The Poor Woman of the Ikea Parking Lot

Visiting Ikea with my father, I was standing in the loading area, waiting for him to return with the car, holding onto a very heavy box containing a bedframe. As I stood there, I saw a young woman tie down a long thin box to the top of her car.

She had this blue twine and she was wrapping it over the roof of the car, over the box, and through the open windows of the car, through the inside of the car and out the other side. It took me a minute to realize that the car doors had frames. She had both doors on the passenger side tied down pretty tight, and it took me another moment to realize she was doing both doors on the driver’s side as well.

As I spent one more minute wondering whether I should go over there and point out the flaw in her plan, she looked up at me a little strangely, probably wondering why I was frowning at her. Then she finally tied up the last knot, and tried to open the door.

Took her about a second to see the flaw in her plan.

She looks up at me. “Were you watching me the whole time?”

I look up from trying to hold my laugh in and shrug apologetically.

“Why didn’t you tell me?!”

She seems pretty good natured about the incident and, as my father pulls up with the car, heads off to find an Ikea customer service agent with a knife who can cut her car open.

I don’t have the heart to tell her that she simply wrapped a long, thin box round and round over the top of the car, with absolutely nothing on the front or the back of the box to brace it when it encounters the real forces of acceleration and deceleration as she drives off. But hopefully the kind and helpful Ikea person took care of that. I saw him heading out with more twine.

And if the poor woman sees this post and recognizes herself, I say to her this: take heart. These things happen to all of us.

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