Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Professional mattress jumpers

The man who gets paid to jump on mattresses says you can stop laughing now. There is nothing funny about jumping on mattresses day after day. Mattress after mattress. People refuse to understand.

"It's work," said professional mattress jumper Reuben Reynoso. "It's not for everybody. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it."

Reynoso, who jumps on three mattresses a day, does it the right way. He doesn't try for height. He doesn't go "boing" or turn a somersault. His 10 toes are not little piggies going to market. They are trained members of the team. It's not a trampoline, for goodness sakes, it's a $2,750 mattress.

"This is not a game," said Reynoso, bouncing up and down. "Not to me."

Jumping on a mattress is one of the final steps in making a handmade mattress or, to be more precise, a hand-and-foot-made mattress. It may be true that machines, which can be made to do most things, can be made to jump on a mattress. But a machine cannot do what Reynoso and his toes can do, which is to expertly compress no fewer than 28 layers of fluffy cotton batting while seeking to detect pea-size mattress lumps or other imperfections, the kind that can give insomnia to fairy-tale princesses and real-world princesses, too.

Reynoso does his jumping in the McRoskey mattress factory on Potrero Hill. McRoskey has been stomping out high-end mattresses in San Francisco for 112 years and is something of a cult among mattress fanciers. ...

He works a precise grid pattern, covering each section of the surface once, like an Augusta groundskeeper mowing the 18th green before the Masters. ...

Up, down, sidestep. Up, down, sidestep. One hundred bounces. Flip the mattress over and jump 100 more jumps on the other side.
--Steve Rubenstein, SFGate, on serious work