Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stone Me, What A Life …

I’ve just thought of a new game show for the general public. Well, to be fair, the BBC thought of it first and aired it in 1971. However, my format differs somewhat …

The original game involved couple who were split into two sets of two and who faced off against each other. They were then set ‘tasks’ by industry experts, which could be ‘decorating a wedding cake’, ‘joining an African dance troop’ or ‘making doilies against the clock’. They were then awarded points by the ‘expert’ and either went through to the next round or were eliminated. This is where my version picks up.

Take 2 couples from Basingstoke, let them smoke a few Skunk (grass) joints and then get them to erect 3 Ikea kitchen cabinets. After an hour, a professional hippie is wheeled on to judge their performances. Stick it on MTV or another ‘yoof’ type channel and Bob’s your uncle. It’s a sure-fire hit and it’ll help me and my wallet get respect down at the Aston Martin dealership. Sell the idea to Endemol? They’re a Dutch production company, and the Dutch like a smoke …

No, this is not something I just came up with as I had nothing better to do, but it happened yesterday while I helping to put together … Ikea kitchen cabinets.

I went ‘up north’ to help a mate build his new kitchen that had just been delivered. Another mate arrived and we set-to it. After the first cabinet had been built (so much quicker with 3), one of them said “How about a spliff?”. I declined. I haven’t touched the stuff for ages, as these days, the only thing it gives me is galloping paranoia. The joint was passed between them and after 20 minutes or so, my work-mates began the slow but amusing transformation into giggling special-needs candidates.

In this ‘flat-pack’ world that we now live in, a small text-free instruction manual is the only thing which gives a clue as to how these ‘home-maker’ products go together. It can be time consuming and a little frustrating, straight or otherwise. Sven from Malmo (who did the drawings in the manual) did a pretty good job but failed to take into account the type of people who would be attempting to build ‘Binkie’, the kitchen cabinet, on-site. I was faced with 2 grown men who were off their trollies and believing that they were building an aircraft carrier.

Rolling a joint needs manual dexterity but erecting Ikea cabinets requires a little extra grey-matter. A period of industrial strength spliffing can transform you into a giggling oaf who will burst into laughter at wholly unamusing incidents and find intellectual depth in the Spice Girls lyrics. This, then, was what I was dealing with.

Things went on a-pace with only a slight hiccup when we had to rebuild a cabinet which was arse-about-face. My two companions were superb entertainment: giggling and arguing over which way up Sven’s drawing went. Then, disaster. With 3 cabinets built, they required installing and levelling-off. With a sprit-level to hand, they looked perfect to me. However, to the Furry Freak Brothers it was an invitation to fiddle about.

Prone on the kitchen floor, they buggered around with the plastic legs a little too much, putting all 3 cabinets badly out of kilter. Rapidly, their imaginary aircraft carrier was now looking less HMS Invincible, more HMS Inconceivable. Time marched on and as I had a dinner appointment in an hour, I mutinied.

It was a most memorable afternoon and something I would, whole heartedly, recommend to all - though you'd be wise to get an adult to supervise …



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder who the people you are talking about are. Are they stupid? Presumably they are adults so why do they feel the need for a 'spliff' when doing such work? They should get a life and stop being fools.

with respect
The Straight Man of the 11th

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 12:46:00 pm  

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