Jon de Vos: Hot dogs in Manparadise
Fraser, CO Colorado
If there’s something men like less than furniture shopping, there’s probably a shovel and a cow involved. If there’s something men like more than furniture shopping, there’s probably free hot dogs and a big-screen X-box involved. At the new Centennial Ikea store, soon you’ll be able to have it all at Manland.
Manland is a manly Ikea playground where wives can dump their spouses and get down to some serious furniture shopping. In Manland, there’s an Xbox 360 with a big-screen, free hot dogs, Foosball and a dozen sports events on overhead flat screens. In other words, the place is as close to Manparadise as you can get without beer.
Ikea believes women shop more freely unaccompanied by a scowling concrete block. So wives don’t unintentionally run off without their husbands, Ikea gives them an electronic buzzer that sounds when the husband goes into a nitrate-induced coma from hot dog overdose. The wife usually arrives just as some kindly Scandinavian-speaking gentleman is dragging him out of the store.
But I’m here to tell you that there are wives who would intentionally dump their husbands at Ikea and not come back for them. They’d leave ’em at the Foosball table with a peck on the cheek and head off towards Bedroom Sets with a hard-to-hide triumphant smirk.
But look! She’s ducking out a side door. Without a backward glance, she sprints across the parking lot, tossing the buzzer into a convenient trash can and dives into her Honda. Settling back into the seat, she takes a deep, drawn-out breath and holds it for a second before exhaling forcefully. Snapping out of her fugue, she grabs for the ignition, guns the engine and squeals rubber for the exit. A quick stop at the bank and she zooms off into a new life in some other zip code.
I called Ikea to ask their plans for unclaimed husbands. After a long pause and multiple clicks, I was suddenly speaking with someone who spoke only Swedish. My language skills are limited to meatballs and Volvo so our conversation was short and pointless. But he transferred me to the guy who helped the hot dog overdose. I watched him answer the phone and heard him simultaneously in the phone and across the room.
“What happens when the wife runs off and doesn’t come back?” I asked again.
He admitted there was a bit of a problem at the prototype Manland in Australia, “Most of them find their way back to their houses to find the locks changed and the newspaper canceled. Usually they just sit in the driveway until the cops shoo them away. Then they wander back here as the last happy place they knew.
“Night after night, they sit here, eating hot dogs and playing Gears of War 3. Pathetic fellows. I try to get them placed in good homes but, well, you know how things are these days, everybody wants young ones.”
I looked around, “How long can they stay?”
He beamed, “Ikea is renowned for its humane practices and has recently implemented a full 10 day no-kill policy at all their Manlands.”
“Did you say 10 days?”
“That’s right. We don’t have a lot of experience in Colorado, but in Finland, we put them onto the ice floes and watch them float away.”
I was floored and could barely cover my surprise. I mumbled something, thanking him for his time.
Hmm, the wife’s over an hour late. I wonder what’s keeping her?
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