|Captivity feels a bit like heaven.|
Today I visited Ikea with the paternal half of my parentage. We were supposed to be couch shopping, as one does. What happened though goes far beyond the simple decisions of fabric colour and which incoherent Swedishly named sofa we ought to invest in. What happened is that I stumbled, or rather “Ooo I want that”-ed onto a giant Nordic conspiracy. Guys, IKEA IS A TRAP. The entire premise of Ikea is to lure people in AND NEVER LET THEM GO AND FORCE THEM TO COOK MEATBALLS UNTIL THEY DIE.
Step 1. Lure people into your trap with the prospect of immediately ditching their children in a room filled with toys and magic and germs.
People love ditching their children, it’s the easiest way to get someone to do anything, just give them a kid-free escape route.
Step 2. Helpful arrows.
The most clever and ingenious part of Ikea’s plan is that it is, essentially, a labyrinth. They use their helpful little floor arrows to guide you deeper and deeper into the labyrinth and all the while you think they’re just taking you on a tour or something. “Oh, those Swedes. So eager to help with directions! How do you say thank you in Swedish?”
Step 3. Secret passageways.
Working in tandem with those bastard arrows, Ikea has a series of what my dad (who has clearly been seduced by their trickery) calls “short cuts”. No no. These are not glorious secret passageways like the kind you can use to fuck people over in Clue. These are just a way of disorienting you and making you crave meatballs and Pepsi.
Step 4. Provide aesthetically pleasing and cozy room setups throughout your labyrinth.
By the time people figure out how far they’ve been led astray by the secret passageway between Kitchens and Glass Shit Your Kitchen Doesn’t Need, they’ll be exhausted and in desperate need of a cuddle. How convenient that there should be a series of beds and couches. They could just stay there forever, oh my goodness, that couch is so comfortable! …the trap is already working.
Step 5. Myriad bathrooms at every turn.
After hours in the Swedish labyrinth, there are certain human needs that must be met. How kind of Ikea to provide so many bathrooms. How VERY kind of Ikea to make sure these bathrooms are offset from the path in such a way that you immediately become disoriented upon trying to make your way back to the Ektorp sofa section. Good luck, mofos.
Step 6. Caution signs.
“Ikea cares about me! Look at that sign warning me that a lamp might be hot. How kind of them to be concerned about my delicate fingers and general well being”…is exactly what they want you to think. You’re already exhibiting symptoms of Step 10. It’s probably too late. You should probably call for backup. Except…
Step 7. Limit cell signal.
What better way to keep people trapped inside a giant blue Nordic bunker than to limit their access to the outside world? By the time you hit the Home Organization section, you’re so deep inside the maze that your iPhone isn’t even going to be able to connect to FourSquare so you can tell all your cool friends about all the cool deals you found at Ikea. Oh wait…do people still use FourSquare?
Step 8. Provide food.
Not only does Ikea provide delicious and super cheap hot dogs (made from other prisoners?) and frozen yogurt and Pepsi and meatballs and pasta…they also have a “Swedish Market” so you can grocery shop for all your Swedish snacking needs right in the comfort of your own prison. Ikea has literally thought of everything. All of your necessities are here. This is so so so dangerous.
Step 9. Elevators.
Honestly, I think beyond pure function the elevators are there just to keep people entertained and lost. You can take an elevator from the entrance to the main part of the Bunker, but there are like 3 other elevators doing the same thing all around and you never seem to end up where you’re supposed to. The elevators pretty much turn Ikea patrons into the socks in a giant metaphorical dryer. Where do they go? WHO KNOWS. ONLY THE SWEDISH KNOW. Too bad you don’t speak Swedish to ask, eh? Maybe Jennilund actually means “For the love of God HELP ME I’M TRAPPED IN IKEA” and we just never thought to investigate.
Step 10. Full blown Stockholm Syndrome. Think about it. Ikea is Swedish. Like Stockholm. OH SHIT.
Ikea has made you fall in love with them. You love their hearty food, their comfy pillows, their pretend 42″ TVs and super fun ceiling-dangling chairs. You love that their couches are equipped with squishy pillows and blankets and that everything you could ever need in life is RIGHT HERE. IN IKEA.
I’m probably going to get threatening letters from the Swedes for having blown the lid off this whole thing…but it was worth it.