No, IKEA, I Won’t Be Doing That.

My {still plague stricken} wife is an avid crafter, and even runs a quite successful esty shop where she sells hand-made felt items. I’m not going to link her shop here, because she actually still doesn’t know I blog, and she’d wonder who this ‘adequatedad’ jerk is who is linking to her stuff, and my cover would be blown with some elementary level internet sleuthing.

Anyway…she recently decided that rather than keep her crafting stuff strewn all about the kitchen table, she would buy a desk. I knew right away that this meant ‘some assembly required’ but I wasn’t that worried.

Delivery day, and there’s a box from IKEA on the front porch. I haul it in and she looks at me with a bit of guilt.

“That’s IKEA, you’re going to degenerate into a lot of swearing before you’re done. Maybe we wait until the boys are in bed?”

“Tish tosh,” says I with aplomb. “Even the vaguest of instructions are no match for my manliness!”

Now, I’ll have you know, that in spite of the many home projects we’ve undergone, I’ve never done anything from IKEA before. I’m also fairly handy with these things, and can work around a set of instructions without too much difficulty. My main failing is that I tend to get so enamored with my skills that I’ll get ahead of myself in a build project and end up skipping a step or missing a minor detail like the orientation of a part. Or parts.
Still. How hard can it be to follow a few ‘insert tab A into slot B’ instructions?

Open comes the box.

Dump go the parts.

Right away I notice something that might threaten the confidence of a lesser man. There ARE no ‘tab As’ or ‘slot Bs.’ No labels or colored stickers on any of the pieces. There is just a bald, possibly naked man pointing at some things on a few flimsy sheets of paper, and is rather laughably suggesting that if I have problems to merely call IKEA for help.

Oh….no no little IKEA man, I will not be doing that. I’ll die first. You hear me? I’LL DIE!

The second problem is the little corner of the instructions which outline the tools needed.
His wide grin suggests that all I need is a set of screwdrivers. Which I have. No problem. My mind briefly touched on another alternative, but I dismissed it right away. Off to the toolbox, out come the drivers. Excellent. I am armed and ready to go.

We delve into the instructions, pausing often to wonder “Does that possible mean what it looks like it means?” and “These seven parts seriously are exactly the same. Or are they? They are. Yes. Right? No. They’re not. That hole is a half an inch to the left, er…east?…….up?…from where the one is that is on that part.”

Things are going along swimmingly until I come to another section of instructions with this:

I know immediately what that is. That’s the damned little wrench thing they’re “kind” enough to supply with some of the bolts. Immediately my “NOPE” alarm went off. You see friends, I have a long and colorful (red) history with ‘included tools.’ While once assembling a grill with the little cheese-shit wrench they gave me, I managed to bark my knuckles to the point of blood because the damn thing was so flimsy the grip was laughable. After a few failed attempts at getting ONE nut tightened, I bellowed with a fury that only a man on a DIY project can, rose to my feet like Poseidon from a foamy sea, and hurled that mother f****** wrench with force enough that Thor himself has it on video replay so he can take notes for future hammer throws. I don’t know how many miles away the wrench landed from the house, in fact- I’m not sure it ever did land. It is possible that my mild irritation with its worthlessness prompted its clean ejection from the atmosphere and any gravitational hold that this planet might have had on it.

So again, No little IKEA man, I won’t be doing that. Daddy don’t do ‘included tools.’ I handed that little wrench to The Narrator and told him to throw it right in the garbage. He looked at me quizzically. “Daddy? Don’t you need it to build the desk?”

“No son.” I tell him. “We’re going to do it the right way.”

While he dumped the cursed thing in the bin, I deposited the screwdrivers back in the tool box. If we’re going to do it, we’re gonna DO it.

No more dicking around with hand-tightening screws. Not even a single attempt to use that damn joke of a hand tool they included.

My overkill on the bolts saved the project from following the grill-wrench in a rage-ejection through the stratosphere.

I won’t lie. Those damn instructions made little sense to me, and if I had had to squiggle through all the connections by hand instead of in nano-seconds with the drill, I might well have blown a gasket or six.

In good time though, the project was completed and wasn’t even that wobbly. In spite of the vague ass instructions:

We did it. We assembled the desk, my Kobalt and I. I was a conquering hero.

Not only did I complete the job, but apparently, I’m a model of efficiency, much more so than the bozos that created the desk in the first place. I managed to have a handful of bolts and things left over.
….on an unrelated note, its been completed since Monday, and the wife still hasn’t put anything on it. She says I need to reevaluate the instructions to find where those left over parts are supposed to go. She refuses to believe that my methods are just as safe and twice as economical as the professionals who designed the thing.

Sheesh.

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