One Stop Shopping

State Historical Society of Wisconsin/Hometown USA

You mean I can get some grasscloth wallpaper for the bathroom and also address my uncle’s undertaking needs? Sign me up.

Sounds odd that Rau’s store in Beloit, Wisconsin would specialize in such varied options until you realize the cabinet maker also had a talent for constructing coffins.

Dog Beds For People

I don’t know if this happens to y’all, but many is the time I’ve passed an aisle of plush dog beds (at Target or Ross or PetSmart) and thought, Dang, that looks pretty comfortable. But then I look at the tag of $39.99 and I’m all Oh, no, Sir. Fact is, we tossed all our dog beds long ago because our dogs stay outside. They are shedders, and I keep a clean house, to the extent that when Stanley Steamer came a couple weeks ago, they said ours was the cleanest carpet they’d ever seen. And it’s eight years old!

Anyway, the point is, if I weren’t so hellbent on order and rules, I might just take one of my cushy couch cushions and fling it on the floor as a makeshift dog mat myself. But that is not how civilized people comport themselves. We do not sit on floors.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was flipping through a fantastic book, The Image Makers, and came upon this sight.

Rudolph Valentino, 1924
Rudolph Valentino, 1924

Yes, that’s Valentino himself, The Sheik, the silent film star, sitting on a perfectly good dog mat. But I guess when you’re wearing an Asian outfit, you sit on the floor like Japanese people do when they eat.

That makes my back hurt, just looking at it. Oh, my lumbar! But I tell you what. I think I see a dog bed right there under that jacket.

And while we’re on the subject of beds, let’s talk Valentino’s marital bed. In 1919, he married actress Jean Acker, who just happened to be involved in an all-gal love triangle with actresses Grace Darmond and Alla Nazimova. Acker self-servingly married Valentino to hit control-alt-delete on that threesome, but evidently wanted no part of his body and locked him out of their room on their wedding night. The marriage was never consummated. Not even in a dog bed.

Turns out he died at 31, after surgery for appendicitis and gastric ulcers. I’m not going out like that, just so you know. When the public found out, rioting ensued. People committed suicide. No lie! Over 100,000 folks lined the streets to view his body. Like this lady.


That’s crazy, right? Pretty fancy coffin/deathbed. And speaking of fancy, check out Toto…

I’m sorry, but unless that dog poops gold coins, I can’t see how he needs that. And honestly, it really defeats the purpose of having a mobile dog bed, something to toss all devil-may-care wherever you like. You already know my back hurts. If I’m ponying up big money for a dog bed, there better not be wood involved. It better be all cushion. Or better yet, just like this:

The Princess And The Pee\

This is all well and good if you don’t have to get up twice nightly to pee.  I would worry my child would fall out the opening at the top and tumble down the steps to a painful injury.  Even the bottom bunk looks painful.  I’d throw my hips out just trying to crawl up into it, and then there’s no doubt my ankles would graze those drawer knobs at the bottom and bruise me up.  And what about changing the sheets on laundry day?  That would certainly tax the lower back.  I bet it gets warm and humid in there as well, with no ventilation on the sides.  And what if she has a nightmare and bolts upright, only to bump her head on that ceiling light?  Really, this is more trouble than it’s worth.

To Everything (Turniture! Turniture! Turniture!)

You know you want this.  Toss this into your hatchback, head to the park, and bam–a picnic.  Flip it over and bam–a playpen.  Go back home, lob it on its side, and serve your friends up some Amaretto Sours in style.  Later, after the guests leave, strap your mod boots on and rock and rock and rock.  Now that’s what I call a Good Friday.

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