He has the weekend off
and Monday is a holiday
He drove for hours and hours
to sit in a lawn chair
by the bay
— the prophet patty larkin
“OK, remember we need to stay focused,” Mo says. “Go in, get a chair, avoid distractions and OH MY GOD THAT’S THE CUTEST LAMP THING EVER I HAVE TO HAVE THAT!!!!!”
Longtime readers will recall we’ve been trying to find a chair for the last 30 years or so. We had tried every store we could think of with no results. And then our pal Lori said the magic words:
“Yo, moron. You live in the big city now. IKEA.”
And so we find ourselves in the maze that is the little slice of Swedish heaven.
We follow the arrows that eventually lead to the chair we had picked out online. Then another one nearby. Then a couch. Then a bunch of stuffed pigs recreating a slaughterhouse scene. Then back to the first chair. Then we wander around, eventually tracing the arrows backward. I want to get the egg chair because she said i could pick out any chair I wanted, and the color drains from her face whenever I mention it. But she apparently has made a deal with the store in which they’ve hidden them for the day. dammit.
The thing about IKEA: I’m certain you could spend the entire day there. Their stuff is clever and cheap and colorful. There are hipsters and retirees and middle-age people, all wandering around with that glazed look of kids in a toy store. Measuring tape in hand, carts at the ready. Free coffee and $2 breakfast. You can check out any time you like, but you can never …. nah, that would be a dumb song.
Mostly, I’m fascinated by the books they have on the shelves of the reasonably prised bookcases. They’re almost all Swedish and many by the same author. Are these real books? If so, what’s the point? Maybe so I’m not tempted to pick up a book and sink into a chair. OOPS. a chair. I was trying to remember why we’re here.
In the end, we agree on the chair we had picked out. It’s comfy, it’s cheap, and it sort of matches our other chair in the same way you look like your sibling if your mom slept around a lot. It’s fake plastic, not the Fancy Real Plastic, but that’s OK. We can use it for a year and if we don’t like it, we’ll toss it. Environmentalism was sooooo Obama.
And so we get the number for the chair and take the Shortcut to checkout. Which leads through kitchenware, which leads Mo to buy measuring spoons since we only have 12 sets and might want to measure more than that. We find the chair in a box at the self-service warehouse. I lean up against it and remark to the warehouse guy that the box doesn’t seem as comfy as the chair did in the showroom. That’s because the legs aren’t on it, he replies. You win this round, pal. Vaguely disappointed that he didn’t have a Swedish accent.
The only hitch in assembly: There are two short legs and two long legs. We don’t know which goes where, so Mo does one short on front and one long to balance things out. Now we have a rocker! Artists are the best.
And so we have a chair. Or BK has another chair and we will continue to sit on the floor while she decides which she prefers.
On to the next search, finding a good Swedish bookstore.