ...

Corporate America Shaken By Death Of Longtime Consumer

CHARLESTON, SC—Expressing shock and an immense sense of grief, numerous high-ranking figures across corporate America were reportedly left shaken Friday after learning of the sudden death of longtime consumer Arthur Henderson. Executives within the ...

Boston Cruise Line Introduces New Whale Ramming Tour

BOSTON—Offering what they describe as an “unforgettable” opportunity to get “up close and personal” with the region’s marine life, sources confirmed this week that Boston-based cruise line Harbor Excursions has begun op...

Moronic Mailroom Worker Worked Way Down From CEO

NEW YORK—Marveling at just how far he has plummeted since taking charge of the company 18 years ago, moronic former CEO Douglas Kellerman regaled reporters Tuesday with the discouraging story of how he worked his way down to the mailroom of MetroCom...

Bank Of America Introduces New $50 Underdraft Fee

CHARLOTTE, NC—Saying the penalty will cover the costs incurred by the financial institution whenever a customer makes a withdrawal that results in a positive account balance, Bank of America introduced a new $50 underdraft fee Tuesday on all checkin...

Startup Very Casual About Dress Code, Benefits

AUSTIN, TX—Touting the business’s laid-back, nontraditional corporate culture, Go-Go Maps founder and CEO Mike Hannasch explained to reporters Thursday that his company is pretty casual when it comes to employees’ dress code and benefits...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Internet

Healthy Eating

Where Are Today's Mattress-Sales Visionaries?

After many nights spent tossing and turning, I broke down and bought a new mattress. Is it just me—pardon the pun—or has bedding sales lost its spring? Seriously, though, where have all the mattress-sales visionaries gone?

Time was, mattress salesmen were touched by the holy fire. Loony Lenny the Mattress Czar, Crazy Mattress Benny, Wacky Willy the Spring King: These were the top men in the sleep game, and they neared the ineffable. Mad Dog Mike would get so deranged before a year-end closeout, he'd foam at the mouth. Back then, shoppers knew the mental shortcomings of the man on top meant big, big savings on Sealy, Simmons, Serta, and Stearns & Foster.

Just try to get a modern mattress salesman to scream at you. With these guys, it's all courtesy, predictable prices, and an organized showroom. Where's the pizzazz? Where's the push? Their idea of the hard sell is following you around the store or handing you a pamphlet. The whole time I was shopping, I didn't have one salesman threaten to set himself on fire if I didn't buy a mattress from him in the next five seconds. Sure, in the '80s, you walked out of the store with a queen-size mattress when you wanted a twin, but you knew you had been in the presence of an artist. Not one of these jokers has the guts to make a crown out of bedsprings and dub himself the King of the Snooze.

The old timers were masters of the two M's: mattresses and the media. Commercials today focus on things like "wide selection" and "same-day delivery in many areas." Oh, how very responsible. Pardon me while I sip my latte and peruse the newspaper. Man, pros like Loony Lenny would stand in front of a blue screen and make you truly believe they'd be mauled by giant apes if they didn't sell every mattress in the store. When they got into a lab coat and commanded Pricezilla to crush that high mark-up, Pricezilla did as he was told.

Mattress sellers today may pay lip service to big holidays like President's Day, but what do they actually do? Give me Psycho Rick the Bedding Guru's Twelve Days of Mattress. Give me Institutionalized Wally's Box-Spring Rebellion Sale-A-Bration. Those guys didn't need the post office to close to put on the Uncle Sam suit. They did it for the thrill.

Remember Voice-Hearing Harry? The prices at his Mattress Barn were so low, it's a miracle he wasn't locked up. Now, that was a mattress store. So what if the mattress frames were recycled? You got what you paid for: an amazing experience. Sure, it wasn't pleasant when you got hit with a rubber chicken or pushed into a kiddy pool, but the brass band and the helium balloons made up for it.

Listen to me! Am I foolish to think there's still room for showmanship? Am I a throwback to a bygone era of a psychotic parachuting into a MattressLand parking lot wearing nothing but a wooden barrel and a smile? When people can just go online and buy a mattress with one click, why would they drive in heavy traffic to do business with a man in googly eyeglasses?

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I believe mattress salespeople should make giant spectacles of themselves on local TV, and when someone buys a king-size Serta mattress from them, they should toss in a box of steaks as a bonus. Unless a new generation comes in to fill the shoes of their forefathers, the art of mattress-selling is dead.

Next Story