The great rebar kerfuffle

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Blog entry by Alan posted 04-25-2008 02:39 AM 1720 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

custom,furnitureThis blog is on my website, but I thought I’d post here as well. It doesn’t have a whole lot to do with woodworking other than how it relates to treating customers, but it’s kind of a funny story.

re’-bar- a steel bar or rod used to reinforce concrete
ker-fuff’-le- an annoyingly trendy synonym for a dustup

Not so long ago my wife, the sweet and lovely Penny, and I went shopping for a new bedMore… and ventured into one of the ubiquitous bedding stores that populate the strip malls around town. This particular store must have had special sensors embedded in the door frames that signal the arrival of fresh meat because instantly a salesman appeared out of thin air and blocked our paths.

“Howyadoin? great day to buy a bed iddnit?” burst forth before we could even get the guy in focus. The huge frozen smile on his face must have had a mesmerizing effect because we sort of nodded our heads and followed him into the bowels of the showroom.

“Now, what can we do for you today aren’t you just the neatest looking couple we have the best brands and the best prices anywhere so you don’t have to look elsewhere let me show you some of our best sellers I’m Brad what’s your names?” We were so worn out at this point that lying down on one of the model beds “to test drive it, heh, heh” actually seemed like a good idea. (Brad, of course, is a totally fictitious name, as we’ve blocked out many of the unnecessary details of the whole ordeal.)

We lay down on the bed, and as anyone who’s ever done this in a store knows, you lie there like you’ve just thrown out your back, all stiff and self conscious, and the guy says, “Now Penny, you may not know what this means, but Alan, you probably know what rebar is.” Penny went even more rigid, stiff as a magician’s assistant in the big levitation trick and muttered, teeth clenched, “I know what rebar is.” She’s nobody’s dummy. Obliviously he went on, describing in detail, to just me of course, the bed’s wonderful construction using the same technology interstate highways are built from.

So we tried a few more beds- no more mention of concrete reinforcement- and, against my better judgment, I blurted out something about frames. He gave me this conspiratorial look and motioned for us to follow him to the rear of the store, out of earshot of a poor unsuspecting couple that had just wandered in. He pointed to a bed frame hanging on a wall and whispered, “That frame is normally $99.99, but I’m going to throw it in for free.” His eyes bugged out on the word “free”.

Now things were getting serious. Fifteen hundred bucks for a bed, but the frame’s free. Meanwhile, Penny’s giving me that look, like “let’s get out of here now if you know what’s good for you”. If it’s possible for eyes to have clenched teeth, this was it.

So, being the head of our marriage since I know all about rebar and all, I said that we had just started our search and we “would think about it”. Brad immediately whipped out his cell phone and said, “Let me call my manager and see what I can do.” Who knew car salesman DNA was so pervasive?

Penny immediately slammed her hand down on a nearby counter and said, no clenched teeth now, “I’ve had enough of this crap!”, and stormed out of the store. I turned to Brad, both our jaws dropped, and I meekly trailed after her, first holding the door for the other couple.

We eventually got our new bed, frame and all, but every time we go by a construction site we giggle and eyebrows are raised.

There are no “Brad”s at Alan Carter Studio, just me. I won’t try to sell you something you don’t want. I’ll listen to you and do my best to provide you with the best handcrafted custom furniture I can make.

See my work at

-- Alan Carter,

5 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 5232 days

#1 posted 04-25-2008 04:27 AM

Been there done that.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 5245 days

#2 posted 04-25-2008 12:03 PM

That is TOO FUNNY. I’m surprised Penny didnt offer to strategically place a section of rebar between the salesman’s ears.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5218 days

#3 posted 04-25-2008 03:04 PM

Gads…. This story just brought back so many memories. Why are certain things so hard to buy? These experiences can just ruin a day. Watch out for that brand of DNA!


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5327 days

#4 posted 04-25-2008 08:38 PM

That’s why I could never be in sales!

My version: Do you want it? No? OK bye.

I too have very little patience for that kind of silliness.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View BertJ's profile


49 posts in 5034 days

#5 posted 04-25-2008 10:34 PM

I wanna see the rebar! Is this like the Indian yoga thingy where the guy lays down on a bed of nails? And what’s so special about rebar anyway? Any lj worth his socks can knock out a maple bed frame that will suit an elephant, eh?

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