My new chair arrived and the writerly posterior is now ensconced in unaccustomed and softly cushioned luxury… and loving it. However, I do have a small complaint. Not about the chair itself…oh no, that’s heaven! But…
Call me old fashioned, or possibly delusional, but when I buy furniture, unless it specifies ‘self-assembly’ or bears the dread words ‘flat packed’, I have visions of it being delivered in one piece. I can go with ‘minimal assembly required’. But at what point did ‘easy to install’ equate, in the English language, to either ‘needs to be built from scratch’ or ‘takes two strong men and a bottle of valium to assemble’?
I have no objection to a little doing-it-myself when the occasion arises. I’m not saying I’m much good at it, but things stay up…mostly…when I put them up. It’s just not always a good idea to look too closely at how… Superglue and duct tape have their uses.
The box arrived looking big enough to contain a small office, complete with canteen and restroom. A good sign. All I would have to do would be dispose of the packaging.
Well, that is going to be a job and a half in itself, given that most of the contents of the space within the cardboard box was packaging. There were even instructions.
Unfortunately, I don’t read Chinese.
I laid the contents out on the floor, checking to see if there were the requisite number of bolts and berating myself for not owning an electric screwdriver. I really need to replace the power tools. So far I have deemed it safer not to do so. I might be tempted to use them.
Ani, wise from past experience, took one look at the proceedings and retreated into the handy cardboard box, nesting in the polystyrene packaging. With the static from her fur, I could see that was going to be fun when she finally ventured out.
Maybe this was going to be easier than I thought. The wheels went in fine… the gas lift assembly? No problem. The seat… deeply padded and inviting… was next. No more than half a dozen bolts. That wouldn’t go. No matter how much I tried.
The hex key supplied had, by this time, been un-hexed and was a nice, shiny round thing. A trip to the shed and a determined rummage and I returned with a number of possible alternatives. None of them the right size, of course… but workable.
I turned the seat base round. That worked. Apparently there had been a sticker with a little arrow saying ’this way’. It was, by this point, attached to the nose peeping out of the box.
The nose, attached to the black, hairy beast, ventured out to offer sympathy and support. It is not easy DIYing with a muzzle in your face intent on illicit cheek-licking, but being on the floor by this time, she took me as being in her domain… and that means getting up close and personal.
The arms came next; curvy, dull silver with thick, soft armrests… and bolt holes just a millimetre out from where they needed to be. I wrestled them into place; the lure of comfort drove me. All it needed for perfection was the thickly upholstered backrest with the lumbar support.
It got…interesting about here and Ani bolted back to her box. You have to get this thing, wedged tightly between the armrests, into the precise position for the holes. It is, of course, spinning on its nice, mobile wheels and virtually impossible to hold. I couldn’t get it the last little bit. I tried sitting on it. Not, you understand, as if it was a chair… more like trying to ride a bucking bronco. I’d be useless in a rodeo. I fell off.
Several abortive attempts later, I dismantled the gas lift, took off the seat, crammed it between me and the door and knelt on the bugger. That did it. I emerged triumphant to fix the screw covers, move the comfortless brown chair and install the new, black upholstery in front of the desk.
They were right… installing it was easy.
Ani, by this time, had de-cushioned the sofa and built a castle round the box. The living room was in chaos and I needed either a stiff drink or a hot bath or both. I got neither… But tonight I am enthroned in comfort in front of the screen.
Now if I could only fix that and stop that rolling…