Ikeadom

Several Sundays ago, we made the pilgrimage, Mrs. Bardie and I, to the holy shrine of Ikea. I’d heard it was a shopping paradise. Have heard it is now one of the three main reasons to come to Orlando, Disney and Universal being number one and number two. Just walk in and they have everything, interior designwise. It will make your eyes water, your words go gaa-gaa and your wallet empty. (Guess that’s why God made credit cards, huh?)

First we had to get a map. Made me think of Epcot, only Ikea didn’t charge, and that’s when I knew I was in trouble. Anyplace I need a map to find my way to the bathrooms, I know, is going to be a bit too much. I was hoping they’d give me a compass too but no such luck. And of course, there’s a Shopping List form on the back of the map.

From the entrance, I played Follow the Leader, following my significant-other up the stairs and into the Big Store. She turned to me and said, “Now, Bardie, if you get lost, remember your Boy Scout skills. Stand still and I will find you.” The place was big, I mean, really big. And so many choices. There was book shelves everyplace and the book shelves had book shelves. And they all had Swedish books on them. I’ve never seen so many Swedish books in my life.

I saw a chair that I kind of liked. It looked comfortable. So I sat down. But I couldn’t get up. If I brought this one home, I’d need a crowbar to pull my heft out of all that comfort. If I looked around, I am sure I would have found that crowbar in the accessories department. There were living rooms so spectacular I plan to end up in one of these when I kick the bucket (oops, cliches slipping in there, Bardie). And a place for that big big screen TV I’ll buy when I win the lottery.

There was a sign saying “Serenity Now. Because there’s nothing better than knowing where everything is…” Now that sounded reasonable. I liked that. Too bad Ikea couldn’t help me in that department as I tried to find my way through the store.

Soon I found myself among a whole bunch of closets. There was one so big I commented, “You could stuff a dead body in there.” I was thinking of my Character Closet theory. If a Character has a dead body in the closet, he must be a serial killer, huh? You know it’s the little things, the details, that give a story its color. Of course, this closet was filled with shoes. Imelda Marcos must have loved Ikea.

There were desks and more desks, more desks than I’d ever seen in my life in one place. And I used to work in an office supply store. These Ikeaistas have made the phrase “everything including the kitchen sink” into a life mission statement. There was way too many kitchen sinks for me to want to look at. There were big ones, small ones, medium-sized ones.

Well, I am not one you want to take shopping. I like my shopping in little doses. My head started to hurt. I’d seen too many living rooms and I was starting to run out of steam. All these rooms were taking on the same tinge. I said to the Mrs., “We’re starting to get reruns here.” Sure it was full of well-made furniture that was inexpensive. But it was just too much.

Then, oh, my God, we headed downstairs, and would you be believe, more stuff. The cranky was now coming out in me. And the “I just want to get out of here”. How were we ever going to get out of this place? It made me appreciate Hansel and Gretel and their bread crumbs. “My God, will we never get to the checkout?” Then, “Oh, no, there’s a line longer than the one at the Pearly Gates.” Well, there was light at the end of the Ikea store. I could see the Parking Lot. As we made our way through the noise and the confusion and into the Parking Lot, I knew why someone said, “There’s no place like home.” They’d been to an Ikea store and were ready to head for home.

So that’s my Ikea experience. Maybe it wasn’t a nightmare. But I know one thing. I just don’t want to dream about it. Next time, it’s online shopping for me.

Does Your Lawn Talk To You?

Guess what? Mine does. It talks up a palaver. There’s just no shutting it up, and it’s not
the happy talk one would expect from a lawn that receives the royal treatment. Lately it’s been on the warpath. It wants its own Facebook page. Can you imagine? It’s not going to happen. Not going to do it.

So my advice to my lawn. It had better stop insisting. It had better quit waking me up way too early in the morning just to run its mouth, whispering, “Facebook.” It saw what I did to those crop circles in my back yard, spelled, “Facebook.” I mowed right over them. Felt good after I did too. That was a warning.

Another thing. It had better quit blaming the cat. That cat did not pee those letters in the grass. He does not even like Facebook. Last time I left the site open on my computer, he saw it. He almost destroyed the computer. Never heard such snarling in my life. Besides it would be “catnip” that he would pour out on the lawn. ‘Cause I am here to tell you he sure enjoys that stuff. Just lights up a cigar and lounges in the living room ever so mellow when he has had a hit of the stuff.

No, it was the lawn and its campaign for Facebook immortality. Ever since I set up a Facebook page, it’s been after me. It’s just one more of its conspiracy to run roughshod over my life. If I did it, all my neighbor’s lawns would want a page of their own. Next thing you know my neighbors would beating down my door with axes and pitchforks, demanding, yes demanding, that I take it down. I’m afraid of what they might do with those pitchforks

Oh, and another thing, that lawn had better quit having babies. Used to take only thirty minutes to mow the lawn. Now it takes two and a half hours. If things continue the way they are, pretty soon I will need a water truck to keep my thirst quenched when I am mowing you.

I’m telling you that I am getting fed up with all the lawn hi-jinx. They’re enough to drive one man crazy. And I am not talking crazy in love either. You know that there is no love lost between the my lawn and I.

When I was a kid, I said never. Not ever would I have a lawn to care for. It was my job to mow when I was in school. Then I grew up and got a new job. Taking out the garbage. Not only do I to take out the garbage but I have mow that lawn. I am not a happy man.

If I could get away with it, I would just brick it over. But that is not a plan. No sirree. Cement does not cool things off in the summer. It heats them up. But I am warning it that, if things do not change, there will be some changes all right. I’ll pack it up and send it off to Alaska for a six-month-winter. That will teach it. So it can just take that as a warning.

Hopefully giving my lawn a case of the reading-the-riot act will do the trick. Get it to fall in line. With no more insistence on a Facebook page. Nary one whisper about the darn thing.

I don’t mind a little sassy from it from time to time. But no more Facebook and no more kids. Thank you very much.

By the way, anybody want to buy a lawn. I’ll throw in the transportation to Anyplace, USA for free. And I don’t even care if you give it a good home. Just take it off my hands.

What’s in a name

Michael the Archangel     Photo from wikimedia commons   Queen of Archangels Roman Catholic Parish
Clarence, PA
4 May 2019
Author Jmk7

Michael was fifty, and all the joy in his name had left him.

When he was a kid, he asked his mother about his name. “Why Michael?”

“Michael’s an Archangel,” she said. He knew that. “It’s your namesake. He’s gonna look out after you when things get rough. And, believe me, things are going to get rough.” He didn’t know that.

Things had been pretty good for him, so he never saw any reason for needing Michael. Until…

First there was the sinkhole. No problem. He had insurance.

Then there was the hurricane. He had insurance for that too.

The flooding? Insurance.

When he lost his business, he was getting the idea that somebody up there didn’t like him. There was no insurance for that.

Maybe it was time for Michael to step in.

Ten Things To Consider For The New Year

  1. Each Day is a New Beginning just like spring is for baseball.
  2. Each Day is a story being told as we move through it. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.
  3. Expectations are like footsteps that will lead into a Danger Zone. There are a heck of a lot of landmines out there.
  4. For all I know about writing, I know nothing. I have to accept my ignorance and move on into the darkness.
  5. Every stranger I meet very well may be a friend. Or just a stranger.
  6. Shadows are Nature’s way of saying, “Be careful. You might get sunburn.”
  7. When I’ve lost my eye glasses, the best place to look is on my face.
  8. When driving, remember the Stop Light was put there for a purpose.
  9. If wishes were horses, I’d probably have a bunch of donkeys.
  10. The difference between a pessimist and an optimist: When a pessimist is surprised, it’s a good thing. When an optimist is surprised, it’s a bad thing.

 

 

What I did on my summer vacation. Not.

Since it’s back-to-school days, I’m thinking back to the Day. My English teachers, and I’m sure yours, issued the ultimate in essay assignments, “What did I do on my summer vacation.”

Unfortunately the essay gods were not kind to me. I had no answer to that question. You see, my summer days were boring as heck. So boring, I won’t even try to extrapolate on the boredom. Take my word for it. They were boring, and I didn’t want my teachers to get a case of the boredoms. Can you contemplate how many thousands of these exercises in torture the average teacher must have to endure?

Which left me no alternative but to be creative. And creative I became.

There are many forms an essay may take. The first year, following my new strategy, I gave my teacher a list. And not just any list. I gave her a list that would have made Alexander the Great proud.

Why would Alex be proud? I became him with a list of my conquests, beginning with El Gordo, the Gordian Knot. The pyramids, the Parthenon, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I gave her the names of places she’d never heard of, like Akkad, Phrygia, Persepolis, Lagash and Memphis. And I don’t mean, Memphis, Tennessee.

The next year I went descriptive. I was Cleopatra floating down the Nile, watching the crocodiles crocodile and ibises ibis-ing. Then I saw Marc Antony on the shore. His nose would give any nose a run for its money. And man, he had one heck of a sword.

One year I tried out a Tom Sawyer and a Huckleberry Finn. After all, they’d put down their summer vacations as “The Adventures of–.” Any adventures of is a summer vacation in my book. I let the teacher know I had been such a good entrepreneur. I sold places to the paint-my-picket fence celebration. When it was finished, I had enough money to hire a raft and sail down to New Orleans on the Mississippi.

Another year I took on a Just-call-me-Ishmael and gave her my best Moby Dick impression. Then I related how I had done a Sherlock Holmes and solved the case of who ate Grandma’s apple pie. I cannot tell a lie. It was me.

Then one year I decided autobiography was the thing. I wrote about how I found my Uncle Ralph’s treasure trove of Playboy Magazines. I had never seen anything like it. All she had to say, “That sure puts the phrase ‘carpe diem’ in a whole new perspective.”