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The Landlady and the furniture flatpack fandango

When I purchased my new patio furniture three weeks ago, I was rather smug, certain that I’d bagged a real bargain. Now that I’ve started to assemble it, I’ve realised why it was so ‘cost effective’. Each item, of which there are 4, comes in at least 27 parts, which all have to be tediously assembled by some gullible fool, using instructions that would have been better written on papyrus in hieroglyphics.

I now know the true meaning of the expression about having a dog and barking oneself and wish I’d spent double purchasing furniture that actually looked like furniture rather than a Krypton Factor heat when it arrived on my doorstep.

“Between hangovers, I managed to assemble a chair”

It wasn’t even my traditional idea of a ‘flatpack’, somewhat deceptively arriving in a box big enough to re-house Abu Hamza’s extended family.

Since I purchased said furniture, it had rained constantly and on the day when it was dry enough to assemble, I’d had such a debauched time the night before I didn’t even get out of bed, let alone feel like wielding a plastic star-shaped spanner. An even more horrendously-behaved bank holiday weekend followed, when luckily, everyone in the Landlady household was rendered too hungover to even think about sitting up, let alone sitting up in bright light on patio furniture. Between hangovers, I managed to assemble a chair, which involved bringing in the (27) relevant parts from the patio, hosing them down in my en-suite shower, then laying them on towels on my bedroom floor and laboriously deciphering the instructions, which contained no words at all. A week later, in the freezing cold of a blustery late May Brighton afternoon, I managed a whole chair, the sofa (particularly excruciating, given that it needed at least 2 competent people assisting) and, as a final hurrah, the table.

This afternoon, before I came to do my shift at the Souvenir Shop, I sat in the blazing sun on my newly-assembled sofa with my feet on the table and enjoyed a cup of tea while reading a ‘Homes and Gardens’ magazine. One needs a little normality before a shift in The Souvenir Shop, as a list of ludicrous questions from the clientele is bound to ensue. Gems so far this year have included: “Can you put these postcards in a normal post box?” (as opposed to what?); “Do these solar-panelled toys need batteries?” (the clue’s in the name, methinks); and, The Big Daughter’s particular favourite, “Are these umbrellas collapsible?” (No, you have to walk around with them forever up, looking like a complete t**t). I’m thinking of applying for a job writing assembly instructions for flatpack furniture.