Shopping at IKEA. Or “The IKEA Game: Find the Hidden Utfart”

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkein

For the first time in my life, I got to experience the wonder and joy of shopping at IKEA. Here are a couple of impressions:

The IKEA Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too

Is everybody in Sweden three feet tall? The first couch I sat on made me feel like a giant! Granted, I’m not a small guy – I’m 6’2″ – but, still. My knees were up at about chest level, while the coffee table stood right below mid-shin. It was comical. Then, when I stood up, my head went straight into the hanging light fixture above the coffee table. The entertainment center was about 18″ tall and put the different A/V pieces about 10″ off the floor which is perfect for your remote control if you’re lying on the 7″ tall coffee table. I was waiting for Derek Zoolander to walk in:

Derek: “What is this? Furniture for ants?”
IKEA: “I’m sorry?”
Derek: “How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read… if they can’t even fit into these tiny chairs?”
IKEA: “Um…”
Derek: “This furniture needs to be at least… three times bigger than this!”

Free With Every Visit: Rosetta Stone Swedish!
I may not be the brightest bulb to come out of the tulip garden, but I’m not THAT stupid. However, I have absolutely no idea how to read the product signs in the store. Here’s an example (my apologies for the picture quality):


Is Grundtal the brand? The design? Is it Swedish for “Rail”? Is it Swedish for “HA HA! Made you squint and cock your head to the side like a confused dog!”?

And of course, no Grundtal is complete without a few Fintorps:


I may not have a clue what those words mean, but I think – I’m not sure – but I think the Fintorps slide onto the Grundtal prior to installation so one can Hänga one’s Mätning Koppar and Redskap.

In the Hedge Maze…
Remember that scene from The Shining (the Kubrick version) where Jack is chasing Danny through the frozen hedge maze? It’s not that walking through IKEA reminds me of Jack run-limping through the maze with an axe… it’s that watching Jack run-limp through the maze with an axe reminds me of how I felt trying to find the damned exit (Utfart. No.. really. Utfart.). You know what really sucked? We walked in and decided we wanted a fountain drink. There’s a nice – really nice – cafeteria at the entrance. And they had no paper cups (Pappersmuggar). Just cups for use in the cafeteria (Cafeteria). Guess where the paper cups are? That’s right!! At the exit! So, we had to walk the entire length of the store 12 times on each of two different levels to find the exit. Fortunately, the cobweb-draped skeletons we saw along the way helped show where dead ends might be (ba-dum-dum!). Once we had our drinks, we were ready to look at furniture.. which, of course, meant going outside and back into the entrance. By the end of it, I was run-limping through the store looking for an axe.

So, there you have it. Shopping at IKEA is fun. It’s good exercise. Now, if I could just figure out if that Lixtorp Kitchen I liked is the style, the color or package.


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