Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why I Hate The Swedes (and how they helped me create a new clean (ish) swear word)

This is why I hate the Swedes. It has to do with a certain retailer, and their inexplicable way of designing things to be incredibly frustrating to put together. They add directions to their boxes, and include fantastic pictures for reference. However, the pictures may or may not resemble any item in your box (or your country).

I bet you all think I'm referring to that famous Swedish retailer IKEA, don't you? And while I have had a little experience with their lovely products, no that's not it. There is another company who has trumped IKEA. It is THULE (don't ask me how to pronounce it. It's part of their evil plan to have an unpronounceable name).

I had experience with them last year when I bought the roof rack for my car. The place I bought it from told me it could be a little challenging to put together and that I should find a patient friend to help, a nice place in the shade to park my car, and an ample supply of alcoholic beverages to complete the task.

In my younger years I was pretty mechanically inclined and used to do all my car maintenance myself, including replacing water pumps and a carburetors, so I thought, ok, I can do this. Well, it was a challenge indeed. And although I don't drink alcoholic beverages, the installation process made me consider having a swig of something fermented and nasty tasting to relieve my stress.

Well, yesterday, I picked up a fairing (or as I like to call it, the wind deflector thingy) for my roof rack. The roof rack is a handy thing once it is installed (and the installers blood pressure has returned back to normal), however, the wind roaring over the roof rack gives the passengers of the car the impression of being in a wind tunnel. The radio has to be turned up to top volume, and conversation is peppered with "HUH?" and "WHAT?" and then given up on all together.

When I bought the fairing, I asked how hard it might be to install. The friendly clerk assured me that unlike the roof rack, this would be simple and involved a couple clips.

Why, oh why, do I trust these guys?

I am the queen of clean swear words, but was astonished to find that I had blasted through my vast repertoire on step 1 in the directions! I find there is something therapeutic in cursing while working on a difficult task, but my clean ones just weren't cutting the mustard for me. I was using one of my favorites, a line from the movie Elf, "SON OF A NUTCRACKER!" but was finding it lacking. Not wanting to go hard core, I changed it up just a little and came up with "SON OF A BUTT NUGGET!". It was just dirty enough to be satisfying, yet still clean enough for my kids ears (in fact they found it quite hilarious and entertaining).

Many swear words later, said fairing was installed and I happily drove to work today without the whistling and gusting I had become accustomed to. Heck, I could even hear the radio.

All this made me think that maybe we should start a rating system labeling items as to their difficulty in assembly by how many swear words you will have to use in the process.

Level 1: Use of 3-4 common swear words required

Level 2: Use of approximately 7 swear words including some hard-core ones

Level 3: Use of all known swear words including those often referred to by just a letter

Level 4: Use of all hard-core swear words in any and all combinations, including the use of an entire sentences so filthy they would make a rapper/truck driver/sailor cringe.

Level 5 will be a special designation given just to imports from Sweden. Level 5 will encompass all other levels plus the capacity to invent new and even more heinous swear words. You may need a degree in cursing just to purchase a level 5 item.

I hate the Swedes.