Friday, June 17, 2011

Swedish for Common Sense?

Remember, back in the day, when Ikea's slogan was "Swedish for Common Sense"? My mother used to say, "Ikea, Swedish for Makes Life for Difficult".

Let me tell you a couple stories. Sometime around 1989 my parents bought me a bed from Ikea. At that time, Ikea beds only came in weird Swedish bed sizes, so my twin was longer and thinner than a North American twin bed. This meant that unless you bought sheets at Ikea, or maybe in Sweden, you could not buy sheets for the bed. About a year later, Ikea started selling normal sized beds and sheets, and no longer sold weird Swedish length sheets, and so I only had, like, one set of sheets. My parents still have that bed, by the by. And still one sheet.

Fast forward about 6 years. My parents bought a set of bunk beds for the cottage from Ikea. They were wood. My bff and I spent a week up there, just us, and were supposed to build the bunk beds. The wood was all warped, and nothing fit together, and we gave up. After a few days my parents joined us up there and my dad had a go at building those bunk beds. From the middle of the lake, Bff and I could hear my dad cussing up a storm trying to build those monkeys. And I kid you not, those things are held together (to this day) by glue.

Another story. My parents bought a bed for their guest room from Ikea, and I was given the job of assembling it. It was missing some vital pieces, so I called Ikea and told them my situation. So, we returned the bed, and got a new one. I opened the second one up, and what do you know? More pieces missing. At that point, I gave up and just did what I could with what I had. The original Ikea Hack.

All this said, I do love Ikea. I go, I feel joy. I browse, I covet, I think. All kinds of stuff, and so cheap. I was feeling pretty excited about our trip there this afternoon. Yay, stuff!

Besides some odds and ends, theses and thatses, we bought two bookcases. One skinny Billy for the guest room, to complete our Billy wall:

And that worked out fine. No probs. The Billy is pretty reliable stuff.

Then, we bought a Hemnes bookcase for the office. This thing. This monster. Even in the grand history of incomprehensible Ikea hieroglyphic-style instruction manuals, this one made no sense. I consider myself and expert in Ikea assembly. Essentially, I have a PhD in Ikea Assemblage. With honors. But, this bookcase has more holes than screws and whatsits to put in them, and the instructions have nary an arrow to point out which one to put your dowel in. Argh.

In my head, I keep yelling "Ikeee-AHHHHHH!" in the voice of the landlord in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Like so (around 0:10-0:14):

But then, it appears that someone was asleep on the job at the Hemnes assembly line. You know on Ikea bookshelves, you get the little pegs to place your shelves with? And those pegs fit into little notches in the shelves? You know what I mean? Well, this Hemnes has no notches. The shelves sit on top on the pegs. Like so:

This isn't missing one notch, these shelves have NO NOTCHES WHATSOEVER. Is that a mistake? Or did Ikea cut the notches out to make this bookcase cheaper to make, yet still one of the more expensive lines of bookcase? WTF?

Sigh. Yet, still, I love Ikea. I bought some $0.49 plant pots today. I bought some frames. I looked at stuff. Also, the hot dogs are $0.50. So, this doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of my relationship with this temple of Scandinavian delight. Just frustrated, is all, and needed a rant.

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