The Maiden Voyage

Since I took my blog name from this article I think it only fair that I write my inaugural post about it. I read this when it first came out and practically fell out of my chair laughing. I was at work. I had to keep it quiet. It was difficult.

The article is called “How do you solve a problem like IKEA: All I wanted was a bed. What I got was a Kafkaesque nightmare” by Craig Davidson. You can find it here:

http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2009/10/19/ikea_nightmare

Just a sample of the author’s funny-isms:
“A portrait hangs beside a model bedroom. The man in the photo is identified as Lars Engman, Ikea’s design director. He wears a beige turtleneck and a supercilious smile. You’d think he’s staring over ice-clad fjords in smug contemplation of the wildly profitable shell game he’s playing with gullible shoppers.
Would you believe people buy this wacky stuff? I picture him saying. It’s so weird! (Except Lars says it in a Scandinavian accent: Vould joo believe people buy zis vacky schtuff? It’s zo veird!)
Not only are you constricted to the path, there are arrows to make sure you go the right way: forward. No arrows point backward. There is something mildly threatening about this. Why can’t I go backward?
Alvays forvard, not backvard. Nevah back!
An authoritarian tone creeps into Lars’ voice. Frankly, he sounds dictatorial.
If joo valk backvards vee vill haff no choice but to unleash evil vood sprites who liff in Schvedish forest, unt zey vill eat your belly guts! Ah! Ah!”


I was thoroughly entertained. The author mentions at the outset that he is a fellow Toronto-dweller. By the end of the article I am imagining him and I hanging out at a local pub…him amusing me with his wit and me keeping up with my share of puns and intelligent humorous remarks. This is quickly followed by a period of self-doubt during which I come to the conclusion that said author would not find me in the least bit funny and that my attempts at being funny in that high-pressure situation to impress would be the equivalent of a fifth-grader telling knock-knock jokes at Hugh Hefner’s roast.
I opt to keep the “nouveau shanty” bit in mind for future usage and get back to work.

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