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.

What’s it all about?

After watching the final episodes of “Game of Thrones,” I have done some deep thinking about the whole darn thing. Several questions come to mind. Just what the heck was all that precious time devoted to? Would it have been more suited to watching “Seinfeld” episodes for the one-hundred-and-tenth time? Was that eighth season as bad as some fans say? Was it as much a disappointment as, say, the final episode of “How I Met Your Mother”?

Last things first. It was not as disappointing as the “How I Met Your Mother” fiasco. We can all rejoice that Cersei got her just desserts. Poor Jaime, he deserved better. Unfortunately he couldn’t resist drooling every time Cersei walked into the room. But I got to say that she wasn’t that bad with her clothes off. And I’ve seen her with her clothes. In fact, there weren’t any of the main characters I didn’t see naked.

And I came up with a good answer to the question, “What was it all about, Alfie?” It was about furniture. One particular piece of furniture. A chair. The iron throne. Was all the killing and sexing and hanging out with dragons worth it? After all, who would want to sit on the darn thing?

There’s a rumor going around the television channel that gave us “The Sopranos” that everybody who sat on the darn thing was given combat pay. After all, Joffrey could not sit down for a month after a couple of hours sitting his tush on it. Only Cersei could take the difficulty. That’s because everybody in the kingdom called her “Queen Iron Butt”.

As I considered the “Game of Thrones” dilemma of what was it all about, I came to some other conclusions. One of them being that the thing most super villains pine for is jewelry. Just look at the list. Sauron wanted a ring. Sure it wasn’t just any ring. But still it was jewelry. And Thanos, what did he want? Gems. Which is another word for jewelry. What did Lex Luthor want? Kryptonite. Which was just some green jewelry. Maybe he should have gotten in touch with Green Lantern.

Then there are the fairy tales. Just think Cinderella. All she wanted was a new pair of shoes. She ended up with a prince with a foot fetish. And talking about shoes. If Dorothy had surrendered those ruby reds, she would have avoided beaucoup amounts of trouble.

The Big Bad Wolf was a real estate developer trying to evict the Three Little Piggies. And Little Red was out for Granny’s real estate as well. But Big Bad got there first.

And what can you expect when you ask a Mirror who’s the fairest in the land? Fake news. The fairest may not have been the Queen. But neither was Snow White. That honor went to Sleeping Beauty. After all, she had Hollywood’s Best doing makeup when she won Miss Fairy Tale 2018.

As you can see, our heroes, our villains and our fairy tale folk are all after the same thing we ordinary mortals want. Furniture, clothes, real estate and beauty pageants. Why else do we play the lottery?

 

Furnituritis extremis

I’ve been laid up for the past two months. It seems I had a case of furnituritis. Furnituritis is rare but it does happen. Mostly we’ve had it conquered. Especially since they came out with the vaccine. They tell me you need to get the vaccine once every ten years. Just like the tetanus.

What is furnituritis? you ask. It seems it is when your furniture turns on you. Back in the olden days it only happened in the castles of ye lords and ladies. For the rest of we serfs, it wasn’t much of a problem. We sat and ate on the floor. In modern times, we serfs have acquired real furniture for our castles.

Like colds, we all have a bit of furnituritis. We stub our toes on the chair at the dining table. We kick the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom. The curtains accidentally fall down on us.

Well, I had a case of furnituritis extremis. My dishes started throwing themselves at me. The chair kept moving and I fell on my bum so much I broke my tailbone.

The big attack came one night. I know, I know. it’s not a good idea to be walking around the house late at night and in the dark. And that’s when the attacks of furnituritis extremis is the worst. But I’ve always been a brave soul. When it comes to walking around in the dark, I’ve been up to the challenge. My theme song is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

I am thankful for one thing. My cell phone fell on me and knocked me out. When I woke up, it was beside me. So I called 9-1-1. Unfortunately I was in my altogethers sprawled out on the floor when the EMTs arrived. But the female EMT calmed me down by saying, “Down worry. I’ve seen worse.”

Turns out the furniture had broken my tush. And I got to tell you it hurts. It hurts real bad. Especially when you go to the bathroom. And I’ve been doing everything on my tummy. Today’s the first day I could  actually sit down. To celebrate, I am letting you guys know that you need to get the vaccine. Don’t wait the way I did.

Near 500 words: Chair sitting

I wasn’t always a chair sitter. Then late one night, I saw a master of the chair, performing his art in an episode of “All in the Family.” Saint Archie of Bunker sat down on his throne and revealed the secret to the truly blessed life. There was no problem that could not be solved, no challenge that couldn’t be met, no secret that could not revealed. When he sat on that chair, he was the all-wise one.

Once I fell under Saint Archie’s spell, I took the road not taken so much and have been thankful to the Blessed Archie since. Under his guidance, I learned the art of contemplation. Navel gazing, if you will. I learned to stare blankly into space with nary a thing on my mind.

I learned to pontificate as well as the speakers in Hyde Park. On any number of subjects I know absolutely nothing about. Archie taught me the art of laziness. If a job needs doing, there’s always an Edith to do it.

After months of practice, there was only one thing left to do. Saint Archie had his special chair. I needed mine. I spent many an afternoon, wandering the showrooms of God’s green earth. But no chair fit my bottom’s criteria. Just as I was about to give up I met her.

I remember the moment like it was just yesterday. I gazed across the Ikea showroom. She was a wooden framed, canvas covered goddess of a chair.  She saw me. It was love at first sight. I introduced myself. She told me her name was Chaise. I immediately proposed and she accepted. The cashier performed the nuptials. Then she pronounced us man and chair with the word, “Sold.”

Our honeymoon was a long one. I kept asking myself how had I gone so long without such a creature. She was a perfect fit for my bottom. Her embraces were ecstasy.

Whole days went by without my moving. Once I took my respite in her arms it was like the poet Omar Khayyam said. “A can of beer, a remote control, and thou.” We learned the nooks and crannies of each other like we’d been married for decades. I knew her mood swings. She knew where to scratch my back when an if I had an itch.

Then it happened. Like Sheldon Cooper says, there is a Special Place for each of our bottoms. And for us alone. One night some friends came over. And lo and behold, one of those former friends rested his bottom on my beloved. With tears pouring down my face, I screamed, “Sitter, beware.”

But it was too late. My beloved had embraced his bottom as she had embraced mine. As the old saying goes, “Hell hath no fury like a chair sitter scorned.”

When they left, I sat down in my beloved’s arms. The sound was different. In the past, there had always been an ahhhh from Chaise. Now there was a burp. A burp! I ask you, “Have you ever heard such a thing?” The fit was too loose for my bottom. And she retained his smell. The smell of dirty socks.

Needless to say I did not get a divorce and take her down to the local Goodwill. No. I gave her what she truly deserved. Forty whacks with an ax.

In the months that followed, I found myself alone. Distraught. Nothing could satisfy my depression. I watched “All in the Family” episodes for weeks on end, hoping for inspiration. I prayed to Saint Archie. Nothing would do. And then I was at Ikea.

Needless to say, I have lived happily ever after since. And perhaps when I die, I will be buried sitting up in Silla’s lap.