On Thursday before my last drill weekend my wife started looking for a couple of twin mattresses and box springs for my two boys. We’re changing their sleeping arrangements. She found two for sale on KSL.com. A deal was struck. She and her mother showed up at the seller’s house with her dad’s pickup truck.
The seller rolled up his garage door to reveal a plethora of mattresses in heaps and rows filling his garage. There were the two twins on the front row.
But, lo and behold, a Certa King mattress presided over one corner of the stack.
“How much for that one?” my wife asked.
Because it had fallen on the ground at some point it was slightly smudged. For this reason, the seller said he would let it go for $95. An excellent price.
“I’d like to buy that one too,” says wife.
“Excellent,” says the seller.
“I only have the $100 dollars for the two twins but I can get you the other $95 later today.”
“Excellent,” again. Money was offered and received.
The two twins and the King, sadly, would not all fit in the pickup my wife and her mother had brought.
“Not to worry,” says the seller. “I will deliver all three tomorrow and you can give me the $95 for the king then.”
“Wonderful,” says my wife. “Thank you so much.”
“No problem,” says the seller.
The next day, Friday, comes and goes with many phone calls between wife and seller but no delivery. Wife starts to get a little nervous because she has paid $100 but has no mattresses.
By Saturday night the seller has stopped returning wife’s calls. Wife calls me, distraught. She is half-convinced Seller is ripping her off but, as always, extends the benefit of the doubt.
I encourage her to keep trying to get the seller to deliver the mattresses but to, meanwhile, give me seller’s address. She does and tells me that she intends to inform the seller that I, her husband, am coming to get the money back.
I explain to her why this is a bad idea. She reluctantly agrees.
20 minutes later I knock on the seller’s door and no one answers. As I am standing there, wife calls to tell me that she has gotten hold of the seller and he has promised to deliver the mattresses within the hour.
“Excellent.” I say and I leave the seller’s darkened house, and return to my domicile. I have had 2 hours of sleep in the last 48 at that point.
The seller does not deliver the mattresses within the hour, or at all.
Distraught, Kristina looks the seller up online. He has a reputation.
Sunday morning dawns and time passes. Over lunch I and three of my teammates stop by the seller’s house.
He answers the door this time, in an excellent mood. “The National Guard!” he says, smiling. “To what do I owe the honor gentlemen?” He is a very tan individual, with white hair to his shoulders, a gold chain around his neck and tanned bare feet. Behind him there are three boys, possibly his sons.
I smile back at him and shake his hand. “Hi. My name is Ethan Skarstedt. I believe you know my wife, Kristina?”
His eyes unfocus just a touch while he thinks about this. Then his face falls the tiniest fraction and his eyes dart to the three men standing behind me.
Cheeriness slightly forced now, “Oh, yes, of course. The mattresses.”
Still smiling I say, “Yes, that’s right, the mattresses.”
“Would you like me to deliver them today?”
Behind me, one of my teammates, who knows the whole story, stifles a laugh.
I do not laugh. I simply say, “No, we’d just like the $100 back, please.”
Seller says, “But, the king…didn’t she want that one too?”
I say firmly, “No, the deal’s off. We’d just like our money back, please.”
His eyes dart again to the three men behind me. “Sure, sure. No problem man.”
He pulls out his wallet which is stuffed with hundreds, teases one out and hands it to me.
“Thank you very much,” I say. We tromp off his porch and back out to the car.
Once we’re inside one of my friends says, “Did he really just offer to deliver the mattresses again?”
“Yes, yes he did.” We all laugh.