August 30th, 2003


What's good for the goose is good for the dander

Sometime ago after a week-long stay in the goose-down comfort of a hotel, a trip to Costco began a bedding upgrade. One of my roommates and I happened upon their goose-down comforters. The specifications were pretty good, and the price right, so we indulged. Its pillowy softness hugged and kept me warm many nights. It was only a couple months, however, before I noticed feathers were migrating around my room. The down-proof fabric was not. My roommate had no such problem, so mine was defective.

After removing the comforter to clean the duvet cover one day, I realized, the problem was worse than I'd expected. After washing, I carefully tucked the comforter back into its home and realized I would not be able to remove it again until I replaced it.

Time was running out

Each trip to Costco, I'd look. But unfortunately, they wouldn't have it. The few feathers here and there became a part of my life — almost a dietary supplement, as inhaling the tiny creatures occurred from time to time. The duvet cover kept most of them in. Unfortunately, as the months rolled on with no replacement, I was painfully aware of its unwashed state. I did everything to keep it from getting dirty, but it still bothered me, and feathers were accumulating inside. For those of you unaware, I can be anal about my bedding. The comforter acts as a barrier to keep dirt and whatnot out. I won't generally retire under its protective layer without having showered first. I like my sheets and bedding clean. But I digress.

"He shoots, he scores"

Recently a friend came over — uhm, quite literally. Time had now expired. The inevitable operation was needed stat. A quick trip first thing the next morning to Costco revealed a few comforters left. Back home, I stood looking at the patient and sighed as I carefully unsutured the duvet cover that had been sullied and pulled out the old comorter.

Now, mind you, I've never seen a goose explode before. But I know knew what the aftermath would look like. There were tiny feathers — everywhere. It was as if someone had stuck an M80 up a goose's butt and lit it. I was coated — feathered without the tar. I sealed the old comforter up in the new comforter's case, coughed a lot, and brought the duvet to be washed.

The cleanup begins

My floor was covered in little tiny white feathers. There were feathers floating everywhere. I was breathing more Feathers than O2. I vaccuumed up what I could and then decided to remove the vaccuum tube from the roller part. As I proceeded to chase the floating feathers around the room, trying to suck them up one by one, I noticed no suction. Checking the bag (and in the process releasing more particles into the air), I discovered the vaccuum had become clogged. I cleared the obstruction, and my adventure continued.

I had the main part of the vaccuum in one hand, the nozzle in the other. I realized I needed to test the suction. I had no free hands so needed another part of my skin. In hindsight, my face probably wasn't the best choice. After I managed to extricate my cheek from the vaccuum nozzle, I became worried it might leave a hickey. Wondering how I would explain it to friends that the hickey actually came a vaccuum cleaner and no, I really was just cleaning, I continued vaccuuming the air of my room, getting as many of the geese spawn I could.

Most of the feathers have now migrated west, toward the laundry room. Many tried to find a new home in the dryer filter. Many seem to like their new home floating around the atrium of our complex.

I'm hoping the new geese that have settled in my new comforter will not have the problems of the last flock. Otherwise the next birds near me while I slumber will be a species known as down alternative.

::coughs:: ::sneeze::

Does anyone know how well feathers digest?
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