I was going to write about the perils of mixed-race neighbourhoods, but my Facebook friends implored me to write about something more light-hearted.
So here it is.
The Vidins Guide to IKEA.
So your wife suggests a trip and a browse through IKEA, just to get ideas. ‘How bad can it be’ you hear yourself say.
Well you cruise down the highway in your moderately priced yet safe family car and manage to miss the turnoff, driving right past the ghastly yellow and blue temple of capitalism. You lie to your wife about knowing the right way and you eventually make it.
Then you battle the carpark. So many cars. So many people pushing those oversized trolleys with oversized flat-packs. So many women in high-heels trying to navigate a heavy trolley through the carpark. ‘Suckers’ you say to yourself.
So you wait patiently for the Volvo driver to do a 500 point turn out of his car-park. Looking at the pylon, you mentally note your in carpark aisle ZZZ. Pretty much the furthest away from the door, but it does not matter, ’cause you’re just there to browse and you won’t be trying to push any of those trolleys to your car.
It turns out you forgot the pram and your youngest suddenly gets a case of IKEAitis, where tantrums in the middle of the road seem like a great idea. You get stroppy at your youngest. Your wife gets stroppy at you. You get stroppy at everyone. At least you won’t need to buy anything. Just a quick walk through, 5 minutes tops.
After finding the actual entrance, which is about a kilometre away from your car, you notice the lines. The people. So many people. Why are there so many people? Why are they all lining up?
Sensory overload hits quickly. Why do all the staff look like jockeys with those yellow-and-blue striped shirts? And have you noticed that even the slimmest IKEA girl seems to have a fat bottom in those IKEA blue pants? That’s totally just a casual observation, not an admission of perving.
So many people. What are they looking at? People, just looking at things. It’s all furniture. Just looking at things. Using those Keno pencils. What are they writing? Maybe ‘if I’m found, I’m lost. Please call (number)’.
You hear music. It sounds like rap music. Or is it ‘Sound of Music’? And that kid who keeps on crying. Where are the parents? Why is that kid crying? It seems to go wherever you go. Where are the parents? So noisy. You realise it’s your kid. It could be you, actually.
Yellow signs everywhere. Red tags. Furniture. Every room looks like the last one. Why do all the rooms fit into a 50m2 house? I don’t have a 50m2 shoebox house. I have a family house. I don’t need the kitchen to be a laundry and the dining table to convert into a bedroom with space-saving innovative ideas and retro-inspired yet functional décor. So many yellow signs. What are those people writing down with those little pencils?
Boys holding hands with boys. Girls holding hands with girls. Yellow signs. Are they playing Outcast again? I thought Scandinavians were white. Why are they playing black man music? So confusing. Oh that guy over there looks terrible. He’s got some screaming kid on his shoulders. I think his eardrum is bleeding. Why is that kid screaming? You realise you are looking into a mirror.
Why is that 50 year old guy wearing Chucks? Isn’t he too old for those shoes? Why are there arrows on the floor? Am I being herded into some type of human sorting yard? Haven’t I just seen those cabinets? Am I walking around in circles? Where’s the exit? Why does that sign in the sky say ‘shortcut’? Shortcut to where? The seventh circle of hell?
“What do you mean, good value?” you question your wife. Why is she writing something on that paper? Why all those numbers? You already have your wife’s number. What is she asking that slim-yet-fat-bottomed IKEA girl? “What will fit in well with what?” you ask your wife.
It’s so bright. There are so many people. Things. Arrows on the floor. Little pencils. Will you get out alive?
Why are you suddenly pushing a trolley? Why are you helping that lady get those flat packs off the rack? Why is she smiling at you? Everyone seems smiling. Except the dads. They don’t seem to happy. You realise the lady you are helping with the flat packs is your wife. Why do you have all these boxes?
Something catches your eye. Hot dogs for $1. Hungry. You get three ‘dollar dogs’ to eat and two more for the road. So much hot dog. Why does the sauce dispenser look like a penis? Why are all the boys holding boys hands smiling at me when I squeeze the sauce? I just want a couple o’ hot dogs. I’d never get this in Bunnings. They’d never let that type in. You can have a sausage roll in peace there. Now I know how girls feel when they’ve been perved on. I felt cheap. Over hot-dogs. Is it too much to ask for some peace while I eat a couple o’ dollar dogs? The sauce comes out too quickly. Did I pour the sauce too quickly? Did I squeeze the penis-shaped sauce bottle too hard? It’s all so confusing. Bright lights. Yellow signs.
The car-park is on an angle. Who designs car-parks like this? The trolley wants to move with gravity. I thought IKEA was all about convenience. Maybe Asians designed the car-park. So difficult. Your trolley seems to be diametrically opposed to going forward. ‘Just wedge it in there’ your wife beacons you to ‘wedge’ the trolley in-between your car and the pylon.
‘Just angle it more’ she says, pointing to the flat-pack you are trying to fit into your car.
The nice man in the Volvo politely beeps his horn and encourages you to hurry up and reverse your car. Why has the car-park gotten so much smaller? You can’t see out your rear-view mirror cause it’s chocked full of flat-packs. Why is that guy beeping? So many cars. So many people. Girls pushing heavy trolleys, trying to get big flat-packs into small cars. So confusing.
‘What’s wrong?’ your wife asks. Now you know how those guys feel at Guantanamo Bay. Bamboozled. So many people. You realise she’s beaming. Why is she beaming?
You get home. You realise you have to make the flat-pack furniture. You realise that five dollar dogs perhaps wasn’t a good idea. Why are there so many flat-packs?
Image from http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&docid=WAEP_FORt9CyvM&tbnid=uMdiXm14nKsqSM:&ved=0CAEQjxw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bse.com.au%2Fprojects%2Fikea%2F&ei=Hx-5U6W_Ms2JkQXGh4HgBw&bvm=bv.70138588,d.dGI&psig=AFQjCNEr-rU1Q69JV9wClbthEpftkQ0AFg&ust=1404727442481264