Following the instructions

There are all these people out there who are economically upside down and underwater and in the hole and behind the 8-ball. This isn’t news. Nevada now leads the country in unemployment with a 14 percent rate, higher than even hapless Michigan, fer crissake. So with all this strife and stress in abundance, I’m hoping someone will take the following advice to heart, and start up a business that could well make a fortune. I’m tellin’ ya, there’s a stash of cash to be made in the brave new world of furniture assembly.

Try finding a piece of new furniture that doesn’t come in a box these days. After deciding that my computer furniture was totally hideous and needed to be donated, preferably to a blind person, I found some slick new modernistic glass-top stuff at my local Office Orifice and thought it was just the ticket. I asked the clerk if I could pay extra to have it built, since I now know at this stage in my life that to purchase furniture that needs assembly is akin to buying a multi-hour exercise in volcanic frustration. The clerk said, “No way, we don’t build this crap. And we charge a ridiculous amount to deliver. We want you to buy it, pick it up, and blow a royal gasket putting it together. Will that be Visa or Mastercard?” Hmmmm.

Man, I really want this cool, modern glass-top stuff. “OK,” I said chumpishly, regretting the words as they left my face.

The instructions were, of course, cheerily optimistic. Total time needed to build the desk, they said, one hour. I figured that meant, according to the laws of boxed furniture reality, three hours. I was off by an hour. It took four. Some of my favorite things about building furniture were still in play. First, if a piece can be put in backwards, upside down, or both, the chances are quite good that it will be. Second, the instructions will eventually lead to a place that will inspire a major outburst of expletives. Third, sooner or later, due to Rule One, you will have to deconstruct and then reconstruct, after you discover that you did indeed build backwards/upside down. That means backtracking at least three to four steps, which will set off an encore performance of Rule Two. Fourth, you will, somewhere along the line, want a drink. Have one. By all means.

Here’s where you come in, future entrepreneur. The next time I recklessly dare to buy more fine home furnishings in a box, I want to be able to pick up the Reno phone book, look under the heading “Furniture Assembly,” and call some nice local handy person and pay him to come out to my house and build the shit. Whatever you wanna charge, I’ll pay. Gladly. Currently, there are no businesses listed under Furniture Assembly. Hell, there isn’t even a category for Furniture Assembly. The big bucks are waiting to be made.