Life in Groningen

Friday, February 09, 2007

IKEA is evil

Went to IKEA yesterday and the only thing I could think about was how fucking scary the store was. It's demonic in it's design. First you've got the welcoming entrance and a nice layout of the store (which is evil in it's enormity). Then you start walking. The standard route takes you through the entire fucking store. It takes so long you get desorientated and hungry. I'd strongly advice against taking the "shortcuts" too. They make you pop up halfway the other sections which is even more desorientating and will make you double back without knowing it. And the place itself man.... It's scary like mofo. It's like they thought of everything, yet you can't help but feel like they only think that they thought about everything but missed something. Yet you cen't quite put your finger on it. I mean, they even got a "kids toilet" and steps in front of one of the sinks! It's creepy. And the bathroom smells steryle but when you take another sniff it's not the usual toilet kind of clean. It smells of hospital sterillity, it gave me the heeby-jeebies. Then when you leave behind the good part of the store (if there is anything good about IKEA) you're so hungry you must waist 11 euro's on a silly fish or some sandwiches at the small restaurant which, quite demonically so, is as steryle as the toilet... scary. And after the restaurant and the first part of the store when you've already decided that you'll buy 1000 euro's worth of crap you don't actually need (you were just there for a bedside lamp) you end up in the "selfservice" area. Which is no more than a big hangar stuck to the building that resembles the avarage DIY superstore. Nothing cosy nor a nice color, all grey and stacks upon stacks of cheap crap. And the exit isn't all that either. Actually the IKEA exit is the most horrible store exit I've ever seen in my life! THAT's the Swedish demon that is IKEA. Sweet-talking you into buying crap you don't need and even if you have the hart not to buy that shit you'll still pay 11 euro's for a meal at the end cause it took too damn long to get through the store.

There you have it IKEA is EVIL, and it's not the Fidel Castro kind of evil either. It's that 666, pentagrams, lucifers possé, Stalin, Hitler, slavery 'n massmurder kind of evil.

-E, aka: He who survived IKEA, yet was too poor to spend money on their restaurant so had to go to the McDonalds next door.



At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Arjan said...

first of all: yes Ikea is evil incarnate.
But you should be able to get a payable meal (around 5 euro's).
And on some days even cheaper!

The question is..did you at least get what you came for?

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Kasper said...

Hell, if you go to the snack-bar thingy after the cash-registers, they've got ultra cheap food.

Also, this might be of interest to you:


IKEA is a fully immersive, 3D environmental adventure that allows you to role-play the character of someone who gives a shit about home furnishings. In traversing IKEA, you will experience a meticulously detailed alternate reality filled with garish colors, clear-lacquered birch veneer, and a host of NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs) with the glazed looks of the recently anesthetized.


Your goal is to successfully traverse the five awesome worlds of IKEA before your patience runs out. On your first few tries this may seem like an impossible task, but with practice (and this IKEA Walkthrough!) you will soon be able to muster the sense of numb resignation necessary for victory.


Your adventure begins! Drive your vehicle into the IKEA underground PARKING LOT. Your task is to find the fabled PARKING SPOT hidden deep within this toxic cavern. Your search will not be easy, as the PARKING SPOT may not appear until you first qualify by completing several dozen laps. As in all worlds, time is of the essence: If you are unable to find the PARKING SPOT in 180 minutes or less, you may become irritated and leave.

Although your vehicle comes equipped with a braking mechanism (the “B” pedal), the secret to success in this world is to never decelerate. If there are cars in front of you, bump them out of the way until you are able to pass. Although you may think it makes sense to slow down while navigating sharp turns, it is almost always quicker to keep your accelerator (the “A” pedal) depressed to the fullest, crash your vehicle into a wall or parked car as you round the corner, and resume acceleration from a standstill.

To find the PARKING SPOT you will need to venture down the many lanes throughout the PARKING LOT. WARNING: Always look before entering a lane, as many will contain idiots who have elected to simply stop their Ford Excursions in the middle of the passageway and wait for someone to leave. If you inadvertently find yourself trapped behind one of these morons and have selected a vehicle with side-mounted rocket-launchers, use them now.

REMEMBER: Every person you run down in this world is one less you’ll have to deal with in future levels, so never miss an opportunity for carnage!


You start this world armed only with a UNIVERSAL FURNITURE-ASSEMBLY ALLEN WRENCH. This is the weakest weapon in IKEA: You will have to hit a person 16 times with it to kill them. So your primary goal in this level is to find more lethal means of dispatching your enemies.

As you enter the SHOWROOM, perform a rolling dodge to the left. Grab a free PAPER TAPE MEASURE and a handful of IKEA EMBLAZONED GOLF PENCILS from the kiosk near the entryway. The PENCILS serve quite well as ranged weapons, but it will take some time to master their use. Before venturing further in the world, stand at the kiosk and practice hurling GOLF PENCILS at patrons as they enter the SHOWROOM. Remember: Hitting the eyes does triple damage.

Now make your way into the main SHOWROOM, using the PAPER TAPE MEASURE to throttle anyone who blocks your path.

As you enter the main area, you will see an EKHARD oiled solid-oak dining sideboard. Quickly kick it apart to acquire the TABLE LEG WITH NAIL.

As you continue through the main SHOWROOM you will see groups blocking the walkways while chatting and others moving against traffic. These people should be killed immediately.

When you enter the office furniture section, search the back wall and acquire the NOMINELL swivel chair with lockable tilt tension and gas-lift seat-height adjustment. Using this to propel yourself through the remainder of the level will greatly improve your time. Be sure to break open all cabinets and dressers as you travel, looking for power-ups.

In the kitchen area, grab some SCENTED CANDLES. While non-lethal, you can light them and stun those around you with Ye Olde Timey Stench before dispatching them with the KAVALKAD aluminum non-stick saucepan.

You’re almost there! Work your way toward the northern wall. In an alcove near the exit you will find a rack containing copies of the IKEA SPRING 2004 CATALOG. Weighing in at 17 pounds, this is the most powerful weapon you’ll find! Use the CATALOG to bludgeon the remaining people between you and the exit and proceed on to the next world.

NOTE: At any time you can visit the IKEA CAFE and acquire a $1 LATTE power-up. Avoid the $0.75 HOT DOG, though: It will give you a temporary energy boost but then impede your reaction time for the remainder of the adventure.


Your goal in this world is to locate the five components of the DREAM BEDROOM ENSEMBLE (DBE): MALM white-lacquered queen bed frame, KILAN RAND full/queen 100% cotton quilt cover set, CORRAS bedside table (with casters and one adjustable shelf), HOPEN three-drawer chest, and PAX/BREVIK wardrobe with white-foil finish.

This world is filled with NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs), and many will give you important clues if you interact with them. To “talk” with an NPC, stand in front of one as it tries to browse and wait for it to address you directly. If it tries to move around you, simply reposition yourself between it and its desired merchandise. If it refuses to acknowledge you, try cuffing it sharply on the side of the head and saying, “Hey! Hey buddy!”

Once dialogue has been initiated, listen closely for hints to the location of your DBE components. If the NPC stops talking, you may need to prompt it by asking about its favorite topics. Here are some subjects that the NPCs in IKEA will be happy to talk about:

* The final episode of Friends
* What’s up with all this rain
* The Oprah Book Club, back before she started picking hard-to-read Gabriel García Márquez crap
* The South Beach Diet
* That one Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Frank fakes an injury so he won’t have to go on a cruise with Marie
* The Gap

Scattered throughout this level are IKEA computer terminals. If you can hack into one you may be able to locate your DBS components, but an IKEA STAFF MEMBER may enter the scene and ask what you are doing. If you speak like the Swedish Chef you may be able to fool the employee into thinking you are the IKEA regional manager. If he still seems skeptical, pants him and flee into the IKEA KIDS section.

Whenever you find one of the DBE components, take the purchase tag associated with it; when you have collected all five, the next world will unlock.


Now you must find your actual DBE items in the SELF-SERVE WAREHOUSE. This labyrinth can be very frustrating and will require your full attention to navigate. Do not rely on the warehouse shelf locations printed on the purchase tags of your items — due to some translation bugs introduced while porting IKEA from Swedish to English, they are almost never correct.

Upon entering the warehouse, you need to go:

N, N, E, N, S, SW, U, N, W, U, W, W, W, U, NW, N, NW, S, E, W, W, W, N, W.

Now you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. A skeleton, probably the remains of a luckless consumer, lies here. Beside the skeleton is a rusty SKARPT high-quality steel knife with hard plastic handle and a shopping cart. Search the body. Take the IKEA GIFT CARD (still has $43 on it). Take and eat the SWEDISH FISH for sustenance. Now go:

S, E, D, D, E, SW, W, SW, D, W, U, S.

Here you will find the shelves containing your DBE components. In this mini-puzzle, you must fit all of your merchandise onto the cart so nothing falls off as you proceed to CHECKOUT. It’s like Tetris, minus the catchy Russian music and the fun. DON’T SPEND MORE THAN THREE OR FOUR HOURS WORKING ON THIS!

Continue to checkout:

E, U, U, E, U, N, NE, N, SW, S, W, N, E, U, U, N.

You’ve made it!

NOTE: One wrong turn in the WAREHOUSE could cause you to lose precious hours trying to find your way out. So take items off the shelves as you travel, place them on the floor, and make a map as you go. That way, if you make a wrong turn, you will be able to backtrack. For example:

| |
+—-+ +—-+
| A | - | B |
+—-+ +—-+
+—-+ +—-+ +—-+
| C | - | D | - | E | -
+—-+ +—-+ +—-+

A. KOMPLEMENT 13-trouser pant hanger
B. HUSAR glass-door cabinet
C. SKYMTA mouth-blown drinking glass
D. TOMELILLA sofa with removable and washable DELSBO sand slipcover
E. MELODI white plastic pendant lamp


This is it. The matchup between you and the final boss: IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad. But unlike traditional adventures, this ultimate showdown is not one of violence (much as, at this point, you’d like it to be), but rather a battle of will and endurance. If your PATIENCE is already running low, you are unlikely to finish this world. But this is what you’ll need to do to survive.

First push your cart into the CHECKOUT line. Now stand there and wait. Continue to wait. If the person in front of you moves forward, you should move forward as well. And then wait. The key to CHECKOUT — and I cannot emphasize this enough — is to wait.

IKEA veterans know the secret to defeating this level: While waiting in line it’s crucial that you NOT CONTEMPLATE YOUR MERCHANDISE! Do not ask yourself if you really need seven tiny wicker baskets. Do not wonder what’s wrong with the perfectly good entertainment center you have at home. Do not try to reconcile your recent participation in anti-globalization protest parades with the fact that you are now on the verge of buying an armchair that somehow costs 23 bucks. EVERY MINUTE YOU SPEND THINKING ABOUT YOUR IMPENDING PURCHASES WILL HALVE YOUR REMAINING PATIENCE!!

If you can keep your mind blank — or if you can distract yourself by thumbing through the IKEA CATALOG and planning a strategy for your next run — you will be able to complete CHECKOUT and, thus, your adventure.


Congratulations — you’ve beaten IKEA! Now sit back and enjoy the end sequence: a splitting headache and a screaming match with your spouse over lunch at APPLEBEE’S. You’ve earned it!


At 2:44 PM, Blogger The Angelus Sanctus said...

Yeah Ikea is evil incarnate indeed (it's why I never shop there, plus the prices arent exactly nice either, so yeah, i thoroughly avoid Ikea, now if i was a millionaire and what not, then i'd probably consider going to Ikea etc etc).


At 7:07 PM, Blogger E-bean said...

the food is goddamn cheap there...go have breakfast for 1 euro!!!!!! it's unlimited coffeee!!!!!!!!!!

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Maarten Jalink said...

Too bad about 85% of my room will be IKEA! Even your wastafel is IKEA! Damn you Sweden _O_

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Erwin said...

cheap my ass, that's just a tiny part of what they offer. I mean COMON! 11 euro's for four sandwiches?

At 2:53 AM, Blogger lastlifeinmyuniverse said...

lol best description of IKEA so far.

i honestly walmart is the worst until you mentioned ikea ;)

At 2:54 AM, Blogger lastlifeinmyuniverse said...

i honestly THOUGHT* walmart was the worst until you mentioned ikea ;)


At 5:42 PM, Blogger Arjan said...

I know a store that is even more evil than a Dutch Ikea IKEA store in Sweden itself! ...where you can't even read the signs ;)

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Erwin said...

hmm.... what to make of this... I think I'll go into admin modes and delete that one.


At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Rory said...

Maarten Jalink said...
Too bad about 85% of my room will be IKEA! Even your wastafel is IKEA! Damn you Sweden _O_

Owh no, someone's been watching too much weebl and bob :P

At 11:17 AM, Blogger meaw meaw said...

Like many I used to love Ikea but a few years down the line when all my furniture has fallen apart I now see the error of my ways and that Ikea is just another giant corporation trashing our only planet.


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