So, 2011 appeared. Awesome.

Ya know, I kinda hoped that the new year would bring with it some form of relief from the bloated, off-colour, tumescence that my spleen has become. Relief in the form of more happy, smiley thoughts than dark, brooding, evil, murderous thoughts at the inane world around me.

But I was too hopeful, too enthusiastic at the thought of my brain being filled with more than bile and venomous rage, and volcanic anger.

Because we went bed shopping at the weekend.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering how in the leather upholstered hell bed shopping can get me angrier than a United fan at a City win. You’re thinking that you’ve seen the adverts, you’ve watched the sleepy people smile as they slip quietly into a coma on their memory foam mattress covered chariot to Nodsville. You’ve witnessed the white cotton clad couples happily pillow fighting with, what have to be, neck snappingly heavy, yet always turn out to be flimsily manufactured, feather pillows (and you’ve wondered, just as I have, as I do every time one of those advert comes on, what non-family friendly activity the pillow fighting becomes. I’m torn between freaky naked romping and Ultimate fighting champion style violence).

And you’re right, of course. The adverts are warm and fuzzy. They’re warm, fuzzy, quilted, feather filled lies.

Allow me to take you on a guided tour of my experience in the blood-freezing nightmare that is shopping for a new bed.

See, thanks to the adverts, I assumed that hunting for a new mattress frame to quietly welcome unconsciousness upon would be simple, would require nothing more than some gentle browsing, a spot of mattress testing, a small, probably mildly difficult decision as we choose between the faux leather ottoman bed and the real leather bed with secret storage in the headboard. And, in the beginning it was just that.

I’d find a bed I liked and would draw attention to all the exciting things it had to offer (like multiple handcuffing points, sprung wooden slats for noise reduction, hidden storage for grown up novelties) and my wife would bring up things like the flimsy legs that would snap at the slightest horizontal movement, or the sphincter puckeringly, astronomical price.

It was fun.

Then the children and I, minus my wife, dropped into Britains favourite bed specialist (I won’t say their name, just in case someone Dreams up a way to sue over it).

So, we wander in. Within an instant a tall, broad, italian looking salesman has materialised. So quickly did he appear, that I’m beginning to suspect that he has some form of mimetic camouflage ability and was actually in front of us the whole time.

"Hi, how’re you guys doing today?"

"Fine thanks" I reply, trying to shout ‘Please fuck off’ using nothing but body language and vocal pitch.

"Excellent. So, looking for a bed?" He was, obviously, a well trained, mentally sharp salesperson.

"Just browsing thanks" My body language has gone from passively aggressive, to outwardly hostile. At least, that was my intention. I’ve never been any good with nuances of body language and could just as easily have changed up from mildly retarded to extrovertly homosexual. Either way, oily sales turd wasn’t going to be swayed by a little implied physical hostility (or unspoken come on, I still can’t be sure which it was).

"Do you know what you’re looking for, or just seeing what there is?"

I can’t help myself, and say "Just a kingsize". And with that he manages to get a greasy hand around my soul and slowly, but resolutely, pries his way into my personal space. Nothing was going to get him to fuck the hell off.

And I tried everything.

I ignored him. He didn’t notice and just followed me around like some verbally diahrretic puppy, drawing my attention to the padded this, quilted that and hydraulically hinged other.

I outwardly mentioned that I wasn’t looking to buy and was just browsing while I waited for my wife, that I didn’t actually need a new bed and was perfectly happy with the crappy one I currently had. He pointed out the Tempur mattress that came free with the Oak Veneered Dallas Divan with 4 drawer storage.

He even gave my children a complementary mint that, to their credit, my children looked to me for approval before taking (probably wondering where his Transit Van full of puppies was).

At one point he actively stood between me and the exit while explaining the benefits of their credit plan should I wish to go for the black,leather-upholstered sleigh bed with hidden flat-screen TV compartment at the end and free bluray player (which I have to concede was beautiful, but not worth the £2500 he was trying to flog it to me for).

In the end, I had to fake a phone call from my wife just to get him to give any ground at all. In fact I pretended to be chatting away the entire time I was gathering up my children and sliding slowly towards the door, stopping only once I was out in the open and able to run to my car, all the while expecting clammy paws to clamp themselves around my shoulders and haul me back into the shop so that he could describe the fantastic nights sleep I’d get in the fake suede double ottoman that they had on sale at a mere £650.

But it never happened.

I got the kids strapped into the car and even managed to pull away without squealing the wheels.

We still need a bed, but we’re now looking online.

Fuck salespeople.