Some assembly required – Canada

Some assembly required
Surrey, Canada

Surrey, Canada


I hate flat packs. David and Kirsty are both working today so Nanette has two boys to amuse. The smaller one is pretty easy, build some Lego or switch on some cartoons and he’s happy. The big one is always a bit more challenging. “Why don’t you go upstairs and put up that cupboard we got the other day?” Put up that cupboard? What a simple way to describe the task ahead. The cupboard in question came from JYSK, which I am reliably told is pronounced Yisk. It’s in two flat packs. They’re both heavy. The heavier of the two is still downstairs. The intended location is, of course, upstairs.

Like I said, I hate flat packs. I reckon that JYSK/Yisk has some flaxen haired Scandinavian guy called Sven on hand somewhere to assemble the display stock in the store. Sven is as strong as a Viking, has screwdrivers embedded in his finger tips, and is able to instantly recognise the difference between part 314685 and part 278409. I am not Sven. I look at the complex diagrams and imagine I can hear a radio crackling somewhere in the distance. “Number five? Come in number five. Sven has been captured by an IKEA patrol and won’t be able to reach your position. Number five – it looks like you will need to deal with this one on your own.”

I don’t actually have to face the task alone. Kai has lost interest in the cartoons, and has come to help. He’s loaded up with plastic hammers and screwdrivers from his tool set and is ready to jump right in. Our partnership is fairly short lived however, as Kai is soon distracted again by a better offer downstairs. Surprisingly, things go a little faster after that.

Even more surprisingly, I manage to identify each part through a process of elimination, and first the frame, and then the other various parts take shape. After about three hours, the job is finished except – the newly assembled cupboard is lying nicely on the floor of a smallish room. It needs to be upright! OK, if I wedge my left leg just so, then lift here, then wriggle that there – no, that doesn’t work. What if I tried …? After a couple of false starts, it’s done. The cupboard is sitting in the right place and giving me that innocent look that only a freshly moved cupboard can give.

Nanette comes to have a look. “Hmm, that’s pretty good. You know what would look nice beside this cupboard?” I don’t want to know. I’m going to change some light bulbs. For anything else, they can call Sven.


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