Imagine if you will, that you are waiting for your evening train in "any town" Sweden. Suddenly in a “That’s Incredible” moment you burst into flames. In the 1980’s John Davidson along with Cathy Lee Crosby devoted at least 2 episodes with stories about spontaneous human combustion. I never believed a word until I read this news item last week on the internet.
Witnesses outside the Gothenberg station watched as a gentleman suddenly became a human candle until a man with a working brain ran up and threw his coat over him to put out the flames. He was then taken to the hospital and police are still trying to piece together what happened. Someone said his mumbled words sounded like the word Ikea. Could this possibly be? Was he so angry at the beloved "one move furniture” store that he burst into flames?
I have a love hate relationship with Ikea and can sit for hours and fondle their huge catalog. Yet when I enter the store I have to walk miles through areas I have no interest in. But as I stroll casually through each department admiring this and that, I purchase yet another box of tea lights for my home.
I must argue with the person who wrote that anyone that cannot assemble something from Ikea should go back to kindergarten. When no text is used in assembly instructions this should be the first warning that the bed you just bought that morning is not going to be slept in that night. I am sure whoever else is assembling the same product in another part of the world like Thailand is having the same dilemma. Exactly what is that little illustrated Swedish man pointing at? A word of warning to remember is that your completed furniture is only as good as the “chosen one” who puts it together.
You might remember the episode of "The Big Bang Theory" where the cast was assembling Penny’s Swedish made bed. Even the rocket scientists could not find the location of the holes nor could they figure out the difference between the top and the bottom. I believe they said the directions were like an impressionist painting. What you initially see - even with help from that free Allen wrench is not what it actually ends up looking like. Is time and insanity worth the cheaper price?
Ikea sells over 14,000 products online, of which 9,209 items are now being resold on Craigslist. Half are dresser drawers that are missing knobs that have long fallen off and been lost. Most have mislaid the instructions so you know your end result will look like something conjured up by Ikea hackers.
Yet when a new store opens a special freeway ramp must be built to handle the huge hipster traffic. They come to host dinner parties at the store featuring Ikea’s word famous meatballs with a side of Lingonberry jam. Then it’s off to the living room displays to play Pictionary while pretending to watch Ikea Heights on a faux television.
Ikea also started making homes in Europe in 1996 called “BoKlok”. It was a move to allow first-time home buyers to have a chance at a cheaper place to live. As I type out these words I am still wondering what happened to the poor man burning man in Sweden.
Did he catch on fire because an impending divorce was looming?
Did he find out minutes before that his soon to be ex wife was not taking their Ikea house?
Did she tell him that he was not getting custody of both of the Allen Wrenchs? After all having one Allen Key with Ikea products is like a man only having one testicle. You need two to get the job done right.
Now how about that exploding iPhone? Who can we blame that one on?
Linda Seccaspina 2011
Images from Google and Dornob
Actual Ikea Heights you can watch on youtube. Shot in an actual Ikea store