Some Assembly Required

First, let me say I embrace the concept of on-line buying wholeheartedly. While I do try to patronize the local shops as much as possible, there are just some advantages to search, point, and click ordering that one cannot overlook.

And I accept the fact that such a practice by necessity requires one to acquiesce to the “some assembly required” effort for many of these items. But the other day we received a lamp we ordered that required us to build not only the lamp and post but the lamp shade as well.

When the box first arrived we were both a bit confused. It was the only package expected that day (a rather light day for the overburdened delivery driver at our house) but the shape didn’t lend itself to looking like it contained a lamp.


Snuggly bundled in that hated Styrofoam alien substance that adheres to everything was a fully disassembled, rolled-up lamp shade resembling a carpet for a doll house. Also included were the instructions written by someone using what would appear to be a paper copy of a Chinese to English Dictionary (with several pages missing.)

My favorite line from one set of instructions for another piece required the removal of a plastic plug before assembly. But instead of saying “remove the plastic plug for assembly” it read “the plastic piece is useless, destroy.” I thought that was a bit harsh so I just put it in recycling.

Being as it is the Christmas season and the usual signs are everywhere (like an overflow parking lot at our local post office) I know all of America will be consumed with interpreting instructions and building the gifts to go under the tree. Let’s hope the instructions don’t drive people to insanity and ruin the day.

As to the future, I can hope for two things. Any items we buy will require less assembly or Amazon finds a way to include a person to decipher the instructions, delivered and retrieved by drones, and not requiring any meals or other support while I watch them build things for me.

And here are some great gift ideas requiring NO ASSEMBLY

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