For many, the realization that pillows — often depicted as soft, cuddly, and even submissive to the human head — have such violent tendencies can shatter their entire world perspective. If one cannot trust his own pillow, who can one trust?
Most experts agree: Pillow fighting has been around since the dawn of pillows, or at least the early morning. Though artworks since the dawn of civilization hint of pillow fights, no one can pin down the exact moment altercations have begun.
"Brawling with each other seems to be built into the genetic code of these pillows," says scientist Harvey Von Braun, "Using goose feather dating, we can pinpoint a mutation in the genetics of the Downus genus of pillows all the way back to the very first human civilizations."
The human element, as always, has only increased tension. Instead of allowing their negative energy to healthily flow out by beating the stuffing out of their brothers, they have instead been domesticated. Yet few people are aware of the boiling rage hidden just beneath the cover they lay their heads on every night.
It is not fully known to us humans why our pillow brethren partake in such violent activities with members of their own species. However, many theories are circulating as to why they do, most profoundly one which relates to a human flaw as well: ethnocentrism.
How these pillows view themselves to be greater than different pillows is unknown, though further corollaries have been produced. Qualities and characteristics such as color, variations in covers, manufacturers, and feather type have been hypothesized as possible "races" or "ethnicities" by today's leading pillologists.
Still, this theory has yet to become fully accepted by scientists. Most biologists agree that genetics is entirely to blame for the violent outbursts.
"Everything is controlled by genetics," explains one biologist. "The sort of tea you like in the morning, that's genetics. If you're a criminal, it's not your fault, it's just genetics. In fact, we've recently uncovered a gene that determines the precise brand of toothpaste you are most likely to buy in your later years."
When asked what progress has been made in the biological causes of pillow fighting, the biologist responded that biology has more pressing matters and cannot be bothered with such trivial items as pillows. He was reportedly caught in the crossfire of a serious pillow fight mere weeks later over who got the top bunk.
The earliest pillow fight in recent history was between an ostrich feather throw and a cotton-stuffed black velvet bed pillow. The fight took place in 1845 in the Serengeti, supposedly after the British man who owned the black velvet pillow allowed it roam around a while. This was a very foolish move, as time has proved over and over that any pillow with the will to fight and the freedom to roam unchecked will go searching for trouble.
Unbeknownst to the escaping pillow or the Brit, a tribe of Zulus had surrounded the camp. The chieftain saw the escaping pillow and inspiration struck him. He loosed the tribe's personal pillow after the black velvet one. The black velvet pillow was looming threateningly over an anthill when it spied the ostrich feather throw. It immediately lunged at the Zulu pillow, but the throw dodged. The ostrich-feather throw struck with a spear and gutted the hapless black velvet pillow, emerging victorious.
The chieftain, having seen the battle, took it for a good omen and opened an attack on the whites. They killed everyone in the camp, and the tribe lived in peace until the Brits returned, this time with guns.
In December 1957, a pillow fight that would give solid evidence for the Modern Pillocentrism Theory took place. This date was when Strings 'n' Things opened a new throw-pillow factory on top of Polonium Hills Cemetery, a now defunct Native American burial ground and toxic waste dump, next to a slow community of comforters. The very next month, January 1958, the first recorded pillow murder was, well, recorded. The discovery of an unidentified paisley cotton-stuffed throw pillow led to the arrest of cotton-stuffed Michael Drigg for murder in the first degree. According to the police, it wasn't just some hit-and-run, but a full frontal pillow fight.
"There are obvious signs of a pillow fight. A line of guts went on for almost a whole block," said detective Forrest Driver, "there were buttons and string and even cotton splayed all across the sidewalk, like a gruesome tapestry. It was very uncomfortable."
Up until this point, there were no historical signs of cotton-on-cotton warfare, but revolutionary scientist Hawthorn Stratsborough proposed the idea that there was more to pillow fighting than just stuffing. The killer Michael Drigg admitted the fact that his community wasn't accustomed to the presence of "those damn tasslers" so he and a few of his friends beat the throw pillow to death. A whole new field of research was opened, and a whole field of social interaction between pillows was closed.
"We can't trust these pillows to live near each other knowing they're just going to fight. Needless to say, this was the case of the century. Nothing of this much importance has ever gone down in history before," continued Forrest Driver. The interviewer, tiring rapidly of Driver's attempts at humour, promptly beat him to a bloody pulp.
Some humans, known as Feather Flyers, have taken pro-pillow fighting stances. They are heavily ridiculed and chastised for doing so, some going so far to say that they have sold their souls to Satan himself. Satan, however, during an interview, claimed that he is not even in support of pillow fighting.
Feather Flyers range from seedy pillow harvesters who sell them for sport or feather harvesting, managers of underground pillow fighting rings and cash fights, down to simple fight sympathizers or aiders.
Feather Flyers and belligerent pillows have been collaborating with each other in underground Pillow Fighting clubs, also known as pillboxes for the last few years. In these clubs, small stakes pillow fights have been held and organized by humans and pillows alike, and on some occasions pillboxes were used as facilities for planning larger scale fights or protests.
"These pillows honestly believe that they have a right to harm each other," says Nobel Peace Prize winner and polka-dotted pleather pillow Paul Pussitio, "It just makes me want to push my feathers out of all my little holes at once."
Paul wrote a bestselling novel based on his first-hand experiences going undercover in pillboxes, and can provide the most accurate testimony on the situation:
My first time in a pillbox began as usual, they started off by the customary reading of the rules. You don't talk about pillow fighting, you don't talk about pillow fighting, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. However, once the battles began, my innards turned straight to stone from gruesome astonishment.
Goaded on by the roars of the crowd around them, [the pillows] circled around each other, tightening, coming ever closer. My eyes drifted onto the audience as I tried, desperately, to keep watching the tragedy unfolding before me. The lot of them looked on with hungry eyes, and I noted, with a sinking of my heart, that these were hardly the evil-looking men I had expected.
They were like pillows themselves — soft, innocent, some even beautiful. I could only surmise that it was a tragedy both of the human and pillow condition that looks can be terribly deceiving. These men and women could have been anyone. It was hardly a stretch of the imagination to picture them sitting at a monotonous desk job. My eyes flew back to the circling pillows, and I felt a sudden surge of pity. These were young pillows with their whole lives ahead of them. They should be resting on a couch somewhere, warmed by a pleasant sunbeam, or lying on a bed awaiting the return of their owner and the warmth of his head.
Recruited for the sick purposes of entertainment, they were trapped now, blindly following the crowd's chants in the heat of battle. Then, from the mass of the unfeeling mob came a single pillow, a mere child, not even with a fully developed stuffing interior. He flew and met his fate in the ring, smacking against one of the two monsters, and enraging him all the more. On that spot, he died in a cloud of stuffing, and the crowd cheered, cheered a sickening cheer that reverberated through my feathers and made my cover quiver with fear and hatred.
One of the fights stuck out in my mind, particularly, for it was one of the few with incorporated the use of a human familiar. Three seriously messed up triplets insisted on paying extra admission in order to get a bunch of Feather Flyers to swing them around at each other by the balls. It was horrific not just in content, but also because they were enjoying it, like they were as retarded as the Hanson brothers.
It was then that the true horror of the situation captivated me. It was then that I knew the world would not only be enraged by this account, it would also leave them hopelessly confused if I put in enough pretty words. It was then that I discovered, this would make damn fine novel material.
In order to keep pillows of different ethnicities apart following the Tasselsippi affair, a controversial set of "Linen Crow" laws were put into effect by human governments across the globe. Almost immediately, pillows still in touch with their id began speaking out in protest. Upon realizing they could not hold up protest signs or form a proper crowd without being trod upon, the pillows' civil rights movement experienced a minor setback.
The council of protest leaders considered using unorthodox tactics, such as hiring mercenaries of the knitting and sewing profession to make battle-ready Frankensteins. This idea was quickly shot down when the council didn't agree upon whether it should be in the style of Mary Shelley's book or the movie. After the ensuing pillow fight, a new council had been chosen to discover new methods of protests, only to have the same process of "debate into fight" occur every time. In fact, the 22nd council of '98 lasted only 4 minutes after drunk and bitter Wally Huffaguss got especially angry over Vinny Toussant's unkempt looks and piano key tie.
Steps have been taken in order to stop pillow fighting all around the globe. People have acted in a variety of ways, such as advocating sterner feather regulations, or more radical ideas such as trying to get pillow factories shut down. The owners of Bed Bath and Beyond have been shocked at the latter proposition, and have been up at arms to date.
"'Bath and Beyond' simply just doesn't have the same ring to it," says manager Washington Irving, "so what if a few nasty pillows are stirring up problems, the majority of them are still good, aren't they? I assure you, we only manufacture and distribute pillows of the highest moral quality."
Nevertheless, pillow fighting remains a highly controversial topic. Several pillow-burning demonstrations have already been organized, yet as was soon discovered, this turns the pillows into angry fireballs, unleashing massive amounts of destruction. It looks as if pillow fighting is stubbornly staying put, its arms folded and lower lip protruding, whether the population likes it or not.
- It is speculated that the advanced Mayan civilization collapsed in the year of 879 AD in part to a colossal battle between two of their mega-pillows, Xyquathalus and Quezilo; a similar event was believed to have happened in Babylonia. Since then, people had stopped making 150 foot tall pillows made entirely of stone and iron for use in public sleeperies (the practice of sleeperies died out not too soon after).
- Also known by his notoriously appropriate nickname The Polka-Dotted Pleather Pussy.
- The prior contained a conscious and intellectual freak of nature capable of questioning the morality of its own existence. The latter, similarly, starred Boris Karloff.