Yesterday I did something amazing. I surprised myself and others with a feat that can only be described as a ‘courageous act.’ People will talk of this moment from generation to generation, a tale told from parent to child. The stuff of legend if you will.
I put together a cot from Ikea. All by myself. Without karate-kicking the poor thing to pieces whilst weeping inconsolably. Or putting my head through the door.
I hate Ikea, by the way. It really bugs me that to get to one place you have to walk through a million other floors. And each floor is filled with Yurgenflurgens and Kershenburgens hanging from the ceiling or abusing your eyes on walls lined with row upon row of shelves. I find it a bit odd that every now and again you come across a completely random apartment made entirely from Ikea products. I ain’t gonna live there.
I understand the Swedish guys are just doing their job, but their marketing strategy of “throw as many items of furniture/squeegees/candles at them as possible and see what sticks” is just so obvious. It makes me want to walk around with a pair of coasters strapped to the side of my head as blinders, so I don’t get sucked in by the £1.99 bundle of coat hangers lingering in the corner of my eye.
Also, people who are perfectly capable of walking up the stairs deem it fit to cram themselves into the lifts, taking up space that we actually need for our pram. If you are one of these people, I hope someone kicks you down the same set of stairs you can’t seem to pluck up the courage to tackle.
All this to say I got super-stressed in Ikea—thanks in no small part to the incessant store muzak—and I assumed this fury would spill over when I actually began to put together our recently purchased cot (or Leksvik, as it is otherwise known). My wife picked up on this and wisely scooped up the kids and drove to her mother’s, to avoid the splintered pieces of engineered wood that would probably be lobbed down the stairs in a fit of rage as I howl like Chewbacca passing a particularly dry turd.
But I amazed myself. In the time it took to drive home from Ikea, I’d calmed down somewhat, and was convinced that this ominous piece of flat-pack furniture would not beat me. So with coffee in one hand and a tube of Smarties in the other, I squared up to the large cardboard box for a while. I mean, literally squared up. Like boxers do.
After a few minutes of attempting to stare down a cardboard box, I put football on the radio and began setting out all the slabs of wood, various screws, and funny-looking bits of plastic. And then, I followed the instructions. I know! Me, a man, following instructions! Unheard of.
Twenty minutes later, my Leksvik is assembled, and there are no holes in the door where I’ve punch-danced out my rage. And it looks pretty darn good.
Wonder how long it’ll be before it falls apart. Screws are totally overrated.
—Photos Wrenches: ianmunroe/Flickr. Crib: Ben Wakeling