Moodswing - Evil Ikea

Big Lots-meets-Family Dollar-meets-Rooms to Go, only cheaper

?Lary says he’s gonna wait until he’s 60 before he sucks his first dick, which perfectly explains why he’s not planning to go to the new Ikea any time soon. “That does not explain anything, you booger-eating bovine,” I exclaim. I’d personally spent the entire morning at Ikea that day, having been enthralled by the attached cafeteria alone. I mean, where else except Vegas can you get a 50-cent hot dog and a 99-cent shrimp cocktail? Not that I even ate anything at the cafeteria, but at least I got to sit in it after they herded me there in the minutes prior to the store opening. And not that they sell shrimp cocktails there, either, but they do sell 99-cent open-face shrimp sandwiches that look pretty palatable in all the big posters pinned around the store.

“Sure it explains it,” Lary continues, still stuck on his dormant-until-60 dick-sucking philosophy. “I mean, what if I like it?” And here I have the glimmering of a very unwelcome understanding of his perspective. Aha! He does not want to like it, see? So he’s ensuring that he has precious few years left to enjoy this latent habit in case it proves pleasurable. “You pussy,” I say.

Ikea is the size of an airport, and every single thing for sale in there, from dining sets to wall clocks, comes in a box unassembled, practically. There is also a poster of an Allen wrench in the elevator, touting it as the reason they charge so little for their stuff, as this Allen wrench is included in a preponderance of Ikea furniture items and is a necessary tool to assemble almost everything you buy there, their (blow-ass successful) business plan being to pass on to the customer all the money they save on labor-intensive assemblage. In short, you’re not really buying furniture there, you’re buying furniture kits. So, since Lary is my go-to guy when I need crap built - that and he has a truck - I have been haranguing him to come there with me lately, but he keeps refusing.

“Just because you’re hoping to stave off cock sucking until you’re 60 is no reason to avoid Ikea,” I shriek. “You of all people will love it there. It’s like a Home Depot for amateur decorators. It’s your chance to make that mausoleum you call a home livable.”

“Nope,” he says. “It will turn me gay before my official debut.”

Oh, like hell! Grant’s gay and he hates that place. The last time he so passionately admonished me for something was when I bought a discounted sofa from the Rooms-To-Go dented-up-crap warehouse off Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

“Ikea is shit!” he spits. “Lies and shit! Jesus, Hollis, it’s nasty! Cheap! Sheep mentality! I felt like I needed a shower when I returned home to get the evil off of me! I can’t believe you like that place. But what can I expect? You with your lesbiana taste. Next time I have some falling-apart, cheap-ass shit for sale, I’ll know who to call.”

Maybe I should not have been surprised when he ripped my liver out for liking Ikea, but the fact is I keep forgetting Grant has taste. In my defense, though, it’s easy to do. Sometimes, when he wears his orange clogs in combination with his torn-up, too-big cutoffs and his silver rhinestone horned-rims and his hair in two ‘fro-puff pigtails, even the most discerning people are fooled into thinking he just fell off the ass end of tacky. But the truth is Grant actually has a very finely honed sense of superiority when it comes to taste, in furniture particularly, nurtured by years of trolling trash piles on the side of the road and pilfering the homes of hobos who live in dilapidated trailers next to town dumps, among other places. I remember the trailer incident very well. Grant was reaching through the trailer’s kitchen window because he’d spotted some pots in the sink that could pass for Panton-era when the hobo hollered at him and ran him off like a startled raccoon. I never laughed so hard in my life. Another time he actually interrupted a family funeral to knock on the door of a shotgun shack to see if they’d sell him an old pie cabinet on their porch.

But Grant’s no longer into pie cabinets. Now he’s into mid-century modern, and over the years he’s squirreled for himself quite a truckload of period pieces, which he occasionally attempts to sell on the Internet as an involved “vignette” for $75,000. The act always garners an offer of some kind, but he won’t piece out the collection, insisting it remain intact. “It’s all or nothing,” he’ll bellow. Then off he’ll go, probably to see if anyone’s been evicted by the marshal lately, an occasion that often proves fruitful for curbside pickings. Regarding Ikea, though, he is adamant.

“I may picket the place,” he bitches. “It’s a front for cool/smooth/minimal living, but it’s Big Lots-meets-Family Dollar-meets-Rooms to Go, only cheaper.”

“What did you buy there?” I ask.

“Nothing! I would never buy a damn thing there, ever!”

“What did you get?”

“Bitch, are you hearing me?” he shouts. “I said nothing. That place is horrible for America! It’s bad for the soul! Atlanta is going to hell! Burning cheap-shit hell!”

“What did you get?”

“A box of apple cinnamon ginger snaps.”

hollis.gillespie@creativeloafing.comHollis Gillespie is now on tour signing her recently released second book, Confessions of a Recovering Slut, And Other Love Stories (Regan Books). Her commentaries can be heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”??