Sunday, May 04, 2008


Well dear readers, I arrived back in Albany this afternoon around 5:30pm. Zippy Jr. did a great job carrying the 2 large pieces of luggage, the small luggage (which held my books and was heavier than either of the large pieces), my laptop, and my medical bag. I managed to get extremely lucky and find a parking space within 1/2 a block from my building. Ab-fab.

After 3 trips up to my 5th floor apartment, I decided it would be fun to put together the coffee table I received on my last break in February. I figured it would be a cinch, since I am now an old pro (having deftly assembled my TV and microwave stands). If it were easy, however, I wouldn't be blogging about it, right? By now, you've probably figured there's a story. You're right: there is.

If you're ever interested in assembling the same style table, feel free to use my revised instructions below. Plan on the entire project taking at least an hour and a half. This is exactly how I managed to survive the ordeal and with careful planning, you can too.

1) Cut open package containing coffee table, look at 2 diagrams and simple instructions, say to yourself "Hey, this isn't bad at all." (Words you will later wish you had never uttered).
2) Remove 2 "B" pieces, 2 "C" pieces, one "D" piece, 8 nuts, 8 screws, 8 wooden pegs, and 1 allen wrench. Dig out the flat-head screwdriver from the little black toolkit you stole from your mother 10 years ago. Prepare for take-off.
3) Using nuts, screws, allen wrench, and flat-head screwdriver, attach 2 "C" pieces to one "B" piece, then attach "D" piece to same "B" piece. Crank allen-wrench like mad to make sure everything is secure. Strain a muscle in your arm.
4) Turn the table onto its side to attach other "B" piece to the empty ends of the "D" piece and 2 "C" pieces. Just as you're about to secure the screw, drop the allen wrench on your foot, then drop the heavy screw on your foot, too. This is best executed when you're barefoot (which I always am). Lose screw. Lose allen wrench. Sift through coffee table box to find them. Start over with attaching the screw and once again crank like mad to make sure they are all nice and tight. Plug all 8 holes with wooden pegs to make the table look pretty. Drop one peg under your futon and get a cramp in your shoulder as you reach to retrieve it. Note that none of the pegs fit.
5) This is where the real fun begins. I suggest mixing yourself a drink at this point. I didn't but I wish I had. Dig piece "A" out of the box. Note how heavy it is. Find 4 cambolts and 4 camlocks hidden in the mess of packaging. Once again break into the old black tool-kit that you stole from your mother 10 years ago and retrieve a Phillips-head screwdriver.
6) Use Phillips-head screwdriver to secure 4 cambolts into the 4 holes in the bottom of piece "A." Note that the holes are too small and you need to make them larger by hand. Strain another muscle in your arm while you complete this task.
7) Insert 4 camlocks into 4 holes of both "C" pieces. Gently place "A" face down on top of these holes so cambolts fit into locks. Realize that none of them fit. Contort yourself into positions that would make Nadia Comaneci proud. Use allen wrench in an attempt to re-position the camlocks. Lose 2 camlocks in the process.
8) Invent new curse words and contort yourself once more as you search for the camlocks. Find them in the mess of cardboard sitting on your floor.
9) Repeat steps 7 & 8.
10) Repeat steps 7& 8.
11) Repeat steps 7 & 8.
12) Turn table upside down and attempt to secure cambolts into camlocks. Repeat steps 7 & 8.
13) Turn table right-side up and attempt, once again, to secure cambolts into camlocks. Repeat steps 7 & 8.
14) Take a deep breath (or a large sip of that drink you mixed), and pray for a miracle.
15) Rejoice in the miracle that has occurred and secure cambolts into camlocks. Strain a muscle in your arm to make sure they're tight.
16) Lift table from the top to make sure it won't fall apart. It won't. Pull a Pat O'Brien and bury your face in your hands and cry.
17) Look at the mess on the floor, decide it's going to stay there until tomorrow, then blog about your experience.

The end result will be a few strained muscles, a cramp in your shoulder, a bruised metatarsal bone, and a coffee table that looks like this.

Good luck,
Ms. V


Julie said...

I think it is great that you started blogging again because I need more reasons to stay away from my books. Your adventures are really dazzling you know! :-) Please save a date at VPB for me when I'm back from CO!!!!

Ms. V said...

Get back to those books! You have vaginas to build and you need to pass Step 2! ;) I *always* have VPB dates saved for you m'dear. That goes without saying. :D