America is under invasion by a silent but deadly blight infecting nearly every home. The top ten list of our nation’s issues changes depending on the speaker, the forum, and the leaning of the media. Conservatives clamor for restrictions on abortion and preservation of the definition of marriage that has served mankind since the beginning. Liberals scream for governmental guarantees that each one is free to do what is right in his own eyes, and his choices are binding on all others. There is no shortage of experts who claim to be in possession of knowledge for balancing the issues, knowledge that will only be revealed after the next election if their party takes the wheel. The power mongers ignore one issue poised to disrupt life as we know it. The TUPs are among us.
A TUP, or Totally Useless Pillow, serves little practical purpose other than to occupy space and gather dust. A single TUP seems benign but soon another slips past the home’s defenses. Number two is followed by number three, and soon TUPs permeate the household. They breed like the Tribbles on Episode 44 of the original Star Trek.
Painting a room is one job where the satisfaction is immediate. We can see where we’ve been and look ahead to what’s left to do. We’ll know when we’re done. Once the outlet covers are reinstalled and the furniture is returned we can sit and enjoy the new view. But is the job really done? Of course not! There is an unspoken need for accent colors to contrast with the new paint, but the need does not remain unspoken for long.
New TUPs are cheaper than replacing furniture but carry their own costs. Post-TUP living room lounging requires multiple steps such as locating the remote, placing the glass on a coaster, and removing scores of TUPs to clear a spot on the couch. In our home we have a minimum of one TUP for every possible bun-parking location.
TUP wrangling becomes part of the nighttime ritual. Before a man can secure his place in bed he must remove and stack the TUPs. They are different sizes and shapes, nothing like those nesting blocks we all perfected as children. I’ve been buried a time or two under a midnight avalanche.
The morning festivities include making the bed and replacing the TUPs in their appropriately decorative position at the head. I’ve made a game of tossing all the TUPS at once to see if any recognizable patterns form. I’ve even used a bounce pass to launch a TUP from the bedroom into the hall to ricochet into my departing wife’s back. OK, pillow fights are fun.
When will enough be enough? I fear that the weight of TUPs coupled with the scores of National Geographic magazines already nesting in attics will one day force a wobble to the earth’s rotation. Should we urge our leaders to invest billions in TUP-aide to see that all people everywhere enjoy a share as we redistribute the load across the planet?
What happens to unwanted TUPs? What projections do scientists offer for the time required for a TUP to decompose in the landfill? Could we establish county TUP shelters offering prospective owners a chance to browse the rejects and select a gently-used TUP instead of expending natural resources to create a virgin model? Some green-minded owners recycle their TUPs by adding new covers. The pristine material covers years of drool, butt cheese, and pizza residue. Beat the old TUP thoroughly with a tennis racket, dispense air-freshener liberally, install the new cover, and visitors will never know.
I was just handed a green pillow and asked, “Isn’t this just the cutest pillow? Picture it in blue, though.”
Have you watched the 1996 movie, Mars Attacks? The response of the Martians to the Slim Whitman song matches the effect of TUP-related discussions on a guy’s brain. Now, where’s the mop?
Disclaimer – No TUPs were injured in writing this article. A certain man is now on the endangered husband list, though.