Friday, August 28, 2009

An Army of Jackhammers and some Friendly Furniture

Today I woke up at the crack of dawn to the sound of someone tearing my apartment building down. Naturally, this made me feel a little unsettled, but seeing as it was indeed in the middle of the night, I did my best to fall back asleep. Sleep, however, eluded me. I like to think this was due to the fact that I was already well rested and didn’t need any more beauty sleep, but when I looked in the mirror I looked vaguely like the love child of Chuckie the doll and Courtney Love. This is of course due to the simple fact that I did indeed need a little more beauty sleep and the reason I couldn’t sleep was the army of jackhammers trying to take over the earth.

When I finally gave up and got out of bed, I went to the window and realized the army of jackhammers had suddenly disappeared and been replaced by a lone worker with a shovel. But I swear, it must have been the shovel from hell, cause the noise it made could have woken up the dead. Of course, by the time I’d brushed my teeth, the shovel of mass destruction had stopped making noise and everything was quiet and peaceful, but since I was up I couldn’t really justify getting back into bed anymore.

Thankfully, my BFF Zelma called and asked me to come meet her at her new apartment, which I gladly did. She’s in the process of moving in and has been putting together furniture and stuff all week long. Today’s project was a table and a lamp.

I happen to know that when God created earth, he also created IKEA to fuck with mankind. Then he gave IKEA to the Swedes, who immediately put a bunch of blonde chicks at work on opening random packages and taking out a screw here and a bolt there, to cause maximum amount of confusion all around the world. Famine, drought and war pales in significance to that 25mm screw that was supposed to come with the package, but didn’t. IKEA furniture looks friendly, has friendly Swedish names and comes in a million pieces in teeny tiny packages and with a short, practical manual to help the customer lose the pieces in the most efficient way put the teeny tiny pieces together to form something slightly resembling the picture on the box.

When I moved into my current apartment, I bought an IKEA book case. It was white and friendly and called Expedit. It came in seven parts plus a few screws and bolts. The user-friendly manual was 30 pages long. Yep, 30. After two hours, one broken nail and an undisclosed number of colourful curses later, I finally had my book case. IKEA didn’t think I needed a hammer, but I used one anyway.

This is about how far my friendship with IKEA extends, but I’m always open for new experiences, so Zelma’s table and lamp sounded like fun. The lamp was a piece of cake, we freed it from the mile of plastic wrapped around it and put it together in no time at all. The table consisted of, not surprisingly, four legs and a table top. All you had to do was screw the legs on and you were good to go. Except each leg had to be screwed on using about 30 huge monster screws that were supposed to go into tiny little holes. We only had one screwdriver so we had to take turns trying to force the screws down the holes. After about 82 screws, Zelma’s arm fell off and I had to take over. By the time we were finished we were breathing hard, we were sweaty and warm, our arms and hands ached and the table was looking a little bit wobbly. But since it actually resembled a table we called it a victory and went out for Chinese food. Life is good. *

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