The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 20, 2013

Mike Pound: Warning: Some assembly required

By Mike Pound
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — The other day, my wife and I went shopping for a chair for my home office.

Well, I thought it was going to be my home office, but as it turns out our guest bedroom, which my wife is turning into an office, is for both me and my wife. I’m not sure it’s a good idea for us to share an office. We have a hard enough time sharing a house.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my wife was in the process of turning our guest bedroom into an office. I also mentioned that our guest bedroom wasn’t so much a guest bedroom as it was — to use a technical interior decorator term — a room full of junk.

Our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, and I had strong doubts that my wife would be able to wade through the junk, get rid of it and then change the room into an office. But my wife proved us wrong, which is a good thing. However, Emma and I have no idea what happened to the junk that used to be in the guest bedroom, which is a scary thing.

My wife doesn’t like to throw things away, unless the things belong to me. So if she didn’t throw the junk that used to be in the guest bedroom away, then it must be sitting somewhere in our house, waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

Until one day it all decides to fall on me.

It sort of makes it hard to sleep at night.

Now that my (our) office is ready, it was time for me to get a new office chair. My old office chair had seen better days. Of course, so have I, but I’m not an office chair. My wife and I drove to one of those stores that sells office stuff and walked in the door.

“I love it,” I said, pointing to the first office chair I saw.

“You moron,” my wife said. “That’s a bench.”

“Oh,” I said.

The reason I liked the bench was because, as far as I could tell, it was already assembled. When I buy something, I prefer that it is already assembled. You don’t buy a car and have to put it together when you get it home, do you? Of course not. So why should I have to put an office chair together?

I suppose because putting together a car is hard, but any moron can put together an office chair. But the only problem is I’m not just any moron. I am a moron of massive proportions.

So what I was looking for was an office chair already assembled, but unfortunately my wife told me that only a moron buys an office chair off the floor.

“And your point is?” I asked.

Against my better judgment, I picked out a chair, paid for it and lugged it to my car. When I got home, I hauled the chair out of my car and into our kitchen, where I do most of my assembling. The reason I assemble stuff in my kitchen is because that is where we keep the most important assembly tool: the butter knife, which is to assembly work what duct tape is to repair work.

I was strangely confident as I started putting my chair together.

“It’s a chair,” I said to myself. “How hard can it be?”

Myself started laughing.

“You just keeping thinking, Mike, that’s what you’re good at,” myself said.

Three hours later, my office chair was assembled. The reason it took three hours was because I accidentally put the seat on backward. Then I put the arms on backward. And then I put the back on backward. And finally I put the bottom of the chair on the top.

I decided that if my wife wants an office chair, she’s on her own.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.