Friday, September 05, 2008

Zen and the Art of Flatpack Assembly

1) Attain trance-like state by dint of extended deep-inhalation smoking on balcony.

2) Open packaging and lay out components, identifying them on instruction sheet.

3) Ensure all necessary tools are within reach. These will include screwdrivers in various sizes and a large container of prescription tranquillisers. (Valium is recommended but brandy can be substituted at a pinch.)

4) Close eyes, take several deep breaths, arrange features into beatific smile.

5) Begin working through instruction sheet one step at a time.
NB: This is vital. On no account should you permit your eye to wander ahead to the next stages. Live firmly in the present.

6) Resist desire to hammer in recalcitrant screws at rakish angles.

7) Ditto re reluctant edges.

8) Do not be afraid to repeat stage 1) as and when necessary.

9) Shriek at First Born, who doesn't understand zen approach and keeps saying he can see exactly what needs doing cos he's kinetic innit.

10) Warn both children that if they continue to interfere, you'll bugger off and they can put the bloody thing together themselves if they're so damn clever.

11) Bugger off and let them put the bloody thing together themselves since they're so damn clever.

12) Retreat to kitchen to cook tea.

13) Ignore howls of protest and insults hurled at your retreating back. You are a Zen master. These base emotions cannot touch you.

14) Resist urge to peep round doorway to see how they're doing.

15) Give in to urge.

16) Suppress disappointment at their progress.

17) Smile smugly when you hear a vital piece has been missed.

18) Wonder briefly if smug smiles are compatible with the zen approach.

19) Balance envy, admiration, disappointment and pride when viewing finished item.

20) Return to 1)


BarbaraS said...

Tis true, all true. I only attempt Flat Pack Assembly in an empty house. If you tried to assemble anything here, inevitably the instructions get lost as well as tempers. That's tempers fugit, of course ;)

Yodood said...

You have one element of zen down pat: humor can get one through the darkest night, Good on you.

Minx said...

As flatpack items were invented by the Children of Ikea, then it is only right that they should be the ones to deal with them.
Observing #1 twice over should cure any longings to return to your childlike state. I am quite keen on rakish angles though.

wordtryst said...

Assembling stuff is way up there on my list of worst ways to spend some time. I'd much rather have teeth pulled.

There's a book launch party happening over at my blog and I'd be honoured if you'd drop by!

Debi said...

Babs - better than attempting flat pack assembly OF an empty house. Now that's what I call a challenge ...

Yodood - a GSOH is essential when the tempers are fugiting.

Minx - I see from your avatar what you mean about rakish angles. Where's my hammer ...?

Wordtryst - don't mention teeth - I have a vicious pain in one of mine. On my way to the party - there had better be medicinal drugs available.

Sharon J said...

I am the queen of flat-pack. That's why I have a wobbly kitchen table that nobody dares pull out (lift - you MUST lift) else the legs will fall off.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

It started off sounding like a lesson in mindfulness... and ended in a wonderful lesson in humour! ;-)

Debi said...

Oh, Sharon - I have that table too! And the drawers, filing cabinet, desk - all with similar idiosyncrasies. The exception is the dvd tower that FB assembled, which seems fine ... Doh!

Ab Van - ah but zat is because zis zen eez all about ze journey, not ze destination.