Monday, November 07, 2005

IKEA The Hot Dog Store

And I quote:
IKEA is a fully immersive, 3D environmental adventure that allows you to role-play the character of someone who gives a shit about home furnishings.” - Matthew Baldwin, self-proclaimed non-expert and columnist for online magazine The Morning News.
Something strange happened tonight. Shannon told me when I got home that she wanted to look at Garden Ridge's barstools. We have an island in our kitchen, and just enough of the countertop juts out to make it look like something’s missing.

I wasn’t crazy about the idea of going to Garden Ridge, so with all manner of manliness, I looked her right in the eye and said, “Let’s go to IKEA.”

*Tires screeching*


I had driven by the massive new furniture store on my way to and from a class, and obviously the deep blue walls and bright yellow letters affected my brain. Maybe the combination somehow reminded me of things nautical. I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a fever. Whatever made me say it in the first place, I certainly didn’t have to tell Shannon again. We put some hoof-covers on Ben and took off.

We pulled into the parking lot saying, “Look, Ben, it’s IKEA. I-K-E-A.”

“I kee uh,” he said.

It was a new experience. Like other furniture stores, much of the space features complete rooms with matching or complementary pieces. Unlike most, however, it also leaves lots of room for kids to walk around, with play areas here and there. Also different from most stores is that most of the pieces are just that -- pieces. It seemed that only the toys did not require self-assembly. Ben went bonkers in a section of rocking animals and children’s chairs. Throughout the store, he ran from chairs to couches, determined to sit on all of them.
Question: Hey Nonexpert, my girlfriend drags me to IKEA almost every weekend and it’s driving me crazy. What should I tell her? –Brent Flagg

Answer: There is no known treatment for IKEA addiction. The best you can do is learn to survive. - Matthew Baldwin
The coolest thing I got from our trip? All four wheels of the shopping cart turned, making for some great cornering. I didn’t touch the cart until the home stretch toward the checkout, and was a little miffed that Shannon had held out on me.

I almost made it without putting my foot in my mouth.

When a woman pushing her wheelchair-bound, emphyzemic husband commented that the carts were neat, I said, "Yes, but it makes me want to ride in it, which I guess is why most stores don't have them."

He's in a wheelchair, idiot. He'd probably like to walk.

After checking out for an amazing total of just under $10 and no barstool, we dined on the IKEA Bistro's delicious 50-cent hot dogs and 75-cent fountain sodas, except that Ben had water. Because he had done such a great job of hanging in there a little past his bedtime, I grabbed a piece of gummy candy out of a free sample jar and handed it to a grateful Ben as I said, “Here, you get one piece of candy, because you did so great tonight.”

On the way out, Ben repeated over and over as we walked to the car, “One candy. One candy.” Shannon and I again read off the letters that spell the store’s name, and Ben said, “I kee uh.” Then reverted back to, “One candy.”

After writing most of this, I found Baldwin’s column had the perfect pull-quotes.

I’m sticking to my story that I liked it because Ben had so much fun.


Dave said...

I've yet to succumb to Ikea's magnetism near here.... but soon, I can feel the pull taking me.. *chuckle*

Mark said...

It took me only one day of driving near it to get hooked. I think in the age of skipping commercials with a DVR, I've grown less resistant to the tried and true methods of advertisement -- putting one's name on a building.

Jim said...

Any place that has cheap hotdogs, free gummy bears, and plenty of space for kids to run around sounds like a winner to me.

Maybe they should charge admission!