austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Shelves of books in your mirror reflected

I forgot to mention, last week was the clearance sale at Ikea. This is an event held every six months or a year -- I really should look that up -- when the entire population of Singapore flocks to the two Ikea stores, simultaneously, and debates how much they need a flat-pack containing possibly a bed, possibly a kitchen set, possibly a task chair. The only way to tell is the label, and that has a piece of line art, a Swedish name, and a number like 408.117.2823.

Yes, I joined the masses, since there's a bookshelf I've been thinking about buying, but I keep putting off for no good reason, since I still hold out this dream of someday having all my books on some kind of shelf. My mother says that won't ever happen. But I figured there was a chance the bookshelf would be on sale, and that would make it worthwhile. It turned out that it wasn't on sale, and more, the shelf -- which comes in two parts, the frame and the shelves -- was partially sold out. They had shelves in different colors and numbers, but they were out of frames, and there wasn't much point waiting in line behind 2.35 million Singaporeans just for shelves that weren't discounted. Of course, that meant I had to find my way back from the self-service aisles, going against the flow of foot traffic, to any available exit. However, along the way to the cash registers they had the monitors showing Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, so there was reason to linger a bit.

And things got stranger, as they always do. On the lower level, by the infinitely long line for taxis, was a sign warning, ``The store is currently filled.'' (This was a fair assessment.) ``Please enter by the second level.'' (There's a pedestrian bridge over the highway outside.) While I was wondering how that direction was of any use, I noticed this sign was copyrighted 2006 by the local Ikea corporate overlords. I suppose it's good for them that the sign will only be reproduced for review and commentary purposes. As to why they copyrighted a notice like that, I don't know. Maybe they were just caught up in that Scandinavian sense of whimsy and were in a giggly mood when they decided to fill out the copyright forms.

Trivia: To secure the job as Deputy Postmaster for the American colonies in 1753, Benjamin Franklin authorized London merchant Peter Collinson, his representative in London, to spend up to £300 for lobbying. Franklin did quip that the less it cost the better, since the job was only for life. Source: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson.

Currently Reading: The Spanish War, GJA O'Toole.


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