The Swedish furniture store Ikea revolutionized both home furnishing and documentation. By having the consumers perform the assembly themselves, Ikea is able to both lower costs and slowly drive their customers insane.
To be fair, Ikea assembly instructions are not that bad. They brilliantly only use pictures, which are clearer than text and require no translation. Still, recognizing that some people may still have difficulty understanding them, I offer this handy explanation of some typical Ikea instructions that came with a bookshelf I recently bought. I’ll show the actual graphic, followed by a clear and concise textual explanation.
1. To assemble this furniture, you need to speak “Tool”, specifically the “Two-Screwdrivers-And-A-Hammer” dialect. You should also have no hands but rather two oblong stumps as fingers on your left hand, and a curly quote as a right hand. Finally, avoid extending your smile too much as it may cause the upper portion of your head to fall off.
2. Avoid merging your two stumpy fingers into the box if the large black “X” is still attached to it.
3. The best way to transport a two-dimensional rectangle is with a defective clone of yourself, one with a crinkled head. Also, both of you should be naked.
4. Didn’t we already tell you to remove the big black X? You must now kneel in humiliation before the shattered monolith, which has already begun to spawn small fortune cookies.
5. To repair the monolith, simply merge with it, transferring your healing energy, while the monolith rests on a magic carpet. Smile (but not too much, because of that head-splitting problem mentioned in step 1.)
6. Ponder how the monolith has shrunk in size after resting it against a nearby hyper-cube. Play the accordion using only one eye.
7. If you’re still having trouble following these instructions, attach your very large left ear to a piece of string, and connect it right under our store. Be sure to wrap the string around your legs so that when the store hovers away into the heavens, we may take you with us to the New World.
I just don’t know why anyone would think these instructions are hard to follow…