IKEA: Help, help, I’m being repressed


My hands were clammy and wet. My tongue, dry and swelled. Throat scratchy. Eyes itchy and burning. Teeth felt soft. Pulse was racing. Could barely put one foot in front of the other.

Was I about to be executed in front of a firing squad? Minutes away from taking the law exam? Watching the Lifetime Channel for Women?

No to all of the above.

I was in IKEA.

For those who are uninformed or have been spared the oppression of having shopped the giant roach motel that sells household crap—it’s a giant roach motel that sells household crap.

Wait, I’m sorry, affordable household crap.

Curious as to what IKEA actually means, I looked it up.

IKEA is an acronym: Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd. Founder Ingvar Kamprad grew up at Elmtaryd in Agunnaryd, Sweden and probably a Nazi sympathizer if I had my guess.

On my one and only (and final) trip to this windowless gray maze, I began to feel creepy from the outset.

Deeper and deeper into the dimly-lit caverns filled with matching wash clothes and tiny soaps that smell.

I began to hear the line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail over and over in my head, “Help!, Help!, I’m being repressed.”

I actually felt like I might be in some kind of a demented video game. Be forewarned, there are no maps to guide you out of the chamber.

And just when you are deciding how (melon baller?) and when you will kill yourself, the aroma of food wafts through the bunker.

Eva Braun behind the counter called it a “bistro” and the menu includes Swedish meatballs, salmon lasagna, lax gravad and chicken breast with lingonberry chipotle, and it’s all just $5.99.

They do also have two hot dogs, bag o’ chips and a soda for $2.50.

Can someone remind me what the legal level of bug excrement is allowed in your average hot dog?

After we trudged through the ever narrowing aisles and being tempted by a coffee table that doubles as a backboard for indoor basketball, we saw hints of daylight on the horizon.

We had lost three hours of our lives that we would never be able to recover.

With what looked like doors in my sights, I tossed money at the ex-cheerleader to pay the zombies behind the counter for our red trash can and bolted for the door.

Ah, bountiful sunlight, Cleanse my soul!

Luckily, the cheerleader did not fall under their spell, after all don’t be ridiculous, there are no shoes or handbags there, so we dodged the bullet and have never returned.

However, I fear that the mother-in-law and sister-inlaw have come under IKEA’s evil clutches.

In the middle of conversations about nothing at all—like some kind of retail Tourrette syndrome—they will suddenly begin talking about IKEA.

Some Simon-Bar-Sinister in a control room far, far away has pushed the buzzer, activating the computerized tracking chips inserted in their necks.

The subliminal music and messaging begins to weave their web. Captain & Tennille. Starland Vocal Band. And God help us, Journey.

“We must go to IKEA, we need more napkins.”

“Yes, we must go back soon,” the other one parrots.

Then with glazed looks in their eyes, they attempt to seduce us on their torture trips.

“Would you like to come with us? We’re getting more napkins.”

I’d like to contact my local congressman for a possible government investigation, but I remember this is a government that once spent $436 on a hammer.

They would surely be seduced by 18 wash clothes for $17.

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2013-12-26 digital edition

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