Thursday, January 3, 2008

78; IKEA

I really do want my columns to be more upbeat, positive, and generally reflective of the optimism that I embody. The last entry, on annoyance, was not in that vein. Nor, I'm afraid, will today's be. This is because I have some choice words regarding the IKEA company.

Let me give a little background info that may help you, dear reader, understand my position. I am not, by nature, a shopper. There have been a few times and stores in which shopping has delighted and even enthralled me. That is, I am not an anti-shopper on principle. Shopping can be enjoyable, and I fully acknowledge the realities of this complex world we live in.

Bearing that in mind I've also had enjoyable visits to hairdressers, dentists, doctors, and sewage plants.

Shopping should, in my mind, be an efficient task. I realize that I am only aiding the unfortunate and perhaps misleading stereotypes about how guys act, unfairly at that. But I will not shirk from telling the truth of the matter. Dawdling should be limited to pet stores, Brookstones, and jewelry stores, the latter if so only to build up the fortitude that will be required when dating. Basically, go in, get what you want, and get out.

(It has been brought to my attention that in the above paragraph my comment on jewelry shopping is unfair, sexist, biased, and evil. I assure the reader, of any sex, gender, or sexual preference that the first three accusations are completely unintentional.)

IKEA attempts to thwart easy shopping at every turn. Those are literal turns, mind you, since the store is laid out in a maze-like pattern, with different sections and shortcuts to other parts of the store you don't want to go to. The fact that the man who came up with snakes and ladders has designed the store I am shopping in does not bode well.

Some of the furnishings and finishings appeal to me. This is due to their cleverness, utility, and artistic merits and not their cheapness. Let's just say. Unfortunately the things I am looking at in the maze are not for purchase. Why is this? I was under the impression I was in a store. Surely the items hanging, draping, sitting, and sofa-ing around me with the price tags hanging off of them are there to be bought. But no. These items are display items. The ones I can take away are downstairs, in bulk.

IKEA has now fooled me. I do not appreciate being fooled. It is analogous to walking by a sushi restaurant, being told what is in the window is what you get, and finding out that those items are inedible plastic models, your California roll is made with imitation crab meat, has browning avocado, and won't be ready until next Tuesday. Considering their calculated inefficiency this added wool over the eyes maneuver has just earned IKEA a second strike.

Downstairs I voyage, into the warehouse. Combating incomprehensible Scandinavian labels in a chain store probably visited by one Danish woman a year I eventually find what I had already found upstairs. After purchasing the item the only reasonable destination is home.

Some assembly is required. Expected, the requisite tools are collected, instructions read, and process begun.

Three hours later I make, and hold, the following vow:

I will never, ever, buy anything from the IKEA company without just cause. 'Just cause' may be defined as: on penalty of death, severe economic hardship coupled with insanity, unforeseeable supernatural forces beyond my control, or a direct act of God.

The products IKEA produces are of such shoddy quality and a source of such pain in the assery that the low low fares at which I bought them do not, to even a fifth, compensate for the frustration of assembly. Remember how IKEA had two strikes already against them for inefficiency and trying to fool me? The inability to put their horrible furniture together is not strike three. It is strikes four, five, six and seven. Strike three was the food court they put in the store right after you pay and check out, coupled with the single shopping cart ramp in the parking garage, fences blocking off all other means to get to the car.

Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA, there are not enough words in the English language for me to voice my distaste of your existence. Luckily the English language allows me to make my own in cases when the language provided is inadequate to express myself.

You are a sveltrite, parbody, flamberish farzbopple, Ingvar. A quarpalean, wivklean, amperositor. Jiboolish, niomensch, and reptflavit.

Flamberish farzbopple.

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