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IKEA deliverySunday, April 10, 2005
IKEA delivery: Any time between 8 and 8, we're told. But, they add, we'll call and give you half an hour notice.
No, the wife has other ideas - let's move the lounge around, clean up, and hoover under every crevice in the flat. Then, after that, we'll go shopping. Hmm? Sound good?
So, I dream of the pub and angrily sort through sheets of paper and move boxes about with some violence. Still, they call at 10:30am, so I'm not put out for too long.
So, given the nature of the world, and how unreliable it is, I start to make a chilli for supper, slowly, and they arrive at 1pm and park outside the flat in a never-seen-before space which appeared as-if-by-magic as they rolled down the street.
It's a big truck.
I point out the luck of the space to the jovial Scot driver.
He frowns, 'But if you didn'ae have the space, we'd have not have delivered yer sofa.' (I'm bad with accents).
This gem of information wasn't imparted to us at the time of purchase. Lucky, really.
We take up (nobly) the shelves and poles and screws and things, and leave them the sofa. I run down the stairs and catch them coming in the doors, which I hold open and then buzz around them unhelpfully as they push and pull the damn creamy thing up the four flights of stairs.
I'm glad I'm not doing it, I ponder, as I hang around behind them on the stairs.
'Well, it's nae small,' says the Scot as he heaves it into the lounge. He had an idea that the top floor would be a kind of single-room bubble.
We thank the movers for a good job, and (to ensure a day of sorrow) head for Argos to inflict the 'Flat-Pack-Walk' upon ourselves.
Let me explain.
We buy an 'entertainment unit', which is much less fun that it sounds. It turns out that it's actually a lot of shoddy wooden planks and some screws in a large, heavy box. It's designed for you to put your TV and video, DVD etc on. So they say.
We haul the item out of the shop and head up the road. Ah, it seems easy at first, but then the shoulders start to hurt, followed by the hands, back, arms, legs, elbows, neck, and ankles. You start to break out in beads of sweat and puff and pant, swear and stagger like a drunk.
'Just to the next lamp-post, eh?' You grunt, and totter towards it.
With the box on the floor you then stand around, flexing hands and looking nonchalant as passerbys eye you suspiciously. Blood slowly throbs into hands and arms.
Then it's another session to the post box, then the street corner, then the shop, then the next post box, the doorstep, each floor in turn, until finally, after half an hour of sweaty nightmare, the flat-pack-walk ends and you can start to enjoy the real fun of assembling the bloody thing.
The Argos design invokes in me furious swearing and blisters. This is, admittedly, partially the fault of the 1-pound-for-five screwdriver set that I bought in poundstretcher, but, also, the consequence of thinking it wise to design one leaflet without words than can be (supposedly) read by the entire world, independent of language.
Bollocks, I say.
The Entertainment Unit is a seriously bad design which simply involves powering lots of long screws into wooden planks without any nice starter holes. In the end I have to wear a glove as my blisters start to bleed.
Two hours. Two bloody hours it took. Two hours of pain, misery, red-faced-ness, cursing, and Stella Artois.
'I've finished with screwing for a year!' Shouts the wife (one her more memorable utterances), as she nurses her blisters.