Chris Johnson: You mite have a teeny-weeny problem in bed

January 26, 2014 

Not long ago, I came home to find two men standing in my living room. That sucked. Literally. They were vacuum cleaner salesmen.

I can't remember the name of what model they were selling, but it had roughly the same amount of technology as the international space station and cost about twice as much.

They were nice guys, and I didn't throw them out because we allowed them in as a favor to our friends Nikki and Al, who had bought one from them and was benefiting by introducing them to her friends. They saw me as a potential client -- meaning they don't know me at all. I saw this as a potential opportunity for free beer as payment for having to sit through a sales pitch -- meaning my friends know me just fine.

I have to admit the vacuum cleaner thingy was impressive. It pulled all kinds of hidden things like dirt, dust, cat hair and Danny DeVito out of our carpet. And you could turn it this way and that way and attach this thing to that thing to suck stuff up or blow things out. It was like the least-popular Transformer ever. Of course, I'm not mechanically inclined, so if I started rearranging everything, it'd probably launch North Korea's nuclear missiles when I cut it back on.

The whole demonstration was designed to horrify you about all the nasty hidden things in your home so that you would pay the money it would take to buy the vacuum cleaner. Ironically, the money it would take to buy the vacuum cleaner would leave me homeless.

Among the most horrifying things they talked about was dust mites. Here are some of the facts they shared:

• Did you know the average pillow has about 100,000 dust mites? I hope this convinces women everywhere to quit putting 12 pillows on every bed and sofa.

• Did you know the average dust mite is about .01 inches long? Although the ones who are about .02 inches long have formed the MBA, the Mite Basketball Association.

• Did you know a female dust mite

can live up to 70 days, lay 100 eggs and leave behind 2,000 fecal particles? Fortunately the male dust mite only lives about 15 days and merely passes gas.

• Did you know the dust mite has a striated cuticle? I had a striated cuticle last week, and it still hurts when I type.

• Did you know that if you don't buy these folks' vacuum cleaners, these dust mites will cause asthma, cancer and in some cases fatal hypochondria? Yeah, and they'll take tiny pictures of your dead body and post them on the internet, too.

I don't mind sharing my bed and pillow with tiny creatures I can't even see. Let's face it: When you look like me, you're happy anybody is willing to share your bed and pillow. But I'm not cool with the idea of fecal particles. The vacuum cleaner salesmen said this explains why my pillow is so heavy. This was disturbing on many levels, not the least of which was these two guys knew my pillow was heavy.

As a frugal man, I did the only thing you can do when faced with the choice of a buying an expensive vacuum cleaner or sleeping on a heavy, dust mite fecal matter-infested pillow: I went with Plan C and constructed a microscopic system of latrines and sewer systems in my pillow. I even put teeny-weeny urinals in for the male dust mites for when they have to go onesies.

-- Connect with Chris Johnson at

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