Each year, the thousands of people crammed into Omaha's Qwest Center for the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting are shown a humorous video before Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger start their marathon question-and-answer session.
This year's edition featured a sequence in which Buffett has been "promoted" from Chairman to a mattress salesman on the floor of Berkshire subsidiary Nebraska Furniture Mart. (It's the board's response to Berkshire's falling stock price.)
He sells one customer a "Nervous Nellie," calling it a "best seller ever since the Dow fell below 10,000." Buffett demonstrates its defining feature: a hidden compartment for stashing valuables like cash, stocks, and old Playboy magazines.
It's a joke, of course, but not entirely.
Nebraska Furniture Mart really is selling a "Nervous Nellie" mattress, complete with the "Night Depository - a secret pocket to hide all your flat valuables - built right into the foundation of the mattress."
There's a Buffett quotation featured prominently on the Nellie's web page: "Wake up with exactly what you had the night before."