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Hay’s Daze: Filled with all kinds of fluff


It’s just fluff. This column, I mean. Once in a while people might say to me, “Why don’t you write about important stuff like politics and religion or the price of tea in China?” And others might say, “There’s too much bad news these days, so keep up the mindless drivel!” Still, once in a while I feel it’s important to comment on an issue that is so seriously significant that it just has to be examined carefully, critically and publically. So here goes…

Do you have a favorite pillow? I know I do.

It’s not easy having a favorite pillow. You have to lug it around whenever you are staying overnight somewhere, it takes up room in your suitcase, and it can be more than slightly embarrassing walking into a crowded hotel lobby with a big fluffy pillow under your arm. Especially if you forgot to change your Darth Vader pillow cover.

At this point, maybe I should clarify. Now, I don’t mean that soft fuzzy green and yellow croqueted throw pillow that your Grandma made that has been sitting on your couch for longer than you can remember. And I don’t mean those round, pleated, velvet cushions with a big button in the middle that the cat likes to nap upon. Nor am I referring to the big bed pillow you prop up on top of your real pillow to read Ann Cleeves novels before you go to sleep.

I mean that old battered, smunched and bunched beloved sleep-time headrest that has been the go-to pillow for your tired noggin since the other Trudeau ruled the East.

I used to take my pillow anywhere and everywhere I planned to sleep. In a tent, in a sleeping bag, at hotels, overnight visits, napping in the car. And I’m not referring to being a kid, I mean as a full blown “mature” adult. It was like that American Express slogan: “Don’t leave home without it.”

One time years ago a buddy and I drove to Lethbridge to visit a friend and record some music at his studio. We were hotel-ling it, so, of course I took my precious pillow. We had a great time for a few days and were in good spirits as we headed for home. We were almost to Calgary when disaster suddenly struck. “My pillow!” I yelled right out loud, and slammed on the brakes of my old car (which is not a good idea when you’re on a major highway). In my horror, I could clearly picture my pillow pal sitting sadly all alone on the bed in the Lethbridge Lodge. Somehow, I had left it behind.

I almost turned right around and headed back, but then somebody might think I’m a tad loony. Even I thought that would have been a bit on the creepy side of obsession. I phoned (several times) but never did get that pillow back. It had vanished and it was devastating. That pillow was the only pillow that never gave me a crick in the neck or a two-Tylenol headache the next morning. And we’d been through a lot together. And I knew I’d never find another one like it.

But then, guess what – I did. And when that one got left behind or simply wore out, I found another favorite crick-free pillow, and on it went. In fact, just the other day I had to go all the way to the big city to the big blue store, chow down on some Swedish meatballs and purchase yet another replacement favorite pillow. A ‘Gronamarant’ to be exact. $27.99. But I’m never taking it to Lethbridge. That place eats pillows.

Favorite pillows? Pure fluff.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. Reach out to Harley with any thoughts or ideas at