1. A Stunning Realization!

    MY WIFE LINDA AND I took a little trip down to our local IKEA last week. As I’ll bet you figured out by now, our youngest, Susan, is pregnant (again!), so we figured we’d help her out and help furnish the nursery corner of the bedroom she shares with her sister and brother as a sort of early graduation present. (The baby’s not due until next June, when Sue’ll be saying goodbye to middle school and gearing up for at least one year of high school – we hope!)

    As with most grandparents-to-be today (Do we really have to consider ourselves “grandparents” if we convince her to give this one up, too? LOL!) we’re on a budget so IKEA is the perfect solution. We take a pad & paper to jot down furniture names and sizes while considering what pieces might work and where.

    …Then we come home and search for the same pieces on Craigslist and pick them up, used, for about a third of their original cost from idiot college students. I’m not paying IKEA prices. Who do I look like, Pierce Morgan?

    Anyway, we were in the “AS-IS” section of IKEA when as usual, Linda started having another one of her hot flashes – or what we thought was a hot flash.

    As for me, I always seem to become inexplicably  – what do the British call it? – randy when we visit IKEA; so much, in fact, that I’ve specifically been asked not to wear sweatpants when I go there. (I still have the oversized yellow polo shirt they gave me to cover up the first time it happened.) I always presumed it was the glue in all the particle board that gets me going. (As with you, it acts as something as a pheromone to me.)

    Then it dawned on me:

    Cut most of the lights, plug in a couple of fog machines, stack a bunch of pallets into an industrial maze of sorts, a disco ball here, a strobe light there, and of course, a near-naked DJ spinning the hottest bad Euro-techno-pop of 1995, the air filled with the sweet smell of perspiration, White Diamonds, alkyl nitrate, Zima, and a familiar though unplaceable fruity yet musky aroma – and this place becomes The Allen Wrench (though we regulars knew it affectionately as The Allen Raunch) – the hottest couples-only sex rave that dominated the Southern California couples-only sex rave scene of the mid-90s.

    And here is the very wall I, blindfolded, always ended up chained to while Linda and a procession of other gals (I presume!) manhandled me.

    It all adds up now. DJ Billy Bookcase! I didn’t get the name then! That familiar yet mysterious scent? Not the intoxicating stink of genital friction as I’d half-presumed but the lingering odor of Swedish meatballs in lingonberry sauce still hanging in the air from the café! Of course!

    How funny the very place Susan was conceived would, nearly sixteen years later, end up being where we shopped for her kid’s cradle. And we had no idea at the time! But it makes perfect sense now – it’s the ideal space for a rave, and I guess Manny – who used to ferry us over in his ’85 Mitsubishi Montero six at a time from a Pick & Save parking lot a mile away and then lead us in through the loading dock – being careful never to let us know where we were! – probably worked in the warehouse during business hours.

    Ah, memories. You wouldn’t think that a swing made to display their iconic and hideous stuffed heart could support two overweight adults, commingled in sweaty romantic congress. You’d be wrong. But, brother, I’ll never forget how that thing came crashing to the floor once I clambered on and tried to join them.

    Unfortunately, that night there were no dump baskets of ugly plush toys beneath but a display of countertop paper towel holders.

    Thank Christ whatever the hell I was on that night had relaxed my muscles, or I guess dilated at least some of them, and let’s leave it at that.

    By the way, my attorney has asked me to note that I have a terrible memory and of course all of this happened somewhere else, if at all. 

    Posted by on September 28, 2011, 9:00 AM.

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