Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ektorp My Tuvull, please

On Saturday while Peggy prowled the mall for A New Outfit To Wear To Abbey's Wedding, I decided to strut on over to Ikea. From the mall, Ikea on a foggy day looks like a giant Cub Scout uniform, all blue and yellow.  But it's a Swedish furniture store, and from the looks of the parking lot, I should be ABBA so grateful that they have a store right near us.  People come from all over to shop there: Philadelphians, New Yorkers, Virginians: the parking lot is a veritable treasure if you happen to be playing license tag bingo.

It's a furniture store that also sells food and has both a sit-down restaurant and a hot dog and pizza take out deal, where you can wash down the tube steaks with a nice cold lingonberry soda.   No foolin'!

Ikea's founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who must be worth a few zillion Swedish semolians, rides on public transport to save money. 'Ikea' stands for Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (the last two letters stand for the farm and village where Kamprad grew up). This means that if I founded an international chain of furniture stores, it would be called MCPT, which people would then call 'Mc Pit' and not want to go there for fear of falling in.

If you fall in at Ikea, try to land in the ballpit, which is where smart shoppers can drop off their kids for two or three days while they shop for sofas and spatulas, mirrors and meatballs.

There are 202 Ikea stores in 32 countries, and they claim that a million people per day visit the stores.  I claim that almost all of those million people spent almost all of their time figuring how to get the hell back to where the office furniture is sold, because they went to the men's room and are now wandering in circles around the kiddie furnishing area.

Ektorp is a brand of armchair and Tuvull is a travel rug.   These are real, although, the good people at the Blogadilla blogadilla have given us the name generator so we can give anything we want an Ikea name. Sometimes, we can't make them funnier than they already are, however.

What are you doing on that pc?
You probably remember the Simpsons episode called "Eight Misbehavin' " - that's the one in which Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and his wife Manjula become sudden parents of eight babies:
Poonam, Sashi, Pria, Uma, Anoop, Sandeep, Nabendu, and Gheet.   Homer, whose advice on procreation led the shop owner and his wife led to having octuplets,  finds himself at a store called SHØP!  The Springfield version of Ikea!

Back in Scandinavia, the Ikea team is busy coming up with unpronounceable names (DUKTIG is for children's furniture, Klippan is for upholstered furniture) for their products, but they maintain that puckish Swedish sense of humor, don't you know. All their floor coverings are named after Danish towns and cities. Denmark was enraged! One blazing headline said, Denmark will not be Sweden's doormat.

Oh, we should have such troubles.  Here you go, Denmark.  Have a meatball and some lingonberry soda.  You've got to see this place!

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