Sunday, January 1, 2012

Randomness: IKEA

For those of you who have never been to IKEA, you are missing out on the adventure of a lifetime. They sell trendy, dirt-cheap household items (in case you didn't know) and even have fake rooms set up so you can see what the products will all look like together in a home setting. They also sell Swedish meatballs and elk-shaped pasta, which is just awesome.

Since IKEA has locations all over the planet, the end users of the products speak a myriad of languages. Many companies would print their furniture assembly instructions in all of those languages, thus creating a thick workbook that flustered citizens would have to search through in order to find a language that they understood. Those companies would also have to hire translators, which is expensive.

IKEA has conquered this issue by using ambiguous pictures to show people how to put their furniture together. My husband and I bought some of IKEA's popular BILLY bookcases last March, and I was highly amused at the way the instructions were portrayed. I photographed two pages out of the instruction manual--the do's and don'ts of putting your bookshelf together--and added my own commentary on what the drawings might have meant.

 1. "Flathead Phillips Pencil Hammer!" is a customary greeting among strangely-shaped, androgynous humanoids.

2. Are you dismayed by a jumbled pile of boards lying at your feet? Find a funny man with a pencil in his ear; he might help you!

3. Did you manage to break your bookshelf before it was even set up all the way? IKEA understands. All you have to do is call their customer service hotline, and they will instantly ship you a replacement shelf via magic carpet.

4. Are you perplexed by a giant question mark hovering in a bubble in front of your face? Does it refuse to go away despite your pleas? You should call the nearest floating IKEA for immediate assistance. They'll know what to do.

Aaaaaand cut.


  1. This reminds me of my husband trying to put things together. Once he gets flustered, he'll ask me to read the directions to him. He then states he didn't read that far. I've told him, you have to read all the directions! Loved these captions! Thanks!