Friday, 4 November 2011

Sofa Bed or Loaf of Bread-Part I

The flexibility of the sofa bed, and I don't just mean its folding ability but also its home usage as desk, bed, sofa and cutting surface for vegetables, is wonderfully depicted in this illustration of these two men conducting a business meeting. Notice the man standing keeps his trench coat firmly closed and belted to assure the other man that no homosexual advances will be made, at least over the course of the meeting, a standard practice in the home business office where sofa beds are involved. Even with a drink in hand and shoe removal during document perusal. After the meeting it's anyone's ballgame, social barriers may break down and anything can happen, including even the arrival of one of the mens' wives, in which case a threesome might be involved or a cuckolding situation that may or may not include the use of an anteater, stopwatch, socket wrench, lip gloss and a little Shostakovitch on the boom box while one man weeps and the other whoops for joy as heavenly bliss is achieved. Either way, the sofa bed has provided a sanctuary, not only for doing business but as a convenient place for a busy businessman to kick off his shoes, kick back and enjoy a good book on the mating habits of marmots of the Pacific Northwest while throwing down a Mai Tai on the rocks.
It is my aim in this posting to right a wrong that has been perpetuated in sofa bed history and left a man's dreams shattered, his reputation tarnished and his life in ruins even though he's dead, but he was pretty broken up and depressed by the time he hit the grave. Which is no way to meet your maker if you ask me. Am I talking about the true discoverer of penicillin, an unsung hero of World War I, a gentle nun who devoted her life to lepers in the Lesser Antilles or the inventor of Brylcreem? No, I am not. The focus of this wrongdoing is the sofa bed, or hide-away as some call it, that ubiquitous piece of furniture that many take for granted and yet has afforded such peace and restfulness for weary travelers and uninvited guests over the years who beg, plead and often times offer to shave any part of your body you feel needs shaving, including difficult toe or knuckle hair, in exchange for a sofa bed to lay their heavy heads on for the evening. And it is the inventor of this miraculous device that is part furniture, part boudoir accessory, that has gone unnoticed to this day, the credit given to another man who rode the coattails of this true genius and garnered the fame and accolades while the real originator withered away, his socks unwashed and his cardigan stained with the tears of ingratitude and gorgonzola cheese. So, behold the man and the mind that thought up such an invention, which in the annals of 20th century history is second to none except, perhaps, for the Invisible Liftee Shoe Height Pad.
The Invisible Liftee Height Pad gets no complaints from me when it comes to a deserving place in invention history, but being taller means nothing in the end if you don't have a place to rest your head after all the dancing you've done earlier in the evening. And ten-to-one that girl you were cutting the rug with will be bringing you back to her place for a little tete-a-tete or making-the-beast-with-two-backs, a wristwatch and lint-covered breath mint, on her sofa bed, no less.
Yossi Blitzen may seem an unprepossessing man but his ingenuity and dogged determination to invent, in his own words, "the greatest thing since sliced white bread," was not some unfounded and whimsical dream of a crazy man but rather a cold-blooded and calculated endeavour designed to revolutionize the furniture industry and the way we look at sofas until the earth itself ends.
Yossi Blitzen, the real inventor of the sofa bed, here pictured with another of his marvelous inventions, The Regurgitating Mailbox, meant to dissuade the postman from leaving junk mail. A small sensor inside alerted the homeowner that the mailman was at the box and the homeowner, using either a keen eye or binoculars or both, would scan the mail for leaflets, pamphlets or flyers and if any of the offending items were spotted, the homeowner, with a simple press of a button, could trigger the mailbox to disgorge a series of smaller boxes, many disassembling midair, creating a kind of shrapnel effect striking the mailman in the head, face and around the shoulders and chest area. Unfortunately, various pending lawsuits put this invention on the back-burner.
It's not just coincidence that Yossi Blitzen would mention creating something to surpass the invention of sliced white bread, because it was exactly this substance that was used for building the prototype of his first sofa bed. Crippled by debt from the lawsuits over his Regurgitating Mailbox, Yossi turned to this most humble of substances, and yet a substance that personified the backbone of America itself, because it was all he could afford to pursue his dreams of fabricating a piece of furniture that would take the country by storm. Sadly, once the finished product rolled off the assembly line, it was not Yossi Blitzen but instead, Muncie Hifflesteen, that would get all the credit for this fabulous invention.
Muncie Hifflesteen, entrepreneur extraordinaire and human vermin to all the true sofa bed historians of the 20th century. Here he is, photographed on the day of his induction into the Sofa Bed Hall of Fame, wearing his specially designed anti-germ suit and holding a Frisbee, two other inventions he stole and claimed credit for himself. A true pioneer of sleazy business practices, and yet he was adored by women, loved by children and even the most vicious of dogs was known to lick his hand although the Frisbee smeared in beef tallow might've helped.
How could such a calamitous situation and unfortunate set of circumstances occur in the first place, you might ask? If you haven't asked then you are a bigger fool than my neighbour, Voltar, who spent $75 on a guinea pig cloning machine only to find out it was a food dehydrator and his beloved beast, Nunzio, was turned into some dessicated, hardened thing before his very eyes. I can still hear its squealing to this very day as it was subjected to the dehydrating rays. Anyway, back to this tale of woe. Due to the mounting debts from the various lawsuits against him because of damages inflicted upon persons suffering from the Regurgitating Mailbox, Yossi Blitzen, after having built his first sliced bread sofa bed prototype, was forced to look for outside funding to complete his sofa bed project. Enter the nefarious but always charming Muncie Hifflesteen. The two men struck a deal in which Muncie offered both money and his factory to build Yossi Blitzen's dream sofa machine in a mass production setting, and all Muncie Hifflesteen asked in return was a 35% cut of the profits. But when Yossi turned his back, which he often did when the sun was too bright or some wood chips flew off the lathe or one of the spring assemblies flew apart, Muncie Hifflesteen, with the aid of his team of devious double-dealing lawyers running a legal subterfuge, patented the sofa bed invention for himself, claimed complete control over its manufacturing and took all the profits, not to mention basking in the glory and enjoying the parades thrown in his honour when the sofa bed was released to the public. 
Muncie Hifflesteen, enjoying the affections of some of his admiring lady friends at a Sofa Bed Parade. The serviceman's outfit he's wearing was stolen, just like all his ideas, from some poor veteran in the old folk's home. Muncie wore the uniform on many occasions to impress the men and lady folk alike and liked to claim he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, but the only bulge he battled was the one in his pants, which resulted in him fathering fifty-seven children with thirty different women, all the kids ending up in the orphanage while Muncie continued to enjoy sofa bed fame and fortune.
Needless to say, Yossi Blitzen was crushed and with no money, had no choice of recourse, no lawyers to hire, nothing to right the wrong of Hifflesteen's diabolical deed. To add insult to injury, Blitzen's wife, disgusted by his business failings, left him for the mailman, the very one injured by the Regurgitating Mailbox (which really adds a whole new dimension to the "insult to injury" phrase), even though the mailman had been horribly disfigured by the incident and had to have his two big toes grafted onto the sides of his face to replace his missing cheeks. It so happened that Yossi Blitzen's wife, Millicent Blitzen, was a foot fetishist and with the mailman's new facial reconstruction, she could now suck on some toes without having to get down on her hands and knees, which turned out to be fortuitous for her and the mailman but didn't help Yossi Blitzen's situation in the least. He moved into a wigwam at the Wigwam Motel, humiliated, cuckolded, devastated, emasculated and forced to live in a fiberglass teepee after pawning his wedding ring and commemorative Bikini Atoll Atomic Bomb Testing cufflinks.
Yossi Blitzen's last place of residence before his unfortunate and untimely death. His wigwam was the second from the left, right behind the chain-link fence. In fact, he was using pieces from the chain-link fence to redevelop a whole new approach to the sofa bed but was found out by the management one night with a wire-cutter in his hand and was facing eviction from his wigwam at the time of his passing.
He eventually found a job shampooing dogs at a local kennel but was bitten by a crazed Shih Tzu, contracted rabies and both he and the dog had to be put down. Yossi Blitzen is buried in a pauper's grave out by a shellac factory with no one to remember his name or decorate his tombstone with old bed springs. His wife, Millicent, after his death, married the mailman and became a podiatrist but her license was revoked when she was caught sucking on her pastor's toes. The pastor was excommunicated and he, Millicent, and the mailman formed a polygamous marriage near an old bomb testing site in Nevada and the last anyone heard of them they had set up a mail-order bride business specializing in Russian women with enormous feet, ready and willing to leave their footprint on the American dream, and soil, so to speak.
Leaving a footprint on American soil Soviet style, as this image from Millicent's big-footed Russian mail order bride catalog expounded to slobbering young American men from Omaha to Oahu.
They also started up a radioactive jams and jellies cottage industry using fruit from a nearby stunted orchard that had sprouted in the waste. As for Muncie Hifflesteen, he was shot to death by an enraged husband after he was caught in flagrante delicto with the man's wife who tracked them, ironically, to the very same wigwam motel where Yossi Blitzen met his end. Muncie was wearing a feathered headdress, loincloth and was whooping with ecstasy over the naked Mrs. Florbis, whose body he had rubbed down with beef tallow beforehand in preparation for the orgiastic festivities, when the husband barged in and shot Muncie in the chest. Apparently Muncie's last words were, "Make sure this headdress gets back to the costume rental company before they ding me for the full price," or something to that effect before he fluttered away into the great beyond. Was justice served? Did Muncie Hifflesteen receive his just desserts after bilking Yossi Blitzen out of what he truly deserved, along with all the fame and fortune that accompanied such an incredible invention? No. Of course not, I state most emphatically, and I'd state it again except my mouth is a little dry from the day-old pastry my landlady, Mrs. Grabowsky, gave me in exchange for cleaning Mr. Feeley, her cat's, litter box. It's a little deal we worked out and if it wasn't for Mr. Feeley's excessive defecation (he's old and I believe has irritable bowel syndrome along with some bladder control problems), I wouldn't have any pastry at all to brighten my day. 
All over America scenes like this were played out again and again with people enjoying sofa bed comfort, oblivious to the fact that it was all made possible by a man wasting away in a fiberglass wigwam.
But that day-old pastry gave me a brainstorm and I'm pleased to announce that I have arrived at a plan to avenge Yossi Blitzen's senseless death and bring him back from obscurity to his rightful place in sofa bed history. Words alone cannot accomplish this and so I plan to replicate Yossi Blitzen's first sofa bed prototype made from sliced white bread and for which I have found the blueprints. I'm currently gathering the bread from various sources that I don't wish to make public, due to the fact the early morning grocery delivery drivers might beat me up. Then I merely have to wait for the white bread to get stale and moldy, the better to support a human body, both sitting and reclining and then I will send that miscreant, Muncie Hifflesteen, back to the bowels of sofa bed purgatory and bring honour once again to the Blitzen name, if not for Yossi, then at least for his children, of which he didn't have any but if he did they would be proud of their father if they existed in the first place. So stay tuned for Part II of Sofa Bed or Loaf of Bread because, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, except this pudding is like a bread pudding and comes complete with cushions and springs and offers a restful night's sleep without getting any pudding in your ears or sinus cavities.

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