Today I sat at my desk, eating my meat loaf and assorted vegetables, with my screen saver clock ticking away when I suddenly had the feeling that something was going down. Something awful. Something inevitable that I was helpless to avoid.
With a waggle of the mouse I wiped away the screen saver to reveal a blinking Yahoo! Messenger panel containing that message which every man hopes is never delivered.
Fliss: Do you fancy going to Ikea this weekend?
I like the notion that the very idea of going to Ikea can ripple through the cosmos and strike fear and dread into my very being faster than the internet borne message can confirm the reason for said anxiety.
Okay, so it could have been something worse. Not much worse, you understand, but I do take solace in the fact that nobody I knew and loved was in distress.
Except for me, that is. The rush of images swept through my mind like an unwelcome icy gust;
The congested car park. The crowded checkout. The mob scene in between.
For that is Ikea.
The great big warehouse of expensive wooden consumables where couples go to argue and kids go to cry. Where an empty row of shelves reminiscent of where they stuck the box at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark can break hearts that had been led to believe, two floors and a labyrinthine path ago, that the perfect item had been in stock. Hearts that had believed their grueling search was drawing to a close, that the fight through the throng of inconsiderate and unwashed would be worth it in the end.
In the past, more often than not, the gauntlet of Ikea has been fruitless, save for the tasty meatballs.
Hey! I had forgotten about the tasty meatballs. 😀