Goldilocks stared at the big banner in the window of the Three Bears Mattress Company store.
“Try us, comfort guaranteed.”
Having missed a good night’s sleep for over a week, she didn’t hesitate and pushed open the door.
Studying her teenage fashion magazine, the girl at the reception counter never looked up as Goldilocks passed by. She stopped chewing her gum long enough to mutter, “Go ahead, look around. I’m here if you have questions.”
“Fat chance,” thought Goldilocks as she hurried past, eyes scanning the large showroom and what seemed like an infinite sea of mattresses.
* * *
It was an hour later when the three bear brothers returned from lunch. Miles, the oldest, who had enjoyed his usual meatloaf sandwich, queried the counter girl.
“What’s up, Celeste, sold any mattresses while we were gone?”
The girl looked up from her magazine and shrugged. She obviously had no future in sales, but she was the best hire the brothers could make quickly after their last receptionist had won the lottery.
Giles, the middle brother, rubbed his furry stomach contentedly. He’d really enjoyed the broccoli soup and steak sandwich special. Sure, these long lunches were noticeably expanding his girth, but he jokingly told his wife he was fattening up for hibernation.
Her retort was that urban bears no longer needed to hibernate. True, but Grandpa Bear had known all about hibernation. He’d come to the big city from the wilderness and started the family mattress business with the slogan, “Come to Bear Mattress, we know sleep.”
The company was now in its third generation and Junior, the youngest of the brothers and most financially astute, was the CEO. He was also the only brother who paid any attention to his diet, if only because his fiance, Brownie, was always nagging him about his weight. Today, he’d forced himself to endure another green salad with tuna and avocado. Looking around the store, something caught his eye in the far corner. He went to investigate.
Under the big “Our Bear Best” sign, three mattresses lay in disarray. Sure enough , someone had been trying them out. The California King was rumpled with tossed pillows and sheets. Beside it, the Standard King, was also a mess. Junior moved to the Queen size mattress which was covered with a mound of pillows and blankets. He noticed a pair of well worn sneakers at the foot of the bed. Gently lifting the corner of a blanket, he saw two feet clad in socks with holes in the heels. He softly set the blanket down and poked at the mound of covers.
Something moaned. Junior backed up in surprise. Then, poked again.
“Hey, cut it out, can’t you see I’m taking a nap?”
Max and Giles joined Junior as he pulled back a blanket to reveal a head of golden curls. a head which suddenly turned and snarled at them.
“What kind of clip joint is this? The sign out front says ‘try us” and that’s exactly what I’m doing!”
“Well of course,” stammered Junior, “take all the time you want.”
The awakened girl propped herself up on her elbows, “Is this an inner spring or foam mattress?”
“Foam,” replied Junior, quickly slipping into sales mode.
“Memory foam or not?”
“Memory, of course.”
“How many layers of foam?”
“Four, graded from firm at the bottom to soft on top.”
The girl pondered, “Nice. And how much for the Queen?”
“I’ll pay $500, not a penny more.”
Junior stroked his chin as his brothers watched a master in action. “You drive a hard bargain,” countered Junior.
“Take it or leave it, bear.”
“And where will we deliver the mattress?”
This seemed to stop the girl cold, there was no answer.
Junior continued, “Will that be cash or credit?”
Goldilocks came back to life, “You can’t deliver the mattress because I’m homeless and I can’t pay with cash or credit because I’m broke.”
She threw off the blankets and bent down to put on her shoes, then looked up and said, “But I’ve got to give you guys credit, this has been my best sleep in days. You’ve got an excellent line of merchandise. Your prices are reasonable but I think you could add to your profits by pushing your pillows and linens .”
With that, Goldilocks stood up and headed for the front door.
The three brothers looked at each other, smiled, then Junior called out-
And so Three Bears Mattress Company hired the most prolific salesperson in the history of the franchise. Franchise? Yes, due to Goldilocks’ spectacular success in selling mattresses and related wares, both in store and online, the company soon expanded to a profitable chain with outlets all across the Rocky Mountain West.
No, Celeste did not find fame and fortune as a fashion designer. Last seen, she was chewing gum and packing boxes at an amazon distribution center.
Moral: The truth shall set you free or, at least, it might get you a job in sales.