Yeah, so, the IKEA ’03 catalog came today.
Which is you know, not newsworthy other than the fact I have a total love/hate relationship with that place.
But of further interest - said catalog was sitting on my desk earlier today and one of my co-workers walked by and said, “ohhh, hmmm. IKEA. Yeah, you shouldn’t buy anything from them anymore – they allegedly* give money to Afghanistan.”
And I am all, “what? You mean all it along it was allegedly* the Swedes who supported the freedom fighters of the 1980’s by hawking affordable and functional furniture to the masses? The bastards!”
No, no, that wasn’t it at all. Upon further inspection of the situation (aka a quick look at the washingtonpost.com), it turns out IKEA had allegedly* recently been fined for stepping on the toes of a U.S. embargo.
IKEA allegedly* purchased 150 hand-woven rugs from a Taliban-run part of Afghanistan. They allegedly* did not know that part of Afghanistan was run by the Taliban. So they allegedly* paid OFAC** a $8,000 fine for futzing with such rules. Then, allegedly* no longer able to sell the hand-woven rugs, IKEA allegedly* wanted to give them charity but the OFAC said no go.
So, the rugs were allegedly impounded.
And there they sit.
I don’t know about you, but that makes me think, somewhere in the U.S., there’s like, some sort of X-Files type warehouse full of illegally obtained hand woven rugs, endangered animal pelts and Cuban cigars – a virtual embarrassment of riches soccer moms all across the U.S. are just chomping at the bit to get their hands on.
You know, not unlike in the 80’s hit movie The Goonies where a loveable group of misfits join together in search of One-Eyed Willy’s legendary pirate treasure, I imagine there’s some kind of Urban Legend about that warehouse that circulates Oprah Book Club gatherings and PTA meetings in Chicago’s Western Suburbs where minivans full of soccer moms, hipsters and those who frequent trendy Cigar Bars alike, team together to form some sort of super top secret echelon that’ll one day, in a Mission Impossible-meets-Robin-Hood-type fashion, shimmy up a drain pipe somewhere gaining access through a ventilation system all the while eluding some complicated red-type-security-lasers with their heat-sensitive, infrared technology and bungee harnesses (discreetly funded by Better Homes and Gardens) to one day free the booty*** liberating stylish knick-knacks and modern accessories for all!
I mean, allegedly* Of course.
Dear fade-in : I smell screenplay!
Next time you’re in town, we’ll punch out the details over lunch. In the meantime, be a pal and feel out the Buffy people for possible interest, okay?
*rumor has it someone from IKEA is paid to surf the web looking for people who ‘dis their store – so the folks in ann-frank legal told me it might be a good idea to throw in a handful of “the allegedly” in there so as not to get in any trouble for any very lame attempts at satire I might try.
** Office of Foreign Assets Control
*** you know, booty: as pointed out on the track Professor Booty as released on the Beastie Boy’s legendary album “Check Your Head”