Tuesday, July 03, 2007

P.A.I.N.

Is there anything as bracing as hours upon days reassembling particle board furniture? Many of you might say, "Well, hell, yes. Many, many things. Almost everything in fact." I will attempt to argue the contrary (oh look, I sort of wrote about this before).

Particleboard Assembly & Interaugmentational kNackery is a time honoured craft. While it is new, and doesn't have the panache of say, masonry, or the callus-on-the-hands down-to-earthedness of roofing, it has its charms; to wit, the Allen Key. Ah the Allen Key, simplistic hexagonal faux-screwdriver for the mechanically disinclined. A champion in a sea of hard to learn and impossible to understand 'crafstmanship' and 'professional workmanship'. A leveller, if you will, for those who would like to walk into the local Rona with pride, or at least, with a little less angst.

Sure, sure, all you are doing is reapplying some European engineers assembly plans to cobble together reconstituted sawdust. But hey, sometimes that sawdust has a very striking (if not very convincing) wood grain veneer! It's also is oh so handy as a stand in for real furniture. Which is what PAIN is all about: making the house a home, feeling some bit of mastery over the physical world. Bending (pre-made, super compressed, reconstituted bits of) wood to one's mighty arm, creating form and function where there was chaos (or seventeen neatly ordered planks with neatly printed instructions and a precise number of wooden pegs and fasteners). This is where PAIN really makes life bracing (ly painful) and refreshing (as a bath of slightly foul smelling acid). Man alive, am I ever so glad to have just waste-- invested the better part of two days doing it.

6 comments:

Monkfish said...

There is more to the Allen Key than meets the eye. There are different sizes, materials, colours, I could go on, but I can't think of any more. I myself have a complete set, on a keyring, no less. There is so much to collecting Allen Keys.

Niteowl said...

Tell me more! Are there webrings that support this sort of sorta manly endeavour? What else can you construct with Allen keys? Do people who are named Allen take pride in them?

Monkfish said...

I think there is a facebook group for it.

Niteowl said...

We shall create one for it, if there isn't.

andrea said...

Hehe...my favourite part of particleboard assembly is when, after the two days it's taken to create your "masterpiece", you realize that you've somehow read the pictogram instructions in reverse and have managed to put together a backwards ass version of what you originally intended...tagging on an additional 4 days to disassemble and reassemble :D Good Times!

Niteowl said...

Oh yes, you are not a true PAIN acolyte unless you do it the wrong way 3 times, then return, it, then see it again on the IKEA website, forgot what a pain it was, rebuy it, and finally assemble it (somewhat) correctly.