I had the day off so Mrs. Gus and I decided to go shopping. We had been thinking of getting an island for the kitchen. We jumped in the car (Dukes of Hazzard style) and headed down to a store that is better left unnamed. All I will say about this store is that it comes from Sweden and you build the things you buy from it.
Now I am not a great shopper on my best days but it was Monday morning, who the hell is shopping on a Monday morning? I had this one in the bag. Mrs. Gus would be happy, that makes me happy, you know the old saying “happy wife, happy life”. It was shaping up to be a great day.
I got the first nibbling in my belly when we got to the parking lot. It had been many a years since I had been to this store, I had forgotten just how immense it was. There must have been 300 or 4oo cars in the parking lot, we are talking 11 a.m. on a Monday. My wife turns to me and says “Oh look, there’s almost no one here.”
All of the sudden the memories come flooding back. Oh ya, I hate this place!! I hate it cause it’s a giant maze that once you get in, you can’t get out of. I hate this place because you can never seem to find anyone to help you, and anyone you do find is not in their department. “Can you help me please?” “Oh sorry this is not my department.” Then why are they there? That’s why you can’t find anyone, they are all in someone else’s department. I overcome my initial reaction to put the peddle to the metal and blow right by the joint. I smile and nod to Mrs. Gus, “Yup, almost no one here.”
Twenty minutes later we have found what we came for. I have talked my wife out of buying the $500 dollar one and to settle for the $200 island, things are good. We grab the label off the island and start looking for someone to help us.
For those of you who are not familiar with the process of this store, here is how it works. You go in and you grab a little piece of paper with a little pencil that is provided by said store. Now’ you find what you want, you write it on the paper, away you go. We have done the unthinkable, we have actually taken the piece of paper that explains what the piece of furniture is, off of the piece. When we finally find someone who works at ik…. the store, they see this piece of paper in our hand, their jaw drops open and all of the color drains from their face. “OMG you took this off of the island?”. Holy shit I expect sirens to go off and lights to flash. I am so so sorry, what was I thinking? How could I have known? I will put it back right away, can you help me?? Please!! “Sorry, that’s not my department”.
We finally get over the paper and pencil incident (by the skin of our teeth I might add), and now we head to the self serve place where you get your box of shit that you have to put together when you get home. Here is the thing, there are signs all over that point to the way out but they don’t make sense. There is no straight line in this place! The signs send back on your own trail, in and out of room after room of beds and tables and counters an appliances until you believe you will actually loose your mind. It’s like a trek through the desert. You sweat, you trudge, then you begin to cry a little and just as you think, I have to lie down, I give up, let the Swedish Gods take me! You find the promised land. Miracle of miracles, we have made it to the alleys where they keep the boxes.
Buy now I have pretty much had it, I’m no longer the happy go lucky Gus that walked into the store an hour and a half ago. And Mrs. Gus is pretty much fed up with me. We have found the alleys but there is no indication of any kind of what’s in them. Looks like you just walk up and down the alleys, looking for your box out of the millions of other boxes on the shelves. It’s chaos!
The rest of the trip is pretty much a blur. The next thing I remember is stumbling around a parking lot looking for our car. Best part of the trip? Seeing ik…. a furniture store’s sign in my rear view mirror.
Building the island is a story for a different day.