Sunday, August 07, 2005

Canadians as a whole seem to be smitten with IKEA, the furniture store where you get to build a couch using three sticks and an allen wrench. I'm pretty much in love myself, though, because they have a "scratched and dinged" section where you can get stuff for 50-90% off retail. Like I care if my nightstand only has three legs -- it gives me a use for that Dean Koontz book I got as a gift a few years back.

My wife and I invariably spend more money in the damned Swedish food market than we do on household goods, though. Today we dropped $20 on kettle chips, kick-ass chocolate bars at $1CDN each, a bag of the best Swedish fish I've ever had and a box of cinnamon rolls. Plenty of free samples to boot, although I'm not eating anything that says PUREED CRAB and comes in a toothpaste tube. That's wrong.

IKEA also takes its restaurant seriously. The location we visit (Highway 7 and the 400) always has tasty Swedish meatballs, roasted potatoes and lingonberry drink on tap. Throw in some lingonberry sauce and a bowl of fruit salad for $6.99 all in and I'm there. I missed the $1 breakfast this morning, though. Damn it.

In the swirling mass of humanity that is IKEA on Sunday, you're bound to hear some funny shit. This afternoon, a woman passing us said, "You know, the circle thing with the ladybugs on the lid," to her shopping companion. Of course, how silly of me! Who doesn't know what that is?

Embarrassing IKEA Moment No.1 -- The company seems to think customers like 80s and 90s music, and I suspect they're right. We're browsing the kitchen section and Madonna's "Crazy For You" starts. I'm quietly, shamefully singing it under my breath when I turn to my right. There's a ponytailed Filipino guy next to me and we both sing, "I never wanted anyone like this." Our eyes lock briefly, and I doubt either of us will ever be more uncomfortable than we were right then. Horrifying.

If you have an IKEA near you and you've never been, go. Even if you don't buy anything, you'll be amazed at the sheer number of a)useful items they have dirt cheap and b)completely ridiculous items that someone, somewhere must be purchasing. Buy a few $1.50 beer glasses and spend the money you save on Swedish fish.


Jim said...

Any time you visit Seattle, be sure to check out Archie McPhee. You know you want a latex echidna. Or twelve.

gspm said...

ha! that moment is classic.