1. I was surprised to discover the Arno signature on the murder scene. At first glance I thought it was an Addams.
    P.S. As annoying as the enforced “rat race” paths in IKEA stores are, our local outlet has defused things a little bit with a couple of short cuts. They are extremely unobtrusive, but not actually “hidden”, and the schematic guides posted occasionally along the way even admit where the can be found. This reduces the “escape time” at the middle of the store from “intolerable” to “just barely acceptable”.

  2. P.P.S. It took me a long time to figure out “Rhymes with Orange”. If you are going to make a joke about Escher, I think it needs to be drawn better than that.

  3. Good eye, Kilby. I missed the signature and just assumed it was Addams.

    IKEAs have to have those shortcuts. Imagine trying to evacuate one in an emergency if they didn’t exist. But frankly, the IKEA layout is no more confusing than their furniture is difficult to put together. I put jokes about those things on par with jokes about VCRs blinking 12:00.

  4. Never been in an IKEA, but have heard enough about them (and have an SIL and a friend who visit them frequently) to think the joke funny.

  5. Help me out here, people. I’m trying to figure out how Yoda would say the classic guy response, “That’s what SHE said.” So far my best guess is, “What SHE said, that was.” Anybody got better?

  6. The Escher one is really weird, since the actual artwork is one hand drawing another.

    This does not seem to work for me in the context of a bank, and the perspective the comic draws it in makes it more awkward.

  7. I see the Escher-in-the-bank panel as MC having difficulty filling out the slip/check with both hands at the same time. As a southpaw those old-style pens on a cable drove me crazy.

  8. @ DemetriosX – It would be insane to depend on those shortcuts when evacuating an IKEA. They would be at most a minor secondary relief. All around the circumference, there are periodic doors armed with alarm levers and marked by prominent emergency exit signs, leading to an elevated catwalk attached to the outside the blue steel box.

  9. Ikea – There is a bit of method to the madness and, as mentioned there are shortcuts. In the store here there are overhead signs that tell one of the shortcuts and where they go.

    In ours, and I would presume most or all of them, one is directed upstairs to start. This is where the furniture is. On the other hand there is a semi hidden door that leads directly to downstairs where the household items are. This door lines up with where the upstairs maze ends and one comes downstairs.

    This is also where the cafeteria is located upstairs. So, if one wants to go to the cafeteria one has two choices – go upstairs at the entrance and turn left instead of right as one is suppose to do and one is within maybe 50 ft of the cafeteria and the other stairs/elevator to start the downstairs maze or one can go in the downstairs door and go up the same stairs/elevator mentioned.

    We were buying a picture frame for an embroidery piece I am finishing (embroidery is done – it is stumpwork – aka raised work – and I have to cut out the butterfly wings and attach their wires through the main butterfly piece to make raised wings). We were not sure whether to get the deep frame in black or white and I had brought the main piece when we went to dinner there. We went downstairs (same stairs/elevator as mentioned above) and started walking. We took the first shortcut (left) and then Robert asked which way to go “either straight ahead and turn right or turn right and then left and go straight” – less than 5 minutes either way.

    And I think that it is really cute that one of the 3 sets of toilets is in the bathroom department.

    Then again, since I know where everything is there – it is probably time for them to move the walls and change it all again.

  10. Have you ever wondered why Ikea stores are way out in the middle of nowhere? It’s so that there is no other furniture store nearby where you might go to comparison shop.

    Of course now you can comparison shop on your cell phone, and of course no reputable store sets up a proxy on their Wi-Fi network that intercepts responses from other web sites and changes the prices.

  11. Mark, I always assumed Ikeas were in the middle of nowhere because they need a lot of space and that’s where space is more affordable. Since Ikea is a “destination,” there’s no downside to being in Outer Timbuktu.

  12. That’s true for all of the “outlet” stores, not just IKEA. The closest branch to us is located in a complex with three other furniture/home design stores: one upscale, and two discount places.

  13. Doesn’t Ikea also serve food? Assemble-it-yourself meals, maybe? They’d have to, if there are no restaurants in the vicinity; once people get hungry and leave to eat, they’d never come back.

  14. They have a perfectly acceptable cafeteria, as long as you don’t mind the pervasive scent of Swedish meatballs.

  15. They do serve food. The one near us has a pretty large restaurant. Not only for the reasons you state, but because it’s an opportunity to sell boxes and bottles of weird Swedish food. Most of it white.

  16. I got a Norwegian friend cross at me once by saying that not only weren’t Scandinavians an ethnic group, they were the OPPOSITE of ethnic.

    Then she stormed off and made herself a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread.

  17. Our second-closest IKEA is in the middle of Berlin (but not anywhere near any of the tourist attractions).

  18. Not all us Norwegian-American sorts like, or even tolerate, lutefisk . . . maybe we’re stereotypically easy-going (as witness my nom), but there ARE limits. We have had an occasional “drug dealer in the neighborhood” problem here, but fortunately we’ve never faced escalation into a “lutefisk dealer in the neighborhood.”

  19. @ Shrug (& Keera, if she’s reading this) – I think it was Garrison Keillor who described lutefisk as “a delicacy deeply treasured by Norwegians, who nevertheless eat it only once a year”.

  20. Andrea – Yes, we eat dinner at least once a week at Ikea. They have a cafeteria which is extremely well priced – salmon in addition to meatballs (now available as chicken or veg meatballs also), as well other dishes. They also have cold plates with salads and salmon, as well as tossed salad and soups – they used to have a chicken soup that was the best I ever had and I am Jewish. Coffee or tea is free if one has (free) loyalty card. The latest addition is a machine which make fancy coffee drinks (still free if one has a card.) Dinner there, depending on what we get will run $20 or so,often less for the both of us for a plate, bowl of soup and soda.

    They also have a fast food stand downstairs next to the food shop. When we used to go to the Wednesday afternoon movies at this mall husband would have 2 hotdogs for $1. Nice pizza also. We buy frozen Swedish pancakes to take home from the food shop.

    Four times a year they have a smorgasbord in the cafeteria – all you can eat. This one does a wonderful job with it and there is a band playing also. It costs $12.99 for adults and $2.99 for children with their card. The exception, which they had to cancel this year, due to lack of availability, is their crayfish dinner which costs, I think $16.99, we have not gone to it as neither of us really likes same.

  21. I have not found Ikea to be out in the wild. The one we go to is in a small regional shopping mall. There is one in Brooklyn, NY., one outside Washington DC in a very busy area, one in a mall just north of Philly, and one in Elizabeth,NJ – also a busy city area.

    The one we go to was across the street from a Sears (which was just closed as the land was worth more than the store) which sold furniture and another furniture was across the street until recently.

    We have bought furniture and household items there. Great prices on good LED bulbs and organizing stuff. When husband left his job his little computer desk was too small for him. We bought a table setup that one could buy an assortment of add on pieces to make it the size and shape needed. Over 10 years later he is still using it,along with the new computer desk we bought him at the same time. His James Bond dolls and cars are in a shelf set up from same. He recently bought (elsewhere) a tape loom to make fabric tape. He needed a bench to work on – rather than build one, he found one in Ikea, as well as buying 2 of their bags (one buys a bag if one needs one to carry items home, and it is huge) one to put the loom in and another to cover it over if he was stuck in the rain – for about $4 or $5.

    Are they the best quality furniture – no – but certainly good enough for what we need. The furniture is very adaptable – don’t like the handles shown on drawers – buy different ones instead, bookshelves can have extra shelves added to the top.

  22. Oh, I forgot to mention the frame I just bought at Ikea for the latest piece of embroidery I finished. I needed a shadowbox frame as it is raised work (butterfly stitched on fabric, wings then individually also stitched on another piece of fabric over wire edges, then cut out and inserted through the main piece). They had the perfect frame in a choice of white or black (we went with white). There was another really, really nice frame – wide one with small square in center – just the right size – and in a complementary shade of blue to the butterfly, but the butterfly would be exposed to the air and I was concerned about taking it to exhibition at the Long Island Fair, as well as to show off at a couple of meetings.

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