Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Time Of Trial (UPDATED) upon me.

     Today I must face a test of strength – physical, emotional, and spiritual – that might exceed my powers. I must give it my whole attention for however long it takes. I must clear the decks, such that no competing task can deflect me. I must bring my full powers to bear against a terrifying foe, all my forces engaged and none held in reserve, until one or the other of us has been vanquished.

     Yes: I, the Curmudgeon Emeritus to the World Wide Web, face a trial so formidable that except for this brief notice, I shan’t be able to provide you with a tirade this day. It really is that severe.

     But what is this challenge to my Herculean powers, I hear you ask? What unimaginable monstrosity from the Stygian depths could daunt me so? Though even to think it makes me tremble, I shall tell you, that you might be moved to pray for my safety, or at least for the salvation of my immortal soul.

     I have purchased an item of customer-assembled furniture: a desk. And today I must assemble it.

     Experience, you understand. I’ve been through this many times. It’s never been pretty. On one occasion it was nearly fatal. (It was a safe. UPS insisted on leaving the kit at the curb. Never again.) Though I’ve girded my loins and am prepared to charge in full battle cry, I dread what’s to come.

     Even if I succeed, it will leave me exhausted. Unfit for civilized company. I’ll be no good for anything for the rest of the day. The C.S.O. might have to hire a nurse to look after me until I’ve recovered. (She’s much too smart to attempt it herself.)

     Expect news of the ordeal tomorrow: if not from me, from the executor of my estate. Until then...

     UPDATE: Finished – both it, and me. In case you were wondering, it’s a glass-topped computer desk I bought at Staples. The instructions were entirely in cartoons. Several of the puzzle pieces were unlabeled. I had to take a partial assembly apart three times. Perhaps the most aggravating aspects of the thing concerned a pair of mislabeled legs and two TOP stickers that were attached to the bottoms of the pieces so labeled...but with nearly invisible arrows pointing to their other sides.

     In a rare sop to the sardonic side of such torments, there was a package in the kit that contains two miscellaneous bolts of different sizes and a self-tapping screw, none of which have any part in the assembly. It’s labeled EXTRA HARDWARE. Clearly, someone at the factory has both a sense of humor and a relative who's endured this sort of agony.

     If there’s a Hell, and my sixty-three years under the veil of time persuade me that there must be, it surely has a section where the inmates must assemble and disassemble customer-assembled furniture for all eternity. However, I can’t imagine what sort of sin would merit that fate. Perhaps I’ll ask my pastor on Sunday.


  1. Dear Fran may God bless you in your endeavor. Thank you for making me laugh till I wept.

  2. I pray your nurse is both spry and playful...and that sponge baths are involved. Oh, and that the nurse is female. Almost forgot that one...

  3. I've just started following your blog. You write well and your sense of humor has me laughing out loud and I am more of a chuckler than a LOL-type person. What got me following your blog was your Liberty's Torch piece, forwarded to me in email. Thank you for your common sense!

  4. Francis, you have my sympathies. Having been there myself, I know of the joys of assembling pre-fab furniture. What is especially joyful is the instructions included in the whole mess. They'd take a structural engineer to decipher the d*** things. Make sure you're alone while doing the task. We're not made for human interaction during these ordeals.

  5. The most satisfying part is when you're "done".
    Then you can look over the pile of leftover screws and bolts, and review the pidgin instruction sheet at leisure, to see where they might have gone.

  6. Heh - the bag with random "extra hardware" parts sounds like something I'd do.

  7. Wandered over to The Woodpile Report, and to my great joy, Ol' Remus is posting again! For how long, and how often, who knows? It's great to see he's still in the game though.

  8. Pray you have a couple of extra small parts left over and not a missing non-standard part. Quality control sucks with flat packs hence the extras.


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