Saturday, June 22, 2013


From February 6, 2013

I am considering adopting a new hobby this year.

I can sometimes be very fickle so focusing on one or two hobbies have been difficult.
I have boxes, neatly stacked on wooden shelves in my basement housing my many half-interests. I have sp
ent precious dollars at IKEA and many many many hours in assembly of these wooden shelf-mausoleums that store these treasures

Now before I go any further I feel the need to address my thoughts on that mainstay of today’s hipsters, immigrants from the world over, and my immediate family, namely that wonderful, marvelous import from Denmark, Scandinavia, Vermont (someplace very cold and very far away) namely IKEA.

I HATE IKEA! In my mind it is nothing more than a four-letter word.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE I know just loves IKEA, including some of my own flesh and blood. 

I know I am the only person on this big blue marble that feels this way.

People plan their life around spending a day at this furniture amusement park. Every time I had to visit it was reminiscent of Six Flags, Disney or another theme park.

You ascend from a long escalator ride only having to be herded along floor arrows probably designed by
Dr. Temple Grandin.  It is planned so you lose all sense of direction, (similar to an amusement park’s “house of mirrors” or a cornfield maze) where your only hope is to continue on the chosen path, follow someone else or fall to the floor, curl into a fetal position and wait for guard assist.

There is even a “Kiddie-Land”, a room full of colorful plastic softballs where diaper-tots and toddler panty-poopers leave their bacteria for your children to roll around.

At the end of the ride you can even enjoy some Swedish meatballs, hot cocoa or a good old American hot dog.

Although there is no entrance fee, no hand stamping or tickets to purchase, nevertheless you will leave wondering if you maxed-out a credit card.

The fun does not end there, next is the challenge of trying to determine if the last two “gotta have these impulse purchases” will now fit in the little clown car in the parking lot. And let’s not forget the potential of an imminent hernia or the unraveling of 10 years worth of Dr. Chiropractic’s handiwork.

I won’t even begin to address the problem of “some assembly required”. Fortunately my wife has a keen eye for design, the mind of an engineer and knows her “Righty-tighty”, “Lefty-loosey” using tools that look like monopoly pieces and dealing with cute names like Zvone, Gorf, Svent or another bizarre furniture name in the IKEA-to-English dictionary. 

I lack all patience for this and consider IKEA her hobby. Left up to my skill set I would be sitting on three-legged sofas, using uneven end tables and have entertainment centers still in their original cartons.

So I return to my new hobby and that is hoarding. I have watched the programs of those poor souls who cannot navigate their home without climbing on a stepladder to enter a room or must use a shovel to go through their front door. I won’t go that far, I will probably continue to organize stuff and store them on my IKEA shelves because I cannot seem to part with most of my possessions.

I have always advocated the Freecycle-recycling program, so why do I have difficulty ridding my basement of these wonderful collectibles?

I fault my younger brother for implanting into my deepest thoughts the possibility that I may have something of real value stored away in the many labeled cartons on the rows of my theme-park shelves.

We once had a discussion about the possibility of having a yard sale; he was vehemently opposed to the idea. He was certain that someone would eventually obtain one of his worthless pieces of junk only to discover finding the buyer sitting on camera at a taping of PBS’s “Antiques Road Show” proudly boasting that their buy-of-the-century purchased from his table for $.25 was now worth millions. YIKES!

The media loves to reinforce this fear. After daily dog stories, an item always gaining attention is the $5.00 purchase of an original Warhol at a local Goodwill, or a pristine Honus Wagner baseball card found in the bible belonging to somebody’s great granny (at least she did not throw out the shoebox full of cards like most mothers).

We have a new story today, another baseball card from 1865 purchased at a yard sale.

I think I am going to just lay down, curl up in a fetal position next to my shelves.

Someone please cover up my body in boxes.

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