Humor Fiction posted February 11, 2024

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I tore the tag off my pillow

Am I A Criminal?

by T B Botts

 I was making my bed today. Actually, I was changing the sheets before I made it. While the pillow case was off, I noticed the tag that hangs off pillows and mattresses. It's really like an official government notice that warns you not to remove the tag under penalty of law. Really? What, are there pillow police? If I remove the tag, will a couple guys in trench coats, fedoras and dark glasses show up on my doorstep? What is the fine for removing the tag from a mattress? Is it higher than the fine for taking the tag off a pillow? Why do they even put it there? Can you imagine ripping off the tag and thoughtlessly tossing it into the bathroom waste can, and the next day the feds show up?
Picture this if you will- you're drinking your second cup of coffee in your easy chair. Its 8:30 on a Tuesday morning. You're watching the news and getting royally pissed off by the latest blunder by our leaders. The doorbell rings and you look at your wife quizzically. She wasn't expecting anyone, and neither were you.  Maybe it's one of the neighbors wanting to borrow a cup of sugar. You reluctantly get out of your chair when it becomes apparent your wife isn't moving. As you stand, you check your fly. The old saying- it pays to advertise, is funny in the company of your friends, but  you're not sure who's on the other side of the door. You open the door and two feds are standing on your front porch, looking stern.
"Hello, Mr. Botts?"
"Mr. Thomas Botts?"
"Yes, that's me. Who the heck are you and what do you want?"
"Sir, my name is Agent Bildock, and this is my partner, Agent Flannery. We're with the United States Division of Pillows and Mattresses. It's come to our attention that you tore the tag off a Serta Sleep Comfort pillow- Extra Firm. Can you confirm you own such a pillow sir?"
"Yes I do, but I don't see how that's any of your business. How did you even know about the tag? Are you guys in the plane I hear flying over the neighborhood after I go to bed? That's really irritating, I have to tell you. Also, if you have any clout with the Serta people, let them know that the Extra-firm isn't that firm at all. After about a week of sleeping on it, it starts to flatten out."
"Sir, judging by the size of your head, I suspect that what you describe is known in the business as Fat Head Syndrome, but we're not here about that. If you bothered to read the tag on your pillow, you would realize that the government frowns on its citizens ripping important documents off bed related items."
"BUT IT'S MY PILLOW! Why does the government care about what I do with it?"
"Mr. Botts, we're the government. We care about everything that happens to our citizens. If you get into a pillow fight and feathers fly as a result, we care. If your blanket is washed in warm water and dried on the heavy duty cycle in the dryer so that it starts to pill, we become very concerned. If your mattress starts to sag, or unsightly stains appear on the surface, we don't ask how that happened, but we do take notice."
"Wow, I had no idea the government cared about me so much. Does it matter what kind of sheets I use?"
"Sir, don't be ridiculous. While the government considers white cotton, 800 thread count, with no elastic on the bottom sheet, the industry standard, you, of course, can choose whatever color or type you like; cotton, bamboo, silk, it's up to you. Should you want to have printed sheets or pastel colors, we don't judge your choice.
"Wow, that's good to know. I don't want to get on the bad side of the government. So, what am I supposed to do about the pillow tag?"
Agent Bildock reached into his front jacket pocket and produced a new government warning tag.
"Take this and have it sewn on the tagless pillow, then fill out the forms I'm giving you, entering the hour and day the tag is replaced. Send it in the envelope provided to you by the Division of Pillows and Mattresses. You have seven days to reply. If the paperwork isn't in the office by 4:00 PM next Tuesday, you'll be hearing from us. It won't be pleasant." They turned and walked down the steps and were almost to the driveway when I remembered something.
"Agents, wait! When my pillow gets too old and flat, what do I do with it?"
Bildock smirked and looked at Flannery before addressing me. "Sir, you take it to the local fire station and fill out a report. It will be burned, just like the national flag. Have a good day sir."
I closed and locked the door and put the paperwork and tag on the kitchen counter, thankful that I didn't get hauled away in cuffs for my serious infraction.


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