KITTENHOEFFER magazine stand
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The KITTENHOEFFER magazine stand by IKEA is one of the finest, clearest and most popular design examples of self-assembly furniture ever devised. Costs are saved by the assembly not being performed in the factory, and by greatly reduced volumes for shipping and storage by the distributor and retailer. It comes in flat-packs, with instructions that are clear and diagrammatical. You do have to get through IKEA without FUCKING KILLING EACH OTHER AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU, and WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING GOING TO IKEA ON A WEEKEND AFTERNOON, but that's a small price to pay for Scandinavian design excellence. Ingvar Kamprad was personally responsible for this one, you know.
Like all IKEA products, KITTENHOEFFER comes with all required parts and tools and simple, diagrammatical, easy-to-read instructions.
Page 1: Heading KITTENHOEFFER. Line diagram of your magazine stand. You can just imagine it there in the corner of your living space.
Page 2: Note the smiling Swedish cartoon man. If anything goes wrong, he can call IKEA! And the large blue and yellow Tardis-like box will materialise in his living room. And life will be European, functional, socialist and stylish.
Page 3: Get out a seventeenth Allen key to add to your collection. Count the screws, bolts, washers and weird threaded rod things. Now put the sides in the middle of the floor and the base on top so you can screw it in. Whoops, they fell over! Your loved one stifles a snigger and goes into the other room.
Page 4: Put the weird threaded rod things through the sides. No, push harder ... Fuck. Oh, good — it isn't broken, just bent a bit. Bend it back. Yes, that's got it. Hardly noticeable.
Page 5: This bit doesn't seem to fit ... You have one of the sides on backwards. Go back to page 3 and try again. Back yet? Good. This may be bad, but it's not as bad as that one you got from Argos which said "some assembly required" and it turned out you needed a bloody power drill. Is it, now. This is much less worse. Keep telling yourself that.
Page 6: Now put the last two screws in from underneath where the magazine stand is on the floor. Whoops, that bit of the instructions is physically impossible, isn't it! Never mind. Make a mental note that you actually needed to do this around page 4. Now you can either (a) disassemble the entire damn thing back to page 4 or (b) attempt to lift it off the ground without getting a hernia. Your call.
Page 7: Attach cover to top, put caps in ends of frame. Assembled magazine stand. Slightly chipped veneer around the screw holes. You call in your loved one to show your wonderful handiwork. Your loved one hands you a cup of tea and points out the two surplus screws left over at the end. Trying to work out where they should go, you lean on the magazine stand and it collapses. Go back to page 3.
Page 8: A blank white void, similar to your mind after the above process, or your white-hot terror at the prospect of ever setting foot in IKEA again. You'll be back next weekend.
The KITTENHOEFFER magazine stand and the NAPAALM torture rack are actually made from identical components, but issued with different instruction leaflets.