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Ve are not strange, ve are Svedish

Ve are not strange, ve are Svedish

I got my new IKEA catalogue in the mail last night. While I’ve never actually bought anything from them, I do like looking at catalogues, and IKEA’s glossy is no exception.

It’s got lots of cool stuff if your name is Bjorn or Agnetha and you live in a cute little flat in Stockholm, however, what really caught my attention was the couple of pages in the front of the catalogue trying to explain the IKEA experience.

Like why the heck can’t you leave the store the same way you went in? And why they give odd little names to furniture in a somehow disturbing attempt to personify couches and tables. If you’ve ever seen the old movie, The Twonky, you may share my disquiet at getting too personal with household furniture.

Anyway, it seems that some people think IKEA go out of their way to make things difficult for shoppers, so the catalogue devotes a couple of pages to provide an explanation. Although it’s written in English, I think it needs further translation, so here goes…

  • Why are we so obsessed with keeping things flat? IKEA says: "Because we don’t transport air, our storage and transportation costs are much lower." Translation: Some moron at Stockholm head office had an idea we could make a giant raft out of them and float it to Australia.
  • Why do we abuse our products? IKEA says: "We figure that if the products can take all the abuse we put them through, they can certainly stand some of yours." Translation: We tried to put the friggin’ things together too, you know!
  • Why do we make you assemble furniture yourself? IKEA says: "Although it can be difficult sometimes, it means you can have the furniture in your home straight away." Translation: You get to have an abstract piece of art six hours after you started to assemble a coffee table.
  • Why do our designers think this makes a good table? IKEA says: "To make good quality furniture at low prices, our designers need to think differently." Translation: They’re on drugs.
  • Why do I need a pencil and paper to shop at Ikea? IKEA says: "As you go around, make a note of anything you like." Translation: Rip up the paper into little scraps to leave a trail. The pencil may come in handy later.
  • Why is IKEA so busy? IKEA says: "Lots of people visit our stores to take advantage of our low prices." Translation: Only 10% of people who enter our shop find their way out again. All the people aren’t shopping; they’re begging for food. If they attack, use your pencil to stab them.
  • Why should I transport my own furniture? IKEA says: "Self-transportation is easy and saves you money." Translation: Our staff get endless enjoyment from watching you idiots trying to stuff a dining table and complete bedroom suite into the back of a tiny hatchback.
  • Why is it sometimes hard to find help at IKEA? The catalogue reckons: "Generally, shopping can be more enjoyable if you’re not hassled by salespeople." Translation: See that bum begging in aisle 11? Our salespeople get lost in the store too. Don’t forget to use your pencil.

The last page in the catalogue is a big advert for IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs.

If you didn’t know, meatballs are the national dish of Sweden. ‘Nuff said. Anyway, the IKEA ones are supposed to be excellent and no doubt many Springwoodians drop in for their meatball fix when they’re out and about.

Of course, if you have a hankering for meatballs, you don’t have to go to Springwood, you can try making your own using an authentic Swedish Meatballs recipe – complete with very sensible Swedish advice about not putting all your meatballs in the frying pan at once!

[originally posted on Amy O is a Geek]

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