Here’s how I think it started.
It was a cold rainy evening, early October, lets say 1876…cowboy times…yeah….cowboys….maybe not cowboys but people are on horses…picture a time when people would be regularly on horses and the general public wouldn’t be in awe of a person on a horse. Not like nowadays when people see a police officer on horseback and they have to take pictures and clap like a bunch of sea lions jacked up on antidepressants…. we’re in cowboy times….comfortable horse times.
An injured farmer sees the warming glow of a cabin in the distance, he limps towards it and gently raps on the front door.
a woman answers, stirring a large pot of stew, warm fire behind her…it’s the old timey days so she also hasn’t had a decent bowl movement in months, so she’s a bit on edge.
“Sorry to be a bother ma’me,” the scruffy Farmer mumbles with his hat to his chest. “But my horse got spooked, bucked me off in the woods, and left me for a bruised mess….do you mind if I tend to my wounds and rest a bit before I scurry on after him?”
“Oh not at all you poor soul,” the woman politely whispers. “Come on in I’ll get you a warm meal and a lay down.”
The man hobbles into the cabin.
“When you get your belly full of my sweet delicious low fibre stew, have a lay down on that there couch in the corner”
The man glares at an old couch in the corner he’s supposed to use as a bed.
“Not too be a bother ma’me, but my back is aligned in such a way that I need to sleep very wide….I need to spread myself out large so my bones reset as I sleep.”
The woman gently replies “I’m sorry it’s the best I can do at the moment…my husband wont return with our guest bed for another 3 days.”
later that night the man tosses and turns on the old couch unable to get completely comfortable…then he has an idea.
He gets up off the couch, snaps the couch in the centre, spreads it outwards, and opens it like a fresh encyclopedia.
He sleeps on the jagged couch remains in the position he desired, and drifts off to sleep.
The woman awakes the next morning to a broken couch….and a DEAD MAN.
After the initial shock of seeing a mangled mess of dead stranger on her broken couch, she is overcome with a wave of inspiration.
“From this day forward I will only buy couches that fold properly into beds…I swear to you, dead stranger, as God as my witness I, Janet Williamson Futon will market this product.”
And she did…and we are still plagued with it’s existence to this very day.
To label this article “Whats the DEAL with futons” would be all too obvious, and also all TOO accurate.
What REALLY is the DEAL with these horizontal spine melters we subject our friends and relatives to.
I write this article as a human with a library of experience on the subject of passing out on a futon.
Whether I’ve snored too loud and my girlfriend banishes me to the living room, or I’m visiting my parents, or I’m drunk at a house party I’m obviously way too old to be at, but at the time I was wearing a backwards snap back hat I stole from a Red Lobster lost and found so everyone thought I was first year “poli sci”,
futons are always there when you need them and when you need them you realize you’d be better off without them.
If you’re not familiar with the experience of sleeping on a transforming couch, grab an old bean bag chair, drape it over an old sewer pipe and try to get a full 8 hours of sleep.
Not only are futons terroristically uncomfortable, they’re always placed in areas of the house that guarantee maximum morning activity.
Futon in the living room guarantees everyone in the house will pass your open, gaping mouth sucking in the precious few minutes of sleep after hours of night time wrestling with the metal beast and it’s 800 plus “bumpy spots”. Any kids in the house will shove your mouth full of Playdo and if you’re lucky you’ll wake up to a cat planting it’s naked asshole on your face like a furry periscope.
If the futon is in the basement you’ll get to hear the symphony of the washer, dryer, and furnace as they click and hiss all night like you’re a personal assistant on set of a robotic porno, with special guest “Cat that stares at you as it relieves itself in it’s sandbox toilet in the corner” .
The design of the futon also makes it so every movement you make is greeted with a screech, squeak, or a nose bleed inducing thud.
Just when you think you’re comfortable the futon will check you back into reality and shift it’s weight entirely to one side, then roll you to the centre where the jagged metal barbed aluminum penis dwells beneath the saw dust and newspaper filled “mattress”.
As much as I hate futons I feel like they consciously don’t want us sleeping on them. Futons are probably the rejects of the couch community, and are outcasts of the bed society. They’re lonely, depressed and hated by all furniture conglomerates and all they want is to be left alone.
Which is evident when you want to finally move a futon.
Futons do not want to go anywhere.
The frame and mattress are designed to be a permanent fixture of wherever they were originally assembled. Like an old willow tree, if you try to up root it, it will disintegrate, shed all its limbs, and all you’re left with is a pile of old dead wood that smells like the farts of a million uncles.
The mattress changes shapes whenever you touch it making it impossible for a single person to transport it. Even with two people the giant semen stained fabric balloon will shift and slip like an angry toddler that doesn’t want to leave the county fair.
So what do you do if you have a futon. Ask it to leave? Just deal with it? Cover it in MORE old blankets you got at the flea market?
You do what that old injured farmer should have done in cowboy times.
You go home.
Have a nice big bowl of stew.
Then you burn your house to the ground and rejoice.
You dance in those ashes to send a message to all the other futons out there.
We will no longer put up with sleepless nights on jagged half couches.
No longer will we try to ignore crusty stains and nap face down in a crevasse of crumbs and loose back hair.
We will rise up, and we will make our relatives and loved ones sleep in heaps on the floor and they will wake up the next day saying “thank you for not subjecting me to a night atop a rejected puzzle from the movie Saw”.
And hopefully someday the futon will be all but an old wives tale of days past.
Elementary school students will gather in bathrooms with the lights off and whisper “futon” three times into a mirror in hopes that the legend of such an uncomfortable demon are not completely true.