kim and i recently found ourselves in the market for a new bookcase. this was due in part to the ridiculous amount of books one accrues in the process of a medical school education (and the desire to display them to guests--"i know anatomy! i am SMART!"), but also due to the fact that we removed the back from our old bookcase so we could reach the light switch behind it, causing some instability and necessitating the use of a curtain rod for propping up ("i ruined my bookcase...on purpose! i am perhaps not as smart as you thought!").
anyway, like most people do when they want a nice, solid piece of wooden furniture, we turned to target for our furnishing needs. and it was there we found an incredible pre-fab piece of wood and wood-like substances, with only some assembly required. i figured i could handle this assembly with no problem, and i tore into the box. but could i handle it? in your mind, you should be weighing out the evidence presented by the old bookcase: lots of medicine books....but the bookcase itself is broken...on purpose. place your bets accordingly.
fast forward a couple hours. i've just done the only step in the entire process which, if done incorrectly, will irreparably destroy the bookcase when kim comes home. i show her the (nearly completed) work in progress, to which she says "is it supposed to look like that?" and i looked at it, and actually, no. it is not supposed to look like that, with the front part in the back and vice-versa, and screw holes in the part that should be the front. round 1 to the bookcase.
so kim and i went to target to select another bookcase. i asked the customer service rep, in entirely hypothetical terms, if a bookcase could be returned if it had been opened and partially assembled. she replied in the affirmative, so we began our search for bookcase #2. as we browsed the different display offerings, i noted with some satisfaction that the bookcase i'd just mangled at home had the exact same screw holes in the front that i'd given it--so maybe i'm not so smart, but at least i'd potentially make it at target. maybe. let's see how we fared at target.
here in "the big city", space is at a premium, and accordingly buildings are built up to make up for the lack of horizontal space. in a target, this means 2 story targets, which has given rise to the cart-friendly escalator (see pic). so we loaded up our cart with a few other things we needed (several bouncy balls, giant kooshballs, and toys for kim's ESL classes, some socks and underwear for me, and so on), and then we put it all into our cart. i didn't take a picture, so i'm using google images to find for you an approximation of what we were dealing with by the time we loaded our favorite bookcase into the cart:
and onto the escalator our load went, and happily it rode for about 3 seconds until gravity, that malicious little fiend, finally had its way with it, and the whole cart flipped forward, launching, catapult-like, all its contents out into target's airspace. aside from the loud and awkward crashing of the projectile bookcase, it looked very much like a target commercial, as all the underwear and colorful rubber balls arced merrily through the air among smiling white people wearing tasteful sweaters and browsing through cheap goods. it was a glorious scene, and would have also been basically harmless were it not for the fact that those overgrown koosh balls landed at the bottom of the people escalator, got sucked into the gears, and completely stopped the escalator from further functioning.
kim and i walked away and got our bookcase at a different target.