Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dave Assembles It So You Don't Have To!

The words "some assembly required" strike fear in my heart.

Don't get me wrong, I have assembled things. Because who can go through life without attempting at least one assemble-it-yourself project? Well, perhaps those who died before 1950, but all other people who don't live on the street in a cardboard box must have at least once looked an un-assembled coffee table or perhaps a bookcase laying flat in a box in a discount store while saying these magic words either aloud or inside his/her head.

How hard can this be?

These words, my friends, are of the famous-last variety as all you-who-have-assembled know.

When I was living on my own and had limited funds and a small vehicle, I was pretty much forced to buy stuff that came in parts and was packaged in large flat boxes which weighed in at about 456 lbs.

I somehow managed to stuff those boxes into my Toyota Corolla and somehow -who knows how- (I suspect the not-so-fortunate are given the gift of super human strength) hauled it into my apartment and eventually put it together. When I say "put it together" I mean I managed to use enough of the hardware so that it stayed upright for a limited period of time (more on this later.)

Because of this kind of quality assembling, I had to warn movers (during 2 moves) not to even try to pick up a piece of furniture any other way than from the bottom. (Tops are so funny the way they tend to pop right off, no?)

Ok, this is the "more on this later" part where I will now talk about the limited life span of the the Assembled-by-me Particle Board Accent Piece.

I actually had a media stand that made it through (a) my assembly style (b) 2 moves w/careful instructions to the movers which was in the form of "Whoa! Careful! I put that together myself!!" and (c) about 3 years of living with me before one fateful morning it just gave up the ship. Before my very eyes, my media stand complete with television on it just sort of shifted suddenly to the right and collapsed, kind of like that bridge in California after the earthquake. This happened exactly one minute before I had to leave for work. So I closed my mouth which was gaping open with surprise and went to work ever hopeful that I had imagined the whole thing and that when I came home all would be as it was before the (hopefully hallucinated) collapse.

Yeah. I'm kind of simple sometimes.

So why am I telling you all this, you might ask? Well, let me explain what this completely over the top lead-up is leading up to. Today we went to buy a television for the guest room. The Asian gentlemen who sold us the tv took pride in the fact that they check each and every television before it leaves the store to be sure it works. In other words, they want to be sure that if something screws up once you leave, it will not be their fault.

Needless to say this quality customer service cost us about 45 extra minutes in the store, during which he delighted in telling stories of customers that called and complained about things not going right, whether it was that they couldn't find a battery for the remote or that they didn't know how to get the stand to attach to the television. At that moment while I was faux laughing along with him at the obvious stupidity of these customers I was completely convinced we were going to be the next stupid customers to be immortalized in the annals of Asian Electronic Salesman lore.

But we weren't. And you know why?

Because Dave is an assemble it yourself genius, that's why.

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