The weekend arrives and Mr. Patience – who has an extraordinarily low tolerance for waiting in line, full parking lots and incompetent people – suggests a trip to Ikea.
One must assume he has a need to self-punish, perhaps he burned something in the kitchen or he was particularly hard on the commentators on the Golf Channel and now he feels guilt.
Without a strategy this is a day that could disintegrate into temper tantrums, chain smoking and torrents of French cursing or worse yet… silence. Which is why, in the magic land of build-it-yourself furnisher — there’s Ikea hot dogs.
Like the finish line after a marathon race, those 50 cent Ikea hot dogs loom like a blue ribbon.
Clever people the Swedish.
Of course there are other Scandinavian delicacies to be had; herring, princess cakes, pannkakor and cinnamon rolls. What? Wait… cinnamon buns aren’t Swedish. (terrific though, oh Ikea cinnamon rolls, how I adore you.)
Unlike other items at Ikea, Ikea Food comes pre-assembled, no allen key required, simply dress and go.
I ask you, where else can you get a 50 cent hot dog?
All beef wieners, steamed to perfection, on soft, enriched, white buns, served in a delicate paper wrapper with your choice of ketchup, mustard and relish and only 195 calories. (Don’t worry your pretty little head about how many of those calories come from fat, you just walked through that HUGE store. Fine, if you really must know Ikea has very thoughtfully posted the nutritional value of all of its food – click here.)
If a meltdown was imminent my instructions were to go immediately for hot dogs and run back yelling — “START THE CAR! START THE CAR!”
Fortunately, were were able to cleverly navigate isles full of couples squabbling and cranky children as well as several surly staff members and managed (instead) to find the three, lone, happy Ikea employees working on this particular Saturday. Even bravely attempted food styling with three women behind me, seven trays of hot dogs between them and only one condiment machine working. There was much rolling of eyes.
Now the proud owner of “Ikea’s Real Swedish Food Book” ($3.99, should have bought TWO, start Christmas shopping early), I see meatballs in my future. Of course, I must insist on wearing a Viking helmet while cooking from it, the kind with the horns. I also have tea lights, everyone should have a bag of 500 tea lights.
Only 90 minutes from the first moment that we stepped foot inside, we stepped outside – after one, final line-up, to enjoy a little sunshine and a hot dog at our impromptu “Scandinavian Tailgate Party” in the Ikea parking lot.
“This is how the Vikings watched football!” declares Mr. Patience, exuberant with his purchases – and his hot dog(s).