Behold: IKEA. For some, it is a Mecca of low cost, unpronounceably named items. It is, to them, a veritable playground of shopping ecstasy, with row upon row of knicks, knacks, and furniture. I, however, say fuck that. For my dollar, the very thought of IKEA fills me with more dread than a trip through a TSA checkpoint when the screener has cold hands and is standing under the mistletoe.
You see, IKEA is laid out by the same geniuses that design rat mazes and Dungeons&Dragons modules. The floor plan is designed to coax you into seeing everything there is to see, as if shopping for home furnishings were some form of vacation. And perhaps it is sexist of me to say so, but this is the quickest way to piss off men everywhere.
Typical IKEA layout, lost lemmings.
A trip through IKEA is an experience; watching lemmings follow each other past the large arrows on the floor into each and every department and display. I am not a lemming, following hitherto and yon, seeking all that I may gather unto me while driving my credit line into the stratosphere. Nay, I am Dangerboy!, Hunter not Gatherer, and I desire to beeline to the object I wish to buy, then directly to the checkout, only taking the scenic route if it happens to meander through a taping of America’s Next Top Model: the nude edition. I do not wander in merchandise. Ever. (Video game and hardware stores notwithstanding because they don’t fucking count.)
After making it through half the store, I begin muttering things. Wifefish looks on indulgently as I speak seemingly in tongues. “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”.
“Nothing, dearest love! Mumble grumble.”
See, I think IKEA has a great plan, but like Jedi mind tricks, it only works on the weak willed. Force everyone to look at everything, and they just might buy more. Suffice to say I subscribe to the Dark Side of this philosophy, and will gnaw off some of my more useful parts to avoid such a plan like some deranged Sith-inspired coyote.
There’s a restaurant somewhere around the halfway point of their dull grey arrowed version of the Yellow Brick Road, and by the time you get there you feel like Scarecrow anyway, as all semblance of grey matter has long since trickled out of your ears back at the Flinginsvardtgubens. I wonder about some of the items on sale at said restaurant…from monstrous hot dogs to what the fuck ever a lingonberry is to the “Kottbullar”. I don’t know if these “Kottbullar” are actually Swedish meatballs, or a diabolical plan hatched by two lab mice to TAKE OVER THE WORLD with sentient orbs of meat.
Kottbullar Kommandos enacting their plan
But alas, IKEA stocks items that really are inexpensive and even useful. And so it comes to pass that I blindly follow along with the Wifefish as we visit Merchandise Mordor. My attention meanders like a game warden at a fishery. My desire to be anywhere else multiplies like unsupervised guppies. I twitch so much that passersby start saying “Don’t tase him, bro!”
My typical IKEAxperience. The things we do for love.
Perversely, Wifefish wants me to write that “she does not support your opinion of Ikea and she thinks it’s a magical fairy land.” Truly, she flits about like Tinkerbell on meth, darting into short cuts only she knows about, emerging into mystical places within the IKEA that dispense mana as choirs of faerie children sing from on high and fill her with the Spirit of Shopping.
Wifefish dancing with unicorns and fairies at IKEA.
I’ll grant that I’d rather spend money at IKEA than Voldemart (Walmart), but I much prefer the Dangerboy method. This is a way of shopping IKEA that I firmly believe that many of us men should engage in as often as possible. It goes a little something like this: “You know, Wifefish, you haven’t gone shopping with your mom in a while. Oh, and I saw this Glubsnardt on IKEA’s website, wouldn’t it be great in Little Danger’s room?”
I know this seems sinister, even dastardly, but understand that I’ve no qualm with accompanying Wifefish on a shopping excursion normally. It’s that damned IKEA. I shout it out like Kirk shouts KHAAAAAAANNN!!!!! It is the bane of my existence.
And so I salute you, IKEA, but I salute you with one finger. May you rearrange your monsterless dungeon crawl before I farm your aisles for Experience Points.
Note to IKEA. Please don’t sue me. I actually buy a lot of your stuff, and I’ve even eaten the meatballs.