April 27th, 2005

Fishy Circumstances

Sleep Country Invasion

When I first moved to Toronto and found a place to live, I need to buy a bed. Nothing else - the apartment I was moving into was otherwise more than fully furnished - just a bed. I found my place to live by sitting around the common room table in my department, asking fellow departmental members what intersections were near, which too far, and which safe for a city-newcomer to live in. They were fulsome in their assistance. When I needed a bed, the consensus was to send me to Sleep Country Canada.

I showed up at their King and Yonge showroom, and an enterprising salesman took me under his wing. I was after a bed somewhere between inexpensive and good quality, and found it on the third try. I went to up to the cash register to pay and arrange for delivery - and they said they had a promotion going. If I sang their jingle, they'd throw in two free pillows.

Their jingle? I'd never heard of the store before that day, let alone their jingle. The saleman was astonished. How could I not know their jingle? Was I sure I'd never heard it? I was absolutely sure. Amazed, he gave me the pillows anyway.

Within a month of waking up to a local radio station, I knew their jingle. It was ubiquitous. They advertise incessantly, emphasize their Canadianess, constantly have themed sales, and their perky founder laughing voices it all. But they are stealthy too. Sometime in the last week, a full-fledged Sleep Country store materialized on a street near me. I swear, the last time I looked, it wasn't there. It arrived sometime in the night while I was sleeping on a free pillow.