Scratching my own funny bone for shits and giggles. Lampooning books, music and being a single woman over 40. Recording observations with an almost Seinfeldian obsession for the minutiae of life. Things can get sweary around here. You understand.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


My life has been rearranged. As you all know I have just shifted house and whilst I was prepared for a certain amount of physical upheaval, the arrival of the Formidable Pair a couple of weeks ago was an event completely outside the experience of my sheltered inner-urban working-class existence. The moment my house went up for sale I was targeted ruthlessly via mail by marketeers pimping removalist companies. In the end I chose the one whose motto was simply 'Pros that Care'. This hardly prepared me for the dawn assault of Dan and Stump, a crack squad of lifestyle police who would break my spirit and force me to re-evaluate my entire belief system.

'Come on in boys and have a prowl around. I'm making coffee. Who wants one?' The Formidable Pair assess the surrounds and tell me I have far too many possessions for a single woman. Some seventeen cubic metres to be exact. 'All this yours, is it? And it's just you and your kid? Far out lady...we're gonna be here for hours. Hope we bought a big enough truck....shiiiiit...I've got four kids and we haven't got this much stuff!' Oh and apparently the milk tastes off. What could I say? I'm a hopeless pack rat with a penchant for heavy second-hand furniture and large musical instruments. But in the end I saw their point. The hallways were narrow and they'd have to be lugged up a flight of stairs at the destination and here I was with seventeen cubic metres of shit. I also realised that most of my furniture is substandard. As the pair loaded my gear into the container they shouted out the sorry details on the condition report. 'Double seater lounge: chipped legs, torn seat, unidentified stain behind the right cushion. Doesn't look like she's ever been to IKEA.' Check. 'Small bookcase: once a nice piece of timber,now scratched, total disregard for Australian hardwood.' Mattress: ripped on the left hand side, springs had it. Looks like it's been used as a trampoline.' Check. 'Cheap knock-off painting by some French dude. Think it's a Ren...a Ren...Ren-wa. Issat how ya say it?' According to the Formidable Pair I have lousy taste too. 'Hey Stump! Have you loaded that weird picture yet?' 'What, the weird one in the lounge or the one my six year old could have painted in the hallway?' I also see now that I have an unnatural attachment to heavy furniture. 'Jesus Dan. Feel the weight of this. You have to wonder how she got it through this doorway in the first place. You know they have some nice cane furniture these days which is cheap and functional...and chipboard is light and durable. Ever been to IKEA?' 'Ah yes Stump...but I don't much care for it' 'You know you've got about fifteen cartons of books here. That's about 200 kilos of books. Now that you're living in a split level house you should really consider reading those paperbacks lady.'

It's all too clear now. I've lived my intellectual life as a dilettante. Perhaps I should live in a yurt, my possessions easily loaded on the back of a donkey: a prayer rug, a shawl and a hymn book. A simple nomadic lifestyle. I hereby renounce all the attachments I have to worldly goods. And to think...I may never have met simple good folks like Dan and Stump. Nor risked the inherent dangers of shopping at IKEA last weekend. Oh...and apparently Stump (the one with the missing front tooth) thinks I'm really good lookin'...thanks mate.


Dr Yobbo said...

Do not go to IKEA on a weekend. You will never return. Ever. There's people still lost in there from the last time I escaped in 2004.

We managed to fill a 35 cubic metre shipping container with utter, utter shite just moving half a mile from one suburb to the next in D-town. And THEN ended up throwing away the spare bed and neutron-star-heavy dressing table because we couldn't fit it in the new spare bedroom. Stupid stupid stupid people.

Nautilus said...

Sure they give you shit about your furniture, but if you had suggested throwing any of it out they would have asked if they could take it off your hands.

The Ikea near where I used to live had $1 mini hotdogs at the checkout. Saturday's used to involve the shortcut through the store and about $10 in change.

The Rhino said...

Awesome. I hate moving with an all encompassing passion. I am so glad to be at a stage in my life where people show up one day ... my stuff gets put in boxes ... and when I show up at the new place the stuff gets carried in.

I think you should give the Stump a little lovin' ... that'd been good for a 5% discount at least.

Steve said...

I can think of worse things they could've said about your bed, and why it was in that condition. But that would've gotten a drink thrown in my face.

And I'm sure Stump thought you were hot simply because you have all your teeth.

My first Ikea experience was the one across the New Jersey Turnpike from Newark International Airport, across the river from New York City. It's almost as though people immigrate here from far off lands, and the first place they go is Ikea. So many foreign languages, it's like visiting the UN on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.

Jamin (AKA Blue Box) said...

Facing the same story soon at the Love Den (pending the real estate's discretion come about 3-days from end of lease day). Used small ute to move in 10 years ago.

Largest possession was a badly frayed and tattered double bed I'd had since I was 13. I'm now 33 and that bed is still with me. Along with a 2-bedroom unit full of similarly frayed and tattered possessions. Your experience mirrors my own fears about what 2 burly, unkempt and buck-tooted removalists would think of my own world come the day...

Think I might just donate it all to Vinnies and start from scratch again. I'll keep the bed, though.


YOBBO: Trust me...I shall never return to that hellish place on a weekend ever again. I swear the one at Springwood is the size of two Gabba cricket grounds. Parking was a clusterfuck...then came the dawdling aimlessly wandering fuckjobs inside. I swear the cafeteria had a queue a mile long at 9am in the morning. I mean who goes furniture shopping only to sit in the cafe and stuff themselves silly? This is shopping with a purpose people. Not the fucking zoo!

NAUT: Oh man they'd wanna be GOOOOOD hot dogs.

RHINO: Give Stump some lovin'???? *shudders* I think the bottle of OP Rum I gave him was reward enough ;-)

STEVE: Stephen Stephen Stephen....not MY bed!!!! It was a relic from Sam's toddler years. You know the score...and I think he liked my eyes more than my teeth...he kept singing 'When Irish Eyes are Smilin'.....hehehehehe.

BLUE BOX: Oh no! The Love Den in Albion is no more? For loved that place. Good idea about doing a dump run. Believe me...those removalists don't mince words!

Jamin (AKA Blue Box) said...

No, not really sure if the Love Den's caput yet. This one runs out in September. The past 3 6-month lease extensions have been offered 3 days prior to the current lease expiring.

Barnesm said...

This weekend we are relocating our primary abode, and we too have called upon the services of movers.Your tale has hopefully prepared me for the worse.

Don't be to hard on IKEA it's dry, modular wood furniture can provide much needed raw materials to fortify your windows and doors against zombie attack. I imagine your furniture would be a bit harder to dissassemble quickly to nail a door shut.

Those early morning IKEA food courters - probably sleep deprived parents of young children looking for some means to distract them.

Nautilus said...

You mean there is such a thing as a bad hotdog?

Anonymous said...

Nat the family helped me move, apparently I have to have one of the girls with me next time I go shopping ... I've got to much stuff (I think it was the three crockpots that broke the camels back).

Anonymous said...

I hate IKEA and will pay more to get proper wooden furniture.

Although have to say they do have some good things cookery gear, but i hate the crowds.

Nat you can never have too many books, I was gutted when i had to lose about 1000 before we came over

Dr Yobbo said...

No IKEA in New Zealand. NZ's resource consent laws mean they've never gotten developmental approval for a big enough site to build one, even in Auckland. Some dodgy operators have turned a buck importing IKEA stuff and selling it at a profit to the captive NZ audience. We had half a flat of IKEA stuff in St Lucia (after we threw all the decaying student shite into the abyss at the Enoggera tip) - in that intermediate period between student and grown up living - and it was good stuff. I hear the one dollar hot dogs were the only reason to visit the cafeteria. It's like one dollar beers. It almost costs you money to turn them down.

Steve said...

I was in Germany about 5 years after Reunification, and when I crossed the space where the border between East and West used to be (the Customs inspection station is now a rest area, with gas pumps where the inspection lanes were, and a restaurant and guest lodge where the torture chambers and offices were), and the first building we came to on the Autobahn, a mile or so down the road, was the biggest damn Ikea I've ever seen. The Wiedervereinigung was obviously a commercial success.

And Nat, at least he wasn't singing "These Eyes" by The Guess Who.

yankeedog said...

"Perhaps I should live in a yurt, my possessions easily loaded on the back of a donkey: a prayer rug, a shawl and a hymn book. A simple nomadic lifestyle."


As I've been grubbing out my folks' place, I'm thinking the folks in the Third World might not have it so bad. Their whole life can be put in a bag and/or a giant plastic tub. Drought comes up? Pack up the tub and move to a new locale. Neighbors shelling you? Grab your bag and go.

Though you're using some good satire here, you've a good point about all of us being slaves to our stuff.


YANKEE: Being broke for two years puts an end to that!

STEVE: Amen!

YOBBO: People have divorced over constructing IKEA products. I prefer to stand back and watch a man do it. Fascinating stuff.

CHAZ: Oh no I agree whole-heartedly. In fact...I bought three floor to ceiling models that I'd thought I'd fill but didn' I am off to the second hand bookstores to amend that problem! Can't have empty shelves.

BANG: you're also afflicted with the disease of doubling/tripling up on items? Men do that well!

NAUT: Yes indeed. I won't buy them anymore unless they are of the outside-Bunnings variety...frankfurters make me ill.

BARNES: Ever vigilant!


Guru Bob said...

Ikea make excellent bookshelves...

I always try to see moving as an opportunity to filter some of my junk out of my life - that usually entails donating 3-4 big bags of books to St Vinnies, along with any clothes I haven't worn for at least 12 months, antiquated electrical goods and trying to sort through the miscellaneous stuff that ends up in those cheap plastic tubs.

However our last move was done in a rush and ended up transplanting everything from one location to another.

The main problem I have was soemthing like 30 boxes of books - but I always make sure they are the smaller boxes...

Flinthart said...

I live here now. If I move, I will carry a backpack. At most. I am done with furniture removalists, trucks, boxes, bits of packing, and all the nerve-wracking, dignity-stripping crap that goes with it.

You have my uttermost sympathies. And Steve notwithstanding, I'm sure it was more than your dentition that caught Stump's eye... (way to compliment a lass, Steve, you babe magnet you!)

Bondiboy66 said...

Fucken Guru Bob says the do make good bookshleves. Wifey and I got some from there, problem was that Ikea moved from a suburb 10 minutes from us to one about an hour away. And the day we chose to go was THE hottest day of summer. I swear, every gormless retard in the Greater Sydney Basin was in this building the size of a zeppelin hangar escaping the heat. Luckily I was not armed or I would have gone postal that day. The bookshelves are good though!

When I moved out of home originally I did it with one car load of stuff...years later, I think we we need to borrow the semi fleet from the AC/DC tour when we next move (having a child seems to increase the household crap factor exponentially. As does a wife who can't visit a bookshop without buying at least six books.)

Anneal said...

Damn Truck Drivers! Insensitive sons of bitches!!
Great post Nat
10-4 over and out

Steve said...

My impersonation of a man assembling Ikea furniture:

"What the hell? It's all in Swedish. Where the hell are the English instructions?

Fuck it, I'll figure it out."

And Dirk, I'm just saying that Stump has low expectations, I know what, my skills at digging out of a hole are horrible, I'll just stop here before I do more damage.


GURU: I did a MAJOR cull of goods before moving and I still had way too much crap!...and yes...I'm pretty happy with my IKEA bookshelves. Also I knew to pack books in smaller boxes but I had the removalists needed a trolley to get them out!

FLINT: I can't wait for the day I can sit back and relax in the knowledge I will never have to move again. And yes...I wasn't sure if Steve was complimenting me or not! Damn Atlantans!!!;-)

BONDI: Gormless retards!!! I am so pinching that.

ANNEAL: They were very sweet...and disconcertingly straightforward...a dying breed.

STEVE: Yeah you should quit while you're ahead buddy!

Steve said...

In fairness, I'm not an Atlantan, I'm from New Jersey, and as the world knows, everyone from that place is an asshole even when trying to be nice and/or funny.

Havock21 said...

Fuck the bloody fucking IKEA we want you to TRY and assemble our shit or, for that matter the WE HAVE DONE IT FOR YA, crews as well. it ends up being eight different fucking types of bookcases scatreted from arsehole to breakfast around the house, tending also to be laced with pure fucking crap.

we have taken TWO skips outta the backyard, I have filled one from the shed, IMHO, shed stuff have a NATURAL KNACK of multiplying all by itself. NEVER EVER THROW OUT BOOKS, EVER, but cook books, mags, fucking WEDDING HIT FOR FUCK SAKE, I mean, why th fuckinghell do women keeep that fucking shit, its never gunna be used aunless i neeed a rage to wipe the dip stick for fuck sake.

As for moving, well, I'm well fucking over it, it tends to be MOVE ONLY WHEN YA HAVE TO, and thats the boat ya on, so props for gettin the mongrle fucking bred shoulda been strangled at birth fucking job done with cappin some arsehole who readily deserves it. GROG, find some form of it, it don't need to be expensive, just drink the shit and get smashed.

I want to also cap the fucker who invested boxes for storage, just so you can spend about half ya fucking life LOOKING FOR SHIT, you only occasionally need, then cap right behimnd that prick, the fuckwad who builds houses and never,, ever puts in enough simple fucking storage or cupboard space, I mean, what kinda useless air sucking tool doesnt have shit he MIGHT FUCKING NEEED one day and requires storage. FUCK ME, JUST KILL SOMEFIN, its easier

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