When I have nothing to do that’s what I do. When my wife Peg has nothing to do Amazon’s stock rises. I do not recall a promise to love, honor and spend countless hours schlepping around Peg’s mail-order treasures but she assures me it was in the fine print. And when Peg shops I get blessed with packages that must be unpacked and inscrutable assembly instructions. I do not know if China deserves any blame for ’Ole 19 but it seems everything that UPS or FedEx or Amazon, etc., etc., etc., ships to us comes with the warning “made in China” and “easy” guides that are “Greek” to me. Let me ask you, did ancient Greece once fill the current China role of world-wide shipping of products accompanied by Tower of Babble type assembly manuals?
Peg’s most recent “essential” on-line purchase was a log futon; it came in three large cardboard containers. But even though it was plainly labeled with Peg’s name and our address it was dumped by some overworked FedEx driver at an address four miles from our home. Julie and Wayne Brown, the nice people who found our packages propped against their front door, contacted us and we picked them up. Actually Wayne Brown, an innocent victim, helped me load the heavy and cumbersome articles into our SUV then Peg and I had to unload them at JPeg Osage Ranch. I had just a glint of uncharitable satisfaction when Peg could barely lift her end.
Once we removed the cardboard and located the sixteen-page assembly booklet we understood why the furniture company did not offer, at any price, the option of fully put together delivery. On the face of the assembly manual was a large red STOP sign that notified us we could not return the items to the store that sold them but, we had to deal with the manufacturer. Then we were directed to a website for a “video tutorial”. My heart sank as I realized my Labor Day weekend was over and the “holiday” was aptly named.
Peg is the daughter of an engineer and is amazingly adept at technical stuff. I am better at more sanguine pursuits such as watching football and writing newspaper columns. However, I am highly experienced in the realm of lifting heavy objects and following Peg’s orders. Therefore, together we are usually able to navigate the choppy waters of arcane mail-order living during these unusual days of social distancing; however, not so fast on this Gordian Knot puzzle dumped on the neighbors and then us. It is a testament to our pure stubbornness, the potential waste of hundreds of dollars and our total lack of options that we did not simply add these finished wood parts to our burn pile. If I were not acutely aware of “the Law’s Delay” and the almost always unhappy experience with lawsuits, we would have just thrown up our hands and sought out a lawyer. Surely the sadists who came up with both the futon and its accompanying assembly manual(s) ought to be held liable for our two (2), that’s right, days of frustration before our “Mission Accomplished” was.
One good thing that happened was Peg was so ticked off at Kodiak Furniture and FedEx she may not order anything else for a week or so.