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In another mattress store we found Jerry -- an octogenarian. He didn't get up from his desk when we entered his store. Instead, he waved both his hands in the manner of an elderly Italian woman warding off the vapors and shouted from the far side of the cavernous showroom, "Go on, lay around the place!" Eventually he made his way over to where David and I were bouncing back and forth between two mattresses.

"This one has miracle foam," said Jerry, pronouncing the word "miracle" as "meer-ah-cahl." Jerry had his spiel too, but coming from an amusing old type "B," it was endearing. Within ten minutes I was writing a check while Jerry, who had already pulled out his license to prove his age and shown us pictures of his house, gave unsolicited tips on how to make a relationship last. "If I didn't have this job to go to," he said with a sparkle in his eye, "my wife would have thrown me out a long time ago."

"I'm feeling a little guilty about Bob," I told David while driving home. "It's just... I didn't like him, you know?"

David nodded in agreement.

"It's true what they say," I added. "People don't sell things . They sell themselves. And I'd rather buy Jerry than Bob any day."

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