Finally, the big day had come! After talking about it for months, and despite the rumors that maybe they were 'wrong' during the Second World War, we decided, just like thousands of Israeli's before us, to visit the Scandinavian furniture warehouse. Israel used to have just one branch, lately we have 2 branches but still, if you don't get there early, you won't even find a parking spot, let alone being allowed to enter the Walhalla of furniture. So we got there early, Still, 30 minutes before opening, about fifty thousand people (eh…more or less…) were all standing in front of us…
At 9 sharp the doors opened and the crowd pushed and pushed until we were all inside. Thousands were running around to see the simple furniture you have to put together yourself. Of course, we just could not leave without buying a little something, so we bought a bag of knickknacks for the kids and two book cupboards we needed anyway. While paying we were told that the products would be delivered to our home by the next day and indeed, the next day we received the boxes holding the cupboards. And yes, we were permitted to put it together by ourselves.
Under the watchful eyes of wife, children, friends and neighbors (I should have sold entry tickets!) I opened the first package and found the manual. I found a bag with screw, nails, and inserts and put it aside. Mission number one was to find a piece of wood named G, which looked much like piece Q and even resembled piece A, just a bit shorter. Of course, the little Scandinavian devils did not name the piece of wood: we were allowed to guess ourselves. After half an hour we recognized all pieces of wood. It was time to work with key H, which looked much like key K, and screw screws A3 via the B5 rings, into piece of wood G, in a way that it would catch piece A, too.
Bravely I tried to remember the sequence, but the screaming of the audience around me did not help much. Shelf S refused to get together with part W via ring R and shelf B simply did not exist.
Slowly but surely I started to sweat. But I would not give in! We are though ones, the Soesans and we never ever give up! Here, I found shelf B, but who screwed it into the floor for heaven's sake? Here was the side of piece P, where shelves S and B would connect, alongside others. I got it! Proudly I looked at the audience, who for one reason or another were laughing. Must have been something on the TV: I was giving a good example: never give up!
Although we started to work at 2 p.m., it was already after 6 pm and I did not finish even one cupboard, let alone two!
"Let us…", tried my wife, but I would not let her of course. Our son wanted to help but I threatened him with a shelf and he backed off. I am the man in the house – I shall succeed! I started from the beginning. Where was shelf G? Which idiot screwed it into piece T?? By 8 pm I was willing to take a break, but I would not allow a soul nearby. Sweaty and tires I took a bottle of water and a sandwich, but I never left my spot. No-one would steal this job from me! On page three of the manual they mentioned nails and a back wall called C. Happily I started to hammer away. By 10 the neighbor knocked at our door, requesting I stop the racket at this late hour. But when he saw me sweating, panting and with a hammer in my hand, he smiled sweetly and ran away.
By 11, I stopped too. A guy needs to rest, isn't it? But to ensure no-one would run away with my job, I slept, despite protests from wife and laughing from my own flesh and blood, on the floor, near my cupboard – or what would become soon enough a cupboard.
I did not give up and by 6 in the morning I was at it again, which created angry reactions from family and neighbors, but hey, I never ever give up! By noon I could see the beginnings of a cupboard, although I could not find sidewall Z. The shelves, too, did not sit well, but I could swear I saw a cupboard in the making,
My wife hugged me and told me that I was right and that I succeeded in getting the job done. She led me to our bed (bought ready-made, praise the Lord!) and helped me to lay down a bit. I fell asleep immediately, proud that I had made it. From afar I heard the sound of footsteps running to the cupboard. I dozed off.
A while later I woke up in a shock. It was quiet in the house, besides the soft sound of my family talking in the living room. I got up and went over, to see two cupboards all assembled and perfectly filled with our books.
I looked at my wife.
"Your son and the friends of your daughter went to work and had everything assembled in no time, unbelievable!", she said. I looked at the traitors one by one. "Ah, so you think I did not do it right?", I asked insulted. Our son came up to me with some pictures taken with our digital camera. An abstract piece of art made out wood. My masterpiece.
Guests come by and praise our beautiful cupboards. I say nothing, keep quiet and play dumb. I just know these Scandinavians were wrong during the Second World War and their manuals are an international conspiracy against blokes like me.
Trust me, I know.
© Simon Soesan