What doesn't help is that the average Ikea seems to have been designed by M.C. Escher after a night out on the lash. Perhaps the stores themselves arrive on site flat packed with poorly laid out instructions.
The nightmare begins before you've even set foot in the building, just to prepare you mentally for what you've let yourself in for. Those automated turnstiles that allow you to get into Ikea in the first place? Why not just linger at the back and cause the thing to stutter and freeze like a hypothermic Gareth Gates every time the door hits your oversized arse? Inside the shop and waiting to get out? I don't blame you - but why not make the process way more entertaining by simply blocking the path for anybody trying to step out of it? Your exit is clearly more important than them getting in, after all.
Let us navigate through the next stage of the wacky world of Ikea, through the restaurant (réstaürant). Which is always filled with the smell of burnt food, despite the fact they don't seem to be baking or cooking anything. Admittedly the stairs may be too much effort for many of you, so let's use the lift instead. If you step into it and stand right near the doors, despite the dozens of other people actually wanting to get past you, you'll be able to get out quicker thus maximising your shopping experience.
In the lift already with the doors closing and spy somebody running towards it in an attempt to get in? They should have been quicker. Fuck you, slow coach. Laugh loudly as you hear their face clang against the door whilst safely embedded in your metal shell.
Travelators were designed to increase the flow of pedestrian traffic - and that includes you, Lardy. They weren't designed to be a replacement for you walking. You see those atrophied cones of flesh that stop your arse from touching the ground with those knobbly bits who primary use is to rest the TV remote control on? They're called legs. You know how remarkable it is when you step onto the magic silver-movey-people-pavement and find yourself moving at quite a reasonable pace? If you actually walk in the direction the Travelator is going in you'll be going even faster - which ultimately results in you getting the fuck-out-of-my-way within timings acceptable to me.
However, for MAXIMUM irritation (and ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I refer you to escalators as well) let's simply establish the fact that once you set foot on them you'll freeze like a heifer on a cattle grid and more than likely there will be two of you - because defying all the evidence that I'm faced with, you manage to have a friend - or even more remarkable, a partner. Standing next to each other like a stupid wall of flesh. Resisting any chance I have of getting past you like a slowly moving Lemmings Blocker. Although, unlike Lemmings, I could happily blow you up and keep a clear conscience.
You see that large sign dotted in the occasional shopping aisle that says "Meeting Point. Please convene here" and ever wondered what it meant? No you didn't, because it doesn't pissing exist. Except in your head. I don't care whether you haven't met Karen who used to live next door to you eight years ago in an "absolute aaaaaaage" - that's no excuse for you to stop and catch up on those missing years whilst standing in the middle of a busy shopping aisle. If you insist on doing so I won't take responsibility for getting all Boudica War Chariot on my shopping trolley, fitting scythes to the wheels, full-steaming ahead and severing your legs at the knees. You can reminisce in the Emergency Ward. "Clean in Aisle 3.". And there won't a Court in the land who'll convict me - excepting the ones, of course, who frown on limb severance in supermarkets.
And as shopping is naturally a fun day out for all, why not bring your kids along? The more badly behaved and uncontrollable they are, the less attention you need to pay to them whilst you're off browsing in Ikea through the Sämtex, Fagelbo, Kassett, Oslo and Duktig. I love being shouldered in the stomach by your little brät as they're in the middle of an epic game of hide and seek. However if they do it to me for a second time, it'll be you playing hide and seek. And as I'll have locked them inside an airtight Aspelund Wardrobe (W:91cm / D:54cm / H:190cm - available in white and red) you'll have an exciting race against time on your hands. As will I, when you invariably fail, as I evade police capture much in the manner of the Scarlet Pimpernel, albeit a Scarlet Pimpernel with a warrant for child abduction or murder.
Let's hear Richard Hammonds commentary for THAT one.
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