Monday, February 05, 2007

Clean Scandinavian Living

So what do you do if you, like us, suddenly have a lot of house but not a lot of stuff? You do what we did this weekend. You:
  1. Get up at the crack of dawn Saturday and drop the kids off with dear, kid-enabled friends.
  2. Drive to the airport and get on a plane to Houston. (See Sean Payton, reigning king of Who Dat Nation, sitting with his family in First Class. Decide not to bug him because you don't want to be that guy/gal.)
  3. Fly to Houston, land, and rent a mini-van.
  4. Drive to Ikea. (On the way, listen to a radio talk show about drag racing—and occasionally other racing: "If it's got wheels and they race it in Texas, we talk about it!")
  5. Spend eight hours (really) in Ikea selecting and purchasing a holy-bejeezus-load of household wares and furnishings, stopping at appropriate intervals to eat one-and-a-half meals and drink lots of coffee in the Swedishly-efficient cafeteria. (Intensive shopping requires ample sustenance and caffeination.) WARNING: At the six-and-a-half hour mark, your spouse may slip into a catatonic stupor in the bedding and textiles section. Do not let him/her purchase anything in this state! Guide him/her gently through to the next section and wait until his/her eyes regain focus before proceeding.
  6. Load the holy-bejeezus-load of household wares and furnishings (flat-packed for easy cramming) into the minivan.
  7. Eat a late, crappy, much-needed dinner at McDonald's. Think to yourself, "Wow, Texas is so Texas!"
  8. Drive the many hours back home, hurtling through the swampy darkness, flipping around the radio dial and listening to the surprisingly good and eclectic buffet of late Saturday night programming: AC/DC, "Highway to Hell"; Duran Duran, "Girls on Film"; Patsy Cline, "Walkin' After Midnight"; some Tejano song that may or may not have been a cover of some Buddy Holly song; some Blind Willie Johnson song, the name of which I can't recall because he sings it all-gravelly and it's hard to understand what he's saying; Morris Day and the Time, "The Bird"; Taco, "Putting on the Ritz" (the extended version); a Cajun-accordion rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely"; the B-52's, "Love Shack"; and much much more.
  9. Arrive at home in the small hours of the morning and unload like a demon. Go to bed.
  10. Wake up, return the mini-van, and retrieve the kids from the dear, kid-enabled friends. Spend the rest of the day guzzling coffee, reading wordless internationalized instructions, and groggily fumbling with small hex-wrenches. (Optionally, stab yourself in the hand with a Phillips head screwdriver, resulting in a deep and surprisingly painful mono-stigmata.)
  11. Bask in the warm glow of clean Scandinavian living.
I will provide these instructions in wordless internationalized form as soon as I can figure out the proper diagrammatic rendition of "some Tejano song that may or may not have been a cover of some Buddy Holly song".


  1. Anonymous8:21 PM

    So wait, now. The same station played "Girls on Film", "Walkin' After Midnight", Blind Willie Johnson, and "Love Shack"?

    Where be dis station?

    Also, for some reason, cheap IKEA furniture also has good resale value in NOLA. I had to buy 2 cribs when evacuated, and they went for about what we paid for them here via craigslist. I thought I saw you looking lustily at my mahogany-stained IKEA bar...

    I hope you got some lingonberries.

  2. Non, no, not the same stations—that would be too weird—but a curiously harmonious cluster of stations roughly spanning the state line. (And there were several different "Saturday Night Dance Parties" battling it out, each with a different format-focus.)

  3. Wow, it sounds as if you love IKEA even more than I do.

    We just moved to central Florida from Los Angeles, and I really miss IKEA. I'd be willing to drive a few hours, but fly and then drive back? Wow.