The Bright Side of Life


Here’s the story of anarchy, disaster, and two-day-old pizza.

Did you know that the UK has more tornadoes on average every year than any other country on Earth? We also get over 300 earthquakes each year, too. Yet the worst damage an earthquake has ever done here was knock over a chimney pot. I was reminded of these two tidbits of information this week when I took delivery of my new cabinet. It came with a strap to anchor it to the wall in case of disaster. But then it occurred to me that one strap wouldn’t be much use against a mighty earthquake or tornado. It then occurred to me that why does it even matter? We have these straps to stop our units falling over to protect our fine china. But that means that if there’s a disaster, you actually care about your fine china, when you should be more concerned with getting the hell out of the building. And sure, the strap may prevent the unit from falling on you, but, if anything, a unit falling on you isn’t that bad, really. It’ll pin you down, anchoring you to the floor. Just imagine a tornado ripping the roof off your home. It would pick you up like a ragdoll and fling you a couple miles into something rather hard and a bit deathy. But imagine a unit had fallen on you, anchoring you to the floor. Just imagine what would be going through your head as the roof was ripped off your house. ‘Oh, thank God I didn’t attach that strap!’

I was really excited when my new unit arrived. A giant wooden thing. Draws. Cupboard space. A top to put my electronic gizmos on. Unlike most men, I actually read the instructions. Oh, yeah. And then I count the pieces. The ladies love it when you do that, rather than barge headfirst into each new flat pack project and slapdash it together.

I’m available, by the way.

I even counted the screws and nails. I’m a logical person. I need rules and order. Perhaps I have a touch of OCD as well. I could not assemble a unit knowing that I hadn’t counted all the pieces and read the instructions several times over. I need that peace of mind, readers. It would keep me awake at night. Knowing that I hadn’t counted the screws. Come to think of it, this may be why I’m still single. I don’t think anal attention to screw counting is particularly high on a woman’s list of wants in a guy…

You know what? We had more. More screws, more nails, more… whatever all the other gubbins were. And then it occurred to me. A machine has made this. It would’ve taken a ‘handful’ of each item, but it wouldn’t have counted them. It’s not gonna be ‘sat there’ going, ‘One nail, two nails, three nails’ and so on, is it? I was meant to have 40 nails. I had 97! Has anyone ever finished a flat pack assembly with leftover materials? And by that, I mean ‘extra materials’ not ‘oh shit, where was that supposed to go?’

My old unit was a random collection of bits. I wasn’t happy with it as it was, so I took it apart and reassembled it in a new way. Of course, that meant that none of it was attached to any other part of it, just resting atop one another. This meant, that if an earthquake had struck… it would be quite easy to put it back together again. Bright side of life, ladies and gentlemen.

Still, it was a bitch to get down the stairs. I wanted to chuck it out the window, but dad wouldn’t let me. I guess it’s a good thing the world isn’t run by me. It would be total anarchy.

Needless to say, this single-handed endeavour left me with more than my fair share of cuts, bruises and scrapes, and I hadn’t even started assembling the new unit, yet.

Still, the old one had reached the end of its life and so a new one was needed. The new one is solid pine, so it’s quite heavy. I mean, ridiculously heavy. Oh, my stars, you cannot comprehend how heavy it is. I had to drag the pieces up the stairs so I could assemble it in my room, and that took a lot of energy, force, grunting and shouting. Lots of shouting. I like shouting. You can’t get anything done without it, these days.

I think it weighs more than me…

Despite not being 100%, dad insisted on helping. The project started quite well. But then we arrived at the two middle bits. Oh, they were identical, but one needed to be facing one way, and the other, the other way, yet upside down, which meant the doweling rods had to face sideways, but the other ones were the inverse, but then the railings had to fit at an angle perpendicular to the groove things, and… ARRRRGH! MY HEAD! IT BURNS!

Whoever wrote those instructions needs firing. Like, right now.

We tried to figure out the puzzle, but in the end, we needed help. The logical choice was a woman, and the nearest woman was mother, so that was who we called on for help. I must add, we had been trying to figure out the puzzle for the best part of two hours. It had gone dark in the time it had taken us to figure out that we needed help. Mother told us that the instructions were clearly wrong and that we should just guess and go for it.

Ah, my kind of solution…

After that problem, we ran into another one. The door latch mechanism. There were no holes, so I had to crawl inside the unit and try to match up the two halves of the mechanism. I did have a torch (flashlight) to help me out, but it died on me. Mid-drilling. Oh, my poor finger. It didn’t see that drill coming. Because there was no light. And it doesn’t have eyes. Okay, it was a terrible metaphor, let’s move on.

Despite the difficulties, I’m quite proud of what dad and I achieved. It’s a beautiful beast of a unit, it is. The only problem is that pine is a very overpowering odour. It’s currently doing battle with my lavender air freshener. Creating a unique concoction. It’s like being in the Canadian wilderness. With a slight aroma of two-day-old pizza. Should really throw that out…

Of course, I felt the effects of the battle to assemble the unit the following day. All my muscles are in agony. My arms are as dead as dodos or a more up to date reference. My back is in the worst kind of pain. I have a stinging pain at the base of my neck. Even my buttocks are sore and I have no idea why. I’m tired and worn out. I was concerned about all this pain I’m in, readers. I mean, it only took five hours to assemble.

But then I re-read the instructions:

‘Estimated time of assembly – one hour’.

Oh. That explains it…

French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), once wrote: ‘A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.’

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the ‘Archives’ page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


One comment

  1. Your posts always make me laugh so much XD sounds like you had fun though. Reminds me of when I was moving house and I sprained my hamstring taking up the base of my new bed. The pain was excruciating- I cried for two days and couldn’t walk. My brothers just laughed at me, I think they thought I was either pretending to get out of going to school or to get out of moving more furniture. Safe to say both ended up happening and I had lots of hot chocolate in the mean time. Mostly on the floor though because obviously we hadn’t built any furniture yet…

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