GROB: Whatever happened to my Chillow?

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

Remember when “Chillows” were a thing?

You may have seen them on television a few years back. They are cooling pads that fit inside of a pillow to keep the pillow cool.

I haven’t seen a commercial for them recently, but I’m reminded of them because of the recent hot and humid weather we’ve experienced around here.

James Grob
James Grob

Memorial Day Weekend was unbearable. Records were broken for high temperatures throughout the Midwest.

Things have moderated a little bit since then, and become more bearable, so I’m hopeful this won’t be one of those sweaty, sleepless summers.

It’s sleeping in the heat that’s tough for me, which was why I was thinking about the time I sprung for one of those Chillows as a gift for my wife on her birthday.

My wife likes a cool pillow to sleep on, as do most people. You can only turn a regular pillow over to the cooler side so many times before the cooler side wears off. Toss this fact in with all the other things in the world that conspire to limit sleep, and you have all the ingredients of a long, slumber-free night.

For instance, on the hottest, most sweaty nights, there always seems to be a mosquito somewhere. You can’t see it. You can only hear it, and it always sounds like it is a centimeter away from your eardrum.

Most likely it is on the wall clear over on the other side of the room, but mosquitoes have the ability to project the whiney, buzzy sound that they make several feet. It is how they entertain themselves. They sit on the wall on the other side of the room and somehow shoot that whiney buzzy sound into your ear.

Then they chuckle that superior mosquito chuckle as you squirm and swat your hands at your own ear in an attempt to kill the buzzy bug that isn’t there.

There is also the matter of a weak bladder to limit your sleeping time. Just when you think you are about to start sawing some sweet slumber-wood, your bladder tells you otherwise. You have to get up and walk in the dark, injuring yourself several times, as you feel your way to the bathroom.

You don’t want to turn the lights on, because you are trying to be considerate and not awaken others in the house, plus you have the feeling that if lights shine into your eyes, you will suddenly jump from your state of near-sleep to a state of high alert, and then you’ll never be able to get to sleep again, ever.

As if stubbing your toe on the leg of the bed and crushing your kneecap against the coffee table on the way to the bathroom somehow won’t make you more wide awake. And as if your screams of pain won’t awaken your co-habitants.

Once you’ve actually limped into the bathroom, for some reason you don’t turn that light on, either. You’re confident you know exactly where the toilet bowl is, and you’re pretty sure whoever used it last left the lid up. You’re not positive until your hear the splash of water, but when you do, you realize you hit a bulls-eye in the dark and you’re awful proud of yourself.

Don’t worry, it won’t be until morning that you realize you were standing in front of the dog’s water dish. Dogs are usually very forgiving creatures. Just be thankful you don’t have a cat. Cats hold a grudge.

So when you finally get back to bed, you stare at the ceiling for about 52 hours, perspiring the whole time and occasionally rubbing your busted knee and stubbed toe, and you consider all the ways your life went wrong. You could have been somebody, but you’re just a loser. You carefully examine all the mistakes you’ve made, and wonder how much a licensed therapist costs.

So you can see the need for a Chillow to assist you in your sleep — which was why I got one for my wife for her birthday that year.

At the time, she thanked me and laughed that “oh my God, he is such a dork” laugh.

When we opened the “Chillow” box, we realized that there is some assembly required. You have to fill the Chillow with water, then somehow force all of the air out of it without letting the water leak out, then roll it up and unroll it to activate the chemicals in there that make it cool, then stick it inside your real pillow.

It seemed like a lot of work, and we never actually completed all the steps. So neither my wife nor I can tell you how well a Chillow works, or whether or not it is a good investment. I don’t even know where that Chillow is anymore.

If anyone else out there bought a Chillow and put it to use, let me know. If they actually work, I’ll buy Chillows for everyone. It’s Chillows on me.

They’re a lot cheaper than a therapist.

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