Opinion: Not your average one night stand


I’m at a loss to understand why people camped out for days for the opening of the new IKEA store in Fishers.

Back in the good old days, you could wait in your house for UPS to deliver your online furniture purchases…instead of sleeping in a tent on the cold concrete and missing the latest episode of “Will and Grace.”

I’d like to tell you about a one night stand. No, I didn’t have a one-night stand. I bought one online a few years ago, and it required assembly. Every piece in the kit was assigned a letter. All the grooves were numbered and there was an actual picture of all six kinds of screws and nails. Seemed easy enough.

This instruction manual was in three languages: English, Spanish and French. That was an immediate distraction for me, because the phrase “Avec precaution, retourner l’element sur ses chants avant,” sounds a lot sexier than “Carefully turn your unit over and onto its front edges.”

I’m not good with tools. The directions said I needed a Phillips screwdriver. That would be equal parts vodka, orange juice and Milk of Magnesia, right?

This night stand’s manufacturer provided a hotline number—answered by the very same kind of people who respond to those life-and-death turkey questions on Thanksgiving morning. One year, I abused that phone number after downing a couple of wine coolers.  I called to ask if I could take a frozen turkey in the sauna with me to defrost it. It’s hard to make those folks laugh.

After I got my bedside table assembled, I was pretty happy with myself, although it didn’t look exactly like the photo on the box.  Mary Ellen thought it was the biggest birdhouse she had ever seen.

I went to the newly opened IKEA yesterday to see if it might make a good subject for one of my TV segments. I had an appointment with the district manager. When I entered his office, he said something I know he’s said a thousand times, but it still made me laugh.

“Come in,” he said. “Please make a chair and have a seat.”


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