Saturday, August 11, 2007


(Start 7/18/07)

Softy sat watching while Eliza tried out the pillow. He watched the tension lines leave her face and her smile move into a deep sleep. It had been a long hot day, so he decided to do a little shuteye himself. He was sure that he’d wake before Eliza.

The next thing he knew Eliza was shaking him. “Oh, where am I?” he said, startled.

“You must have dosed off. I’ve been trying your pillow. Here, take this. It is some good green tea. It should give you a little energy to get through the rest of the day.”

“Oh, that is so nice of you, ma’am. I guess I dosed off. No way for a pillow salesman to act.”

“It was so comforting to see someone relaxed in my home. My husband never sits still. He is always either eating or watching the tube. I love quiet.”

“How did you like the pillow? Am I going to have to paint your house?”

“The pillow is wonderful. How much is it? I’ll buy it.” Eliza said, imagining that it would just be $10 dollars or so.”

“Well, this is a very well-made pillow with a lot of bb.”

“Bb,” Eliza said, “what’s that?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. That’s pillow talk. Bb is bounce back. Some pillows are dead. You lay your head down on them and they never recover. Other pillows, like this one, wake up with you and recover their original shape.”

“Ok, I’ll take it. Whatever it costs. I need to sleep like I did on this pillow.”

“Will that be cash or check?”

“Do you take credit cards? And how much is the pillow?”

“I can take your credit card numbers and process it when I get home. But there is a discount for cash.”

“How much is the pillow?”

“Let me tell you a story,” Softy said, getting a little too slimy for my taste. “It is not the price of the pillow that should concern you. It is the price of insomnia. Nothing worst that tossing and turning all night because you can’t lay down your head. This pillow gives much more than it takes, if you know what I mean.”

Eliza is starting to want to throw Softy out and his pillow. She raises her voice and says, “tell me, for the last time, how much is the pillow?

“For you, ma’am, only $149.”

“$149, for a pillow! My mother-in-law would never stop laughing. I can’t spend that for a pillow.”

Softy started toward the door, but then turns around. He’s pulled this move many times.

“Ma’am, I understand your anticipated of ridicule. But actually when your mother-in-law sees the lines disappear from your face she’ll want what you have.”

“But I can’t spend that amount of money on a pillow.”

“I understand that ma’am. You and your husband will fight over who sleeps on the pillow. There are some couples that actually share these pillows, because the pillows are so large. But here’s what I’ll do for you. Remember that I’m here on Earth to give a good night’s sleep. That is why I wake up with a smile on my face each morning.”

“So what’s the deal?” Eliza said.

“I’m not a very good salesman, ma’am. I care too much for my customer. How about you buy one pillow for $149 and I give you another pillow for your husband free?”

“But that still is too much money.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.” Softy said, remember a technique from his Verbal Aikido for the Salesman workshop that he took years ago.

“I notice that you are home. Looking at how you are dressed, I suspect you don’t work. Is that correct, or am I getting too personal?

“What are you getting at?”

“Will, I have a proposition for you ma’am. I’ll give you the two pillows for $149. And I’ll give you a third pillow to loan to your mother-in-law. If she wants to buy it, we’ll split the money 50-50. And then I’ll give you another pillow to sell. Some day when your husband is out of town, you could have a slumber pillow party with your friends. You’ll be earning hundred or even thousands dollars a week.”

Eliza’s eyes lit up. A purchase that was going to make a serious dent in your grocery money will now actually give her enough money to get that red stripped dress she eyed at Macy’s.

“Oh, it is a deal.”

“Wonderful. I’ll bring the pillows later this afternoon. Of course, I’ll need $75 as a deposit, though. That is the cash price since you are doing the two-for-one deal.”

“Sure, just hold on a minute.” Eliza goes to her cookie jar and gets the money. She then gives it to Softy, counting it out slowly. 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75.

“We are now partners,” Softy says.