Screwing on the carpet

Some readers have commented that my messages tend to be rather serious and even portentous. Here’s some comic relief.
One of the indications of a higher civilization is the ability to construct a cupboard from a kit. I know about this since I have assembled several pieces of Danish furniture in the past, and yesterday I put together a chest of drawers that we purchased from Ikea (yes, we have one nearby). It must be a Scandinavian patent that the pieces come together with accurate pre-cut holes into which the perfect size and type of screw fit, and all of it combines almost effortlessly. Well actually with some effort.
What I have found from experience is that these constructions are best carried out on a carpet, so that the pieces as they combine together and grow in size and weight can be turned and swung around with ease. All one needs for tools is a Phillips screwdriver and a small hammer (my father – a professional cabinet maker – would have missed the glue, its smell alone used to be redolent of the whole activity).
The major innovation that the Scandinavians introduced is the circular metal device (if it has a name I don’t know it) that fits into a hole about 1 inch in diameter in the piece of wood to be joined, and then turns a half-turn so that it tightens onto the top of the screw already in place in the other piece of wood (a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’m not drawing one here) thus fixing them together. This enables the whole cupboard to be erected without even a touch of glue or any obvious screws to be seen. Wonderful!
I must say that I enjoyed putting this chest of six drawers together in about one and a half hours. My wife agrees that this is a particularly masculine activity. I suppose its the whole construction thing and the three dimensional conceptualization. This lead me to contemplate the process of screwing, that is the main requirement of the activity. Women tend not to screw, and this is because one of their characteristics is that they have narrow wrists, not adapted for the constant strong turning required for screwing (however they could use an electrical screwdriver). If there is any woman reading this who has constructed such a Scandinavian cupboard from a kit I’d like to hear from her.
The obvious question is why did we need this particular cupboard? That is because over the years we have accumulated many papers and much junk, and my wife has the unfortunate habit of not wanting to part with any of it. So I took the opportunity of her absence in England (I would not have dared do this with her present) to gather many of these dusty piles of papers together and put them in plastic bags. Altogether this made a small mountain of junk. She is gradually going through them and discarding most of it (papers back to 2003 and undecipherable notes on envelopes and bits of paper). However, to make it up to her I had to provide a suitable place for her to save those items she needed to keep and for future accumulations. Hence the 6-drawer cupboard.
So whatever people say about the bad effects we have on the environment, the ability to assemble such a cupboard so quickly and easily is certainly an indication of an advanced civilization.

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