A Leukocyte Goes to IKEA

I was going to write a story here about a leukocyte who goes to IKEA to demonstrate that you can anthropomorphosize anything with enough chutzpah*, when three things occurred to me:

  1. This is already a well-known fact.
  2. Anthropomorphosize is not a word, while anthropomorphize is.
  3. You cannot, in fact, anthropomorphize anything, since humans cannot be anthropomorphized, because they are already people.
  4. Most of them, at any rate.

Four things. Then a fifth thing occurred to me: these things we call humans are perhaps the ultimate demonstration of anthropomorphosis. What a bold habit, considering as individuals these messy conglomerations of tubing, bacteria, urges, instinct, genetic programming, parasites, electrical wiring, hormones, etc.

So I decided to write about something else.

Between five and ten meters of human intestine, together with its support system was driving down the road one winter evening because its wife wanted to show it something at IKEA. The intestine was having a hell of a time seeing anything, because one of the little nose strut things had broken off its glasses and it still hadn’t gotten them fixed so the glasses were very, very slightly off. Also it was dark and foggy and as soon as the intestine left the freeway and took a single, solitary wrong turn, the terrain was unfamiliar and also dark and foggy.

The intestine’s thoughts wandered between several general areas the way a monkey at the zoo might wander between the climbing rope, a rubber tire, a dish of fruit, another exhausted monkey the first monkey has been tormenting, and the bars of its cage, through which visitors are passing it treats, in contravention of zoo rules.

The intestine’s thoughts alternated between the following:

  1. Although it feels like it, it is not pointless for me to be going to IKEA to look at something. My wife is a smart person who knows what she is doing, and also it is good for me to be involved in the process from an early point, as this is something I always complain about not having been after the fact, and so this is a sign that I am getting what I want, or something.
  2. I wish I wouldn’t have gotten lost on the way to IKEA, though. I always get lost at IKEA, this is redundant.
  3. In fact, I have not the slightest idea where I am, whatsoever.
  4. My wife offered to lend me her GPS and I declined and she is going to mention this fact when she finds out I am lost.
  5. What does one do in this situation? There are generally two alternatives: follow a stream downhill to civilization, or walk in circles until you perish.
  6. It feels like IKEA should be over to the right somewhere, in that vast expanse of darkness.

The intestine called his wife and told her he would be a little late. He was close, but lost.

You should have taken the GPS, she said.

The intestine turned around and looked for a bigger street because the street he was on was practically only a footpath by now.

The intestine drove down a long road, then turned left, and followed a white car for a while, then followed a bus, then turned around again, then went the wrong way up some random freeway for a while, then turned around and drove for a while, then an IKEA sign appeared in the darkness, like magic.

So this is what to do when you get lost looking for IKEA, based on the intestine’s experience: drive around until you find it.┬áThis seems to work, even if it is dark and foggy.

The intestine and his wife had some food before looking at the thing. They each had a different variation of salmon, and a dessert.

The food was actually not all that bad.

Then, with their blood sugar levels back up, they looked at the thing.

It took them a while to get to where it was, it was in a different part of the store, far from the cafeteria.

I bet there are arrows on the floor in hell, said the intestine. His wife ignored his joke. She is tired of his IKEA jokes.

Finally they arrived at the thing. Here it is, said his wife. The thing.

The intestine said the usual stuff. Looks kinda flimsy. He wanted to complain about the price, but if you find something cheaper than a thing from IKEA somewhere else, it’s bound to be a real piece of junk.

Yeah, okay, said the intestine. Then he opened the door, and remembered the thing was destined for the upstairs closet with the slopey roof.

Did your calculations account for the slope of the ceiling, or am I going to assemble this and then be sad because we can’t open the door?

Hrm, said his wife.

This, thought the intestine, is why I drove here tonight, and got lost, and ate salmon. His wife had calculated everything, had thought of everything, except the sloping ceiling. So it came to pass that they postponed their purchase of the thing, and went home and measured and took the ceiling into account, and saw that they would need a different thing after all.

The end.

*If you want, you can put a comma after IKEA in this sentence, but it makes the sentence less interesting.

Shakespeare on dating

Words, words, words.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene II


Alpha and I saw King Lear last Sunday, in the original German, at the Burgtheater, in Vienna.

Shakespeare, really something that guy, eh?

Klaus Maria Brandauer was Lear. He was good. Everyone was good. Even the actors where you think, they’re not as good as the rest, they turned out to be good, too.

Four hours just flew by.

Alpha arranged the tickets, and being Alpha, we had front-row seats. Also, being Alpha, in the intermission, when the aisles and hallways of the theater suddenly fill with people blinking like moles and looking for the restrooms or the buffets, she said, “I’m going to the restroom so you go get champagne.”

Being me, I went and got champagne. Slightly out of character, I got it quickly, which gave me more time to try to find my wife in the crowd.

An usher informed me I was not allowed to bring the glasses and champagne bottle (one of those little piccolo bottles that hold two glasses’ worth) back into the theater-part of the theater with me. She was nice about it, though, when I explained my lost-wife situation, so instead of asking ‘what, do lots of people throw bottles at Klaus Maria Brandauer?’ I got her to let me leave the drinks with her while I searched.

Of course I never found my wife, all intermission long.

I called her a couple times, but her phone was turned off.

Later, she called me and we had the where are you oh by the stairs i’m also by the stairs which stairs those stairs going up me too which stairs going up go to the stairs by the restroom now i’m by the bar how am I supposed to find you if you keep moving around? conversation. Then the warning bells started ringing and the usher suggested I drink both champagnes and head back to my seat. I offered her one but she didn’t drink on duty.

So I had two champagnes.

And saw King Lear up close.

Argue, argue, stab, stab.

Alpha was good-natured about the drink snafu, so was I.

When you have been together a long time, little stuff like that doesn’t rile you up. If it had been a first date, it might have been different.

Who knows?