Thursday, January 24, 2008

Empire Builder For Hire.

Many Americans are expressing genuine fear as the weekend newspapers detail the latest plummet in stock values, and as abroad travelers continue to discover a weakened value of aged Mister Franklin in the global economy. Well rest assuredly my fellow compatriots, for the solution that continues to escape the minds of national economists may in fact comprise much of your recently furnished loft. Seemingly every one of our homes flauntingly displays a piece of this newfound glory of rich Americana, whether it is the inexpensive dresser that effortlessly stores your winter and summer wardrobes, the quaint ottoman that necessarily comforts your loafers after the press of the nine-to-five, or the inconspicuous teapot settled upon the rear burner of your cooling stovetop. It is this adopted corporation’s questioned craftsmanship, individually labeled with a quirky moniker, which summons us to flee our uninviting and simple abodes in pursuit of the coziness and complexity only found in a two-story royal blue cube with solar yellow bolded type. Leave it to a leading Nordic nation possessing novel ideas such as universal healthcare and education to further flood our imported, capitalist market with an export even more enticing than fair-skinned blondes, cellular phones, and Jens Lekman. However, what at-first may only seem to be another case of Viking-foolery upon the na├»ve Yankees later develops into a prosperous partnership and soon-to-be exploited endeavor by yours truly. You see, I won’t lie still on my Hopen while our Scandinavian sisters attempt to infiltrate our preoccupied minds and unoccupied homes with a scheme more indecipherable than the closing scenes to Fanny & Alexander.

Simply put, IKEA sells polished, unassembled pieces of timber in a three-color selection to unsuspecting consumers, who are intoxicatingly drawn to the final product painstakingly displayed in the model showrooms. After passing through every replicated room representing the ideal American living space, the consumer then attempts recreation by stacking a cart full of these bundled woodpiles packaged with rudimentary drawings pertaining to proper assemblage, while assuming this cardboard container of furniture-to-be has all the necessary brackets, screws, planks, etc. The consumer is frustrated once they travel back to the city from the suburban franchise and unload the bundle of unassembled logs only to notice one necessary portion is missing or damaged. And in the infrequent case of complete representation, the proud new owner of Swedish kindling now has to find a couple hours in their day to piece together their recent acquisition. It is this notion, which only creeps into the consumer’s conscience in this final moment, where my entrepreneurial plan flourishes.


I wish nothing more than to assist the workingman’s impatient desire for manufacturing superiority, and that is why I will aid their consumption in any humanly possible manner. Don’t over-think this one my fellow man, just give ol’ Steve a ring and I will pause everything I may be doing to assist you at any time, on any day…end of story. Why? Simple. Because I am passionate about maintaining IKEA’s integrity, and will stop at nothing to make sure you continue to invest in the global economy with a pearly white smile. If you have misplaced the cap to your kettle and long for a cup of tea, I will disembark the departing commuter train in order to head back to my automobile in Baltimore with every intention to drive out to the nearest suburban outlet and find you a replacement. No sweat at all. I live for the adrenaline rush I receive for this selfless act, and may even provide the first service pro-bono. Also, if you don’t want to assemble your new Alang after the hardship of a trying workday, and simply wish instead to rest in your Poang and delve into your fascinating Tom Clancy spy novel. Who could blame you? Not me. I certainly want you to be able to have your cake and eat it too, and that is why I have zero complaints about cutting the finale of a film I’m watching with my girlfriend a little short, so that you can enjoy this slice of red velvet. I will be there in a flash and hope to have the light bulb screwed into its place by the time you thumb through another tantalizing page. And there are a million other possible scenarios that could play out where you may need some assistance, which I would be obliged to provide for a cost comparable to the coinage you may discover under the padding of your Grankulla.


It is with this devotion that I ask everyone, with a similar desire to obtain the disappearing American Dream, to place an advertisement in that weekend newspaper, develop a promotional weblog, or thumbtack a note on the corkboard of your neighborhood community center alerting the overworked of our plan to aid their plight and end the struggle of those suits on Wall Street. Once you have accomplished this act of awareness with a simple message, rest your own fatigued bones, for you have more than done your part. Now simply wait for the deluge of phone calls inviting your expertise and devotion to this superior product. “Make Yourself Comfortable.”

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Year Resolutions.

Now that another year has closed and we reminisce about things in our lives from 2007 that we would like to forget, I would like to propose a list of three items/ideas that pop culture should eliminate for 2008. All of the following items have become excessive, annoying, and debilitating towards humanity’s hopeful progression, and should be purged and burned without hesitation for sentiment or fond recollection. No remorse or time for such behavior, for if these items/ideas do not vanish now that the ball has dropped in Times Square, the consequences of their existence upon society may endure even longer than the consequences you are personally enduring from insisting on a stranger’s kiss after a mind loaded with cheap champagne.

The Butterscotch Scarf
Who did this? Was it the GAP, Nordstrom, or some greater manufacturing whore? Nobody can be sure, but if I see the plaid patterned layering of yellow, orange, and white with thin red and black lines winding around someone’s woolen neck-cover in the coming year, heads are going to fucking roll. This garment seems to adorn the nape of every high school prep, wallflower business yuppie, and fallen fashionista in a blustery climate from late-October until mid-March. Someone has to be found responsible for presenting a piece of fabric to society that is unable to serve as a complimenting counterpart to any article of clothing; not even, your father’s camel-skin bomber with a brown corduroy collar matches this eyesore. So I ask upright members of society to grab and pull each end of the butterscotch scarf, if it is found around someone’s windpipes in 2008. Sweet release will ensue, and progression will applaud.

Dancing with the Stars
Oh my fucking God! When did viewing unheralded E-List celebrities waltz and samba on our television sets become the one commonality every human being’s existence shares? I refuse to have lunch with my co-workers during the fall months when this television show airs, for fear that I may have to subject my mind to the idea of them all watching Master P stumble over his size thirteens to the brass blares of a twelve-piece band, and having the sense to pick up their touchtone phones to pay three dollars to ‘cast a vote’ that will move him into the quarterfinals to face the ever-competent brother of an obscure member of Maroon 5. Oh my fucking God! I ask anyone who encounters a supporter of such vile trash to immediately discredit their reputation and dignity; only your favorite family members are allowed sparing to the societal exile you must cast.

Wolfgang Puck
The other night I am shopping for a frozen pizza to cook at the abode and what do I see, but the pastry face of this incompetent, womanizing fool of fortune trying to sell me an eight dollar pie, which is equivalent to one single serving. Puck you! I accepted your face invading the canned soup aisle, and only grimaced when I first noted your name slapped on the marquee of restaurants in seemingly every airport. But now you are trying to “Eat Love Live” in the frozen food aisle at the Safeway in Charles Village. Go away! Nobody should justify paying this amount for a cheese pizza, unless seven of the dollars go towards some undermining fund that supports George Foreman’s desire to develop an affordable rival to your ninety dollar rice cooker. Wolfgang, it’s one-part grain and two-parts H2O, you rapacious knockoff.