Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I fucking love Ikea. In fact, I love it so much this is going to be a blog post in 3 parts just to make sure I properly express my love and devotion to the Swedish God of Stuff.
Yes, yes, I know, I profess to be a Friend of the Earth, tree-hugging hippy environmentalist, sustainable-living, anti-mass-consumeristic freak, but when I see that big blue and yellow logo all that goes straight out the window in my need to have more, more, MORE cutely named, cheaply priced and mass-produced STUFF.
I don't think I've ever had more fun spending $21.95 than I did this morning in a totally spontaneous Ikea shopping trip. In fact, it was so spontaneous that by the time my mind had registered the hulking blue structure at the side of the freeway and then briefly pondered my urgent need for a bright pink PS FANGST for my daughter's bedroom, the car had already parked itself in the underground carpark and I was half way to the front door.
As I'm sure you are well aware, in order to reach the PS FANGST department at your local Ikea, it is necessary to traverse a veritable jungle of furniture, pictures, kitchens, accessories, lamps, candles and Swedish meatballs via the Well Marked Out Paths With Arrows, Signs and Occasional Marked Shortcuts. Pffft - shortcuts - who'd use those? *YOU MIGHT MISS SOMETHING*. In fact, I nearly missed out on seeing these utterly adorable wall hooks shaped like the arse end of a dog by taking a shortcut:
Phew - thank GOD I saw sense! Anyhoo, just after I passed the above utterly adorable wall hooks shaped like the arse end of a dog I saw something I'd never seen before in any of my many Ikea adventures (dating back, by the way, to London in the late 1980s). A woman was fast asleep curled up on a display sofa within an ingenious replica of a 5m square flat that would easily house a family of 6 including a dog and a canary.
Now I'm not talking just sitting with head back and eyes shut. I'm talking shoes off, curled up on her side, head on a cushion and drool oozing out of the side of her mouth. I was, understandably, gobsmacked. How incredibly wonderful! What an amazing endorsement of the sheer comfort of the Ikea sofa! For one to be able to sleep so peacefully in a 5m sq replica flat with approximately 2987 people walking past per minute this sofa must be unequalled in comfort.
Naturally I tried to take a photo of this in case you didn't believe me, but was given the evil eye by passers-by as well as a frowny shake of the head by a nearby Ikea Team Member. I think the picture below (from www.bigdogbeds.com which is an uber-cool site, by the way) combined with just a li'l imagination on your part should give you the general idea, though:
I feel this post is getting a little off track, so shall try and drag myself back to the point. Not that there really is a point as such, just, you know...
I continued down the Well Marked Out Paths With Arrows through an astounding array of Stuff, and began to notice something rather odd. There were people walking the Wrong Way down the path. They were walking in the opposite direction to the arrows! I shit you not, folks. If I hadn't have seen it myself I don't think I would believed such a thing possible.
Do they not realise that these Well Marked Out Paths With Arrows serve a vital purpose? Not only do they ensure that customers see every single item in the shop without exception, but they also guide you to the checkout so you can pay for your Stuff. In addition to this, they force a fluid and uni-directional flow of human movement. All it takes is for one person to fuck this up and the whole beautiful, flowing mass of consumerism that is Ikea will DIE!
Fortunately I was there to set these people straight and make them turn around immediately. They seemed strangely unappreciative, but I carried on, the lure of $5.95 sets of 17 plastic food storage containers leading me forward.
Stay tuned for Adventures in Ikea Land - Part 2; the part where not only do I find some amazing plastic food storage containers, but also test drive the free soft-drink refill machines...