NURSING his wounds, a friend is recalling a recent move...


August 04, 1994

NURSING his wounds, a friend is recalling a recent move involving 12 cardboard boxes and what seemed like several hundred Allen wrenches. Whoever Allen is, our friend suggests he keep his doors double-locked.

Our friend reports:

"After an exhausting search for modest budget furnishings an outfit specializing in reasonably priced, hip furniture answered my prayers. Plus, they would deliver for a nominal fee. I was sold. After paying, the cashier saluted me with a cheerful 'have fun!'

"With furniture? This young man apparently leads a more interesting life than I do.

"I discovered that his sunny goodbye was no joke. Three rooms worth of furniture arrived on time, in 12 heavy cardboard boxes.

"The next day, customer service chatted unceasingly about the virtues of assembling one's own furniture, claiming complete faith in my ability to build a nine-foot wardrobe from the ground up. All I needed was an Allen wrench, supplied with each furniture kit. I have trouble turning on the TV without a remote control.

"They suggested I start with the easy stuff, so I tackled the night table: four sides and a drawer. All instructions were detailed pictographs, showing which tools and implements went with which steps. How complicated could it be?

"After three hours in construction with several rounds of nailing the legs on backward, reciting the alphabet seemed complicated.

"Another call. This time, 'Sandy' told me the holes were incorrectly drilled in the plinths. She would send replacements right away.

"After three days of waiting, then many more hours of labor, I had a night table. It also came with several lacerations and a torn carpet, but never mind. I placed it in the bedroom with pride and unpacked a lamp and bed-side reading.

"I then considered giving up. If a night table was such an ordeal, I'd be ready to move again by the time everything was built. What to do? I made it a group activity.

"Soon, I was spending a couple of nights a week building with friends. I made dinner and supplied ice packs. They brought fancy tools, pounded away and dripped with sweat.

"Now I have a furnished home. It looks great. My friends love it and they all got a wrench as a souvenir."

A fine accomplishment, but that doesn't mean he'd do it again. He'll leave that to Mr. Allen.

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