Monday, August 16, 2010

Ikea Cartoons

Ed and I recently bought some furniture from Ikea. When you buy from Ikea, you typically have to assemble the furniture yourself, and you get a large booklet full of instructions. Aside from a safety warning that is printed in 30 (!) different languages, all of the instructions are in pictures. The first page of our booklet contained the following general pieces of advice:

I find these drawings immensely charming and I love the details like the different styles of frowns on the left-hand people.

But the drawing that gets to me the most is in the second row, where it is recommended that you assemble your furniture on carpet rather than a bare floor. The guy who has broken his furniture breaks my heart:

In contrast to his carpet-kneeling alter-ego, who strokes his new furniture with pride and delight, this fellow is greatly saddened and disappointed by his error. I realize that this is somewhat humorous, but I've always noticed that I find other people's disappointment very painful to empathize with (more painful than grief, for instance), and I actually find this drawing kind of upsetting. I found myself thinking about it in bed at night and feeling sad.

1 comment:

Sally said...

I take issue with the third row. Instead of two smiling people, in my experience, it frequently is two frowny people instead, which can quickly escalate into two angry people.