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02/25/03

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House Becoming Overrun With Throw Pillows


SALEM, Ohio (DPI) - What began as a decorative accessory has gradually snowballed into an avalanche of cushiony florals and paisley patterns for Salem resident Richard Olan, who has found himself surrounded and overrun by throw pillows on every couch, chair, bed, footrest, chest, and one coffee table in his home.

"At first I kind of liked them. A few here and there looked nice and were convenient," said Olan as he sat on the floor watching television. "But now it's like the Star Trek episode 'The Trouble with Tribbles.' It takes me eight minutes to get them all off the bed each night."

His wife, Julie, defends the pillows and feels each one serves a particular purpose. "That one on the chair is cute and offers lower back support," she explained. "The eight on the couch create an alternating color pattern to match the carpet. The three on the loveseat complement the painting on the wall, and ... good lord, that rocking chair is bare. Excuse me, I have to go shopping."

What perplexes Olan the most is that as the number of throw pillows has increased, his ability to use them has diminished. "There used to be room for four people on the couch. Now it's down to one," he said. "And heaven forbid I throw them on the floor. Half of them are scratchy or leave a funky pattern on my face if I lie on them. Many, I'm told, are only for looking at. I remember the time I propped up my feet on a 'Precious Moments' pillow. I didn't get any loving for two weeks."

Olan's love life isn't the only thing being left out in the cold. He must now park his car on the street so the garage can be used to store collectible and seasonal pillows. "Now I get to walk to my car in the rain so the Easter pillows and Martha Stewart close-out collection can stay dry," he complained. "I've seen bedding stores with fewer pillows."

But the Olan children don't seem to share their father's concern. Sharon, 12, and Donnie, 9, approve of their mother fluffy fetish. While Julie Olan was out of earshot placing golf-themed pillows in her husband's den and Sears Craftsman throw pillows in his workshop, the kids voiced their full support of the overwhelming décor. "When Mom and Dad aren't here, we now have enough for a 5-foot-high pillow pile at the bottom of the stairs," said Donnie Olan. "Our house has become the stair-diving capitol of the neighborhood."

(Reported by Buddy Fisher)



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