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how Sweden touches us all

Well, I'm touched. Several of you have written in to express concern for my recent not-very-traumatic confrontation with a minivan. Thanks for the comments and emails. I was not bandage trailing there, hoping you would notice and sympathize, but the kind words are welcome.

Actually, I was interested in the way time plays tricks on our senses. Right now I'm behind (F12 function key here) so time is generally speeding along. It did slow down yesterday, when I was helping my daughter move into her university digs by assembling some IKEA furniture.

The name is enough, I think. You're probably nodding your head. IKEA is a branded joke, like Lindsay Lohan or K-Fed or Botox. The name alone tells you the punch line. But IKEA is also a democratising joke, an inclusive institution. We can't all (I hope!) relate to Paris Hilton or O.J. But we do have our personal IKEA moments, not just with the store per se but also with the some-assembly-required aspect in our lives. In a way IKEA resembles mothers-in-law or lawyers or income tax. A hundred years ago you could always make conversation by mentioning the drains. Everyone had something to contribute on this topic.

So assembling Thea's night table cost me two hours, a pint of sweat (the apartment is not air condiditoned) several bandaids, and, if there is a hell, enough bad language to add appreciably to my stay there. One of these days I will learn that you can't put a price on time, and 49.95 seems like a deal only until you figure your own labour costs. Two hours of my time as a builder may indeed be worth nothing. But two hours swearing is time I could have spent on my rewrite . Which is what I'll be getting back to in about a minute.


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