I’m standing in Ikea watching a drawer being opened and closed by some kind of pneumatic machine that, like everything else, is probably named after a Swedish fishing village, or a type of pickled herring.
“Ikea furniture is tested to withstand treatment much tougher than everyday life,” says a sign. The machine pumps away with perfect Scandinavian discipline and economy of movement. A digital display counts the number of times the drawer has been opened and closed: 231,041… 231,042… 231,043…
Someone taps me on the arm. Annoyed that I might miss the crucial moment when the drawer snaps off its hinges – and the ensuing drama as the pneumatic machine tears out its ballbearings in frustration after attempting to return the drawer to the infamously elusive Ikea customer service department – I turn around nonetheless. My wife is wide-eyed with excitement.
In her hands is an object called an Idealisk – a colander with handles that extend outwards to rest on the edge of a sink, so the colander hangs over the sink in midair.
“It’s incredible,” she says, who for the purposes of this story shall be known as Inge. “Ingenious – and only $14.”
Presumably, after the colander has been placed in perch position, the user puts spaghetti in it. Or lettuce. Perhaps pickled herrings. I stare blankly.