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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

The day after New Years Eve seemed to me to be the very best day, of all the days in the year, on which to be woken a mere 3 hours after going to bed, at 7 in the morning, by an impossibly cheerful voice telling me that my flat packed Swedish furniture would be being delivered between 9 and 12 that day. I may have croaked some response back. I may just have stared at the phone in disbelief, said nothing for a moment, and then hung up. I may have begun to weep. I can’t remember. All I do remember is that a short two hours later I was being gently but firmly hurled out of bed by He Who Only… who seemed to be accompanying his own shrieking with the ringing of a bell. All was chaos. What was going on? The delivery men. Ah yes. Furniture. That.

I threw on the most mismatched of items I could find, such was my panic, dressing entirely from my laundry basket rather than my suitcase full of clean clothes. By the time I had begun to consider what was happening, He Who Only… was back at our door grasping a lump of bed slats in his arms, a wild look in his eyes, and whispering in my face that he was going to hide in the bedroom. Rapidly following behind him was an inexpressibly limber and energetic gentleman who appeared to be carrying the frame for a king size bed on his back, and loving every moment of it. “Hello!” he screamed in my face as he passed, and deposited the boxes on the floor of our front room, which was still covered in glasses, sweet wrappers, beer cans and Styrofoam packaging from the night before. “How is the New Year going for you?”

I blinked at him.

He came back up the stairs four more times, the second to last time handing me a piece of paper that he asked me to sign, and the last time skipping through the door on the way back down the stairs. I was so grateful but bewildered by his good natured assistance that I wanted desperately to give him my Christmas selection box, but since the part of my brain that controls speech wasn’t going to be awake for another 2 hours at least, I didn’t manage to.

We had breakfast, we considered our position, we stared at the flatpack boxes, and then I bravely offered to go to the supermarket to get provisions while He Who Only… made a stab at starting the littlest of the lot – the bedside tables.

One wasted journey to a closed supermarket later, pausing only to stop in the local bakers to buy everything that they were selling, all at once, I returned to find He Who Only… crouched on the floor surrounded by pieces of wood and what did closely resemble an almost completed bedside table. I congratulated him on his speed and success, and also the manly way in which we was working with his hands, with hammers and wood the way that menly men do, and he confessed to having spent the previous ten minutes listing off the ten worst swearwords in his vocabularly over and over again while suppressing the urge to burn not just the furniture, not just the flat, but the entirety of North London. I passed him a Cornish pasty.

Two bedside tables and half a bed later, we were on a roll. There had been bruises, there had been incidents – such as the moment where I stuck a thing into a place where the thing wasn’t supposed to be stuck, and it got trapped there, and wouldn’t come out, and everything was ruined, until He Who Only… took a deep breath and some plyers and totally saved the day; and a couple of other occasions where both He Who Only… and myself managed to stick nails through things that didn’t need or want nails stuck through. But eventually, we seemed to have success lying at our feet, with its legs in the air, asking for its tummy to be scratched. All we needed, it seemed, was to attach the Hamar to the brackets, and we’d be on the home strait.

The Hamar.

Where the fuck was the Hamar?

The Hamar is a long metal thing that stretches end to end across the middle of the frame. It essentially holds the whole frame in place, along with giving the slats somewhere to rest, along with giving the mattress somewhere to lie. Without it, the bed frame is nothing. Nothing at all.

Well, you’ll all know, because you’re sensible, sensitive people, that certain Swedish flatpack furniture stores do not like to make things simple for you. When we had sensibly bought pack 1 and pack 2 and also 2 sets of slats, we thought we were good to go, bed frame wise, but obviously if you’re selling a gigantic bed frame, you should distribute the parts needed randomly around the store, and not tell any customers where or what they are, or even that they might well be overlooking an ESSENTIAL AND INTEGRAL PART.

This of course meant only one thing. We’d have to go back to Ikea. Tomorrow. On the 2nd of January. The day the Ikea sale started. Oh Christ.



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