Sumo Size Me
When I was 7 years old, I got a neon green bean bag chair from Santa. And by “neon green,” I mean this thing was glow-in-the-light green. It glowed with the intensity of a thousand nuclear plant leakages, and after getting up from it, I often wondered whether I actually had radiation poisoning, because my skin looked like it was tinted slightly green. Ten minutes later my eyes would adjust from its lingering brightness and I would again realize that my skin was still as pale as a 7-year-old’s should be.
I probably sat in that bean bag chair more than anything else in my room from 2nd to 8th grade. I read Disney Adventures, Uncle Scrooge and Punisher comics, CliffsNotes, and Entrepreneur Magazine on it. I modified RC cars, practiced juggling, took naps, and studied for the ACT on it. I pouted on it, I laughed in it, I was grounded in it, and I called girls I liked and had awkward “like” conversations from it.
Occasionally, I would go to my friends’ houses and sit on their bean bag chairs.
Their bean bag chairs weren’t durable nylon like mine, they were thin cloth or that cheap vinyl that ripped when you’d jump on it from their bed. Their bean bag chairs had weird stuffing inside that was impossible to clean up when it leaked out, so their moms always wanted to throw the whole chair away.
Their bean bag chairs weren’t even comfortable enough to play video games in.
My bean bag chair was so good at playing video games in, I often sat in it by myself and chose 2-player mode on my Gameboy. I was Player 1, and Player 2 was “Green Machine.” Unfortunately, I had to play for both Player 1 and 2, though I’d like to think my hands were really just an extension of the nylon beast for Green Machine.
But the best memory of my bean bag chair came once a year–the only time I’d ever move it from my room–on Christmas morning. Ever since Santa had dropped that huge radioactive ball of joy in our formal living room, it had become “my chair” for unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. Everyone in the family has “their chair” during the unwrapping phase. My dad had the blue cloth oversized armchair with a big ottoman; my mom had the barely comfortable but regal “formal couch” to herself; and my sister… well, she didn’t sit very much because she was the one who was constantly picking out a new gift for each of us to unwrap, one at a time, in the same rotating family order (mom, dad, me, her, repeat)… but when she did sit, it was in a puke pink bean bag chair nowhere near as cool as mine.
One day, in 8th grade, I invited a friend over to my house, and this former friend of mine brought over the fattest kid in school. His name was Chris Shotts (probably still is). Shottsy, like most fatsies, tried to make up for his social handicap with annoying humor, an overeagerness to please, and the ability to “do all the same things skinny people do, only on a much grander scale” (one that showed at least 250 when he was on it). He talked a mile a minute, was always ready to tell you a funny story relating to whatever was going on, and couldn’t help but show you something stupid but “cool.”
Well, fat ol’ Shottsy got to my room, took one look at my bean bag chair, and decided it was his time to shine. He immediately shouted, “BEAN BAAAAG!!” and ran over and plopped down in it. At that moment I knew my body mold had been completely ruined, but I had no idea it was going to get worse.
“DUDE!! You know what we should do?! Wait, here, back up over to the door and lemme show you something awesome!”
And then, right before our dumbfounded eyes, Shottsy hoisted himself onto my bed, stood up, and attempted to jump onto the bean bag chair. To his discredit, it was more of a “fall” than a “jump” but he hit the bean bag nonetheless.
I knew right then it was over. Nothing pops that loud and survives. Not even a nylon bean bag constructed by Santa’s most dedicated elves. The bean bag had busted wide open along one seam, at least a foot and a half of stitches broken, never to be sewed up again.
I told Shottsy to lose some weight and get out of my house, then I cried a single tear as the bean bag poured it’s heart out onto my carpet.
Christmas was never the same again.
After that day, I searched many a store–Wal-Mart, Kmart, malls, Toys-R-Us, mail catalogs, not online–for another bean bag chair, but never again could I find one as good quality as the Green Machine, so I always left the store empty-handed. I often wondered why the hell every bean bag chair I found after that was so shitty, but then I got to high school and discovered older chicks with boobs and forgot about it for a while.
It’s been over 13 years since I’ve had a bean bag chair, but recently, thanks to Sumo, who sent me a platinum-colored Omni to review on PIC, I’m back in the game.
The first thing I thought of when I pulled it out of the box was “HOLY SHIT, IT’S CHRISTMAS!!” Not just because it was a gift, but of course, there was that familiar smell again. A lot of people associate the smell of milk and cookies with Christmas. Not me. To this day, I still associate the smell of nylon with Christmas.
Technically, the Sumo is made of “space age, rip-proof nylon,” but I still feel like a pretty down to earth guy sitting in it. Whereas the Green Machine was about 4 feet round with a single stitch that was folded into the bag, the Sumo is a 4.5′ x 5.5′ rectangle with a 2″ seam outside the bag, triple-stitched all the way around. I think it’s fair to say that even if the fattest kid from my HIGH SCHOOL landed on this thing it would stay in one piece.
But my return to bean bag lounging gets better. As comfortable as it was, the Green Machine, bless its heart, only had one position to sit in: the standard round bean bag chair mold. The Sumo has, from what I’ve found, 6 different comfortable positions to sit/lay/go comatose in. And the beads inside somehow strike the perfect balance between easy reshapability (new words, anyone?) and current shape maintainability (yes, please).
Now I’m just waiting for the first person to pass out on it so I can draw a tiny penis below their mouth and write “SUMO FAILURE” across their forehead.
And no, my cat doesn’t count, although he seems to think it’s as comfortable as I do:
Anyway, thanks be to Sumo, and if you’re looking for some quality dorm or lounge furniture, a Christmas present, or just to renew your youth, check out SumoLounge.com. Hey, they’ve even got it in lime green