by David G. Thorne
Ninja nincompoop Toshitsugu Takamatsu spouted that “Life is Change”. His followers seized on this statement as evidence of the honourable fraud’s wisdom and sound judgement. But if the old boy had possessed real wit or understanding he would have said “Change is Irritating”, or even “Life is full of changes designed to wind you up the wrong way.”
Take retailers, a breed who delight in changing things around for sport. Every time you pop into the local Hypermarket for a frozen pizza they have been relocating the damned things to where you least expect. Like all males I want to steam into a store, stride to the correct aisle, retrieve my groceries and high tail it out again without pausing for thought. But we cannot do this can we? No! Because the nightshift fairies at the local stack-em-high have been moving everything around again. Instead of a margherita, we find ourselves clutching a less than appetising pack of pan scrubs or a potted plant. So you now waste half a day of your life trawling up and down every aisle in search of the mozzarella topped comestibles. That is time you are never getting back people.
If they are not changing the location, they are changing the product. This weekend, (for reasons which need not be elaborated on), Hexhamite Hall found itself in want of a marital bed. The previous one having collapsed in a heap of duck down and tinder. In spite of my protestations about the glorious barbecue weather, the Lady of the Manor determined that we should sojourn in a certain well known Swedish purveyor of flat pack furnishings. The prospect of meatballs and lingonberry sauce aside, this is not how I envisaged spending a sunny afternoon. However needs must, when the alternative is a pillow on the flagstones.
Being people of taste and decorum, our boudoir is furnished with all matching furniture from the big blue and yellow store. Obtaining a matching wood effect bedstead would be relatively straightforward, would it not? It would not. The Ikea elves in their wisdom have decided to “revamp” our bedroom range. Rather than having the hassle of choosing from a range of elegant stained woods, wouldn’t we prefer that all our furniture look as if it has been limewashed by Tom Sawyer? Understated sophistication is out, in favour of design that appears as if a toddler has been left in charge of the paint pots. Furthermore, they have also decided that a range of sizes is out, so Ikea beds now come in two sizes – gymnastics beam and too-bloody-big-for-your-house.
This Scandinavian thinking means that we now have a bed that no longer matches anything else and which fills the room from wall to wall. The mattress looks like a postage stamp surrounded by a moat of springs, and the moggies now have to approach a nap on the eider like an assault on Fort Smerzen.
Retailers of the world, hear my heartfelt plea. For pity’s sake stop changing things!