So, I know it’s a bit lazy to laugh at stuff in IKEA. Spotting homophones for words that English people find rude isn’t big or clever. If the word for a bookcase in Swedish happens to be Künt or Orshøl – well, for all I know, the word “bookcase” is simply hilarious in Sweden, but because they have better things to do with their time, they’re not going to bother making a big deal about it.
But I do think this one is sort of worth it. The kids and I were wandering through IKEA’s toy section this afternoon (the back-story involves plates, and is boring) and we came across…this.
There’s only one way to interpret this. It’s quite clearly a bin full of rats.
I always find IKEA soft toys a little bit sinister. They’re always a bit closer to taxidermy than I’d really like. Also, they often have tragic expressions, as if they contain the trapped souls of their real-life equivalents.
But, come on now. A bin full of rats?
It’s no nicer in close-up. The rats lie there, limp and pathetic, piled in on top of each other like…erm…well, frankly, like a whole bunch of rats all piled into a bin.
When I did A-level Biology, we each had our own Dissection Rat. It took us all of the Autumn term to reduce them to their component parts. When they weren’t being inexpertly taken apart by sixth-formers, they had a big cool-box to hibernate in. That cool-box looked a little bit like this rat-bin.
Even their faces are scary. They have small ratty eyes and big sticky-out rat teeth. They know they are unloveable. This bin is the best fate they can ever hope for.
I also found the most fantastically self-regarding book I’ve ever seen in my life – it’s called “Billy”, and it’s a history of the late twentieth century, seen through the unexpected prism of the IKEA Billy bookshelf. On a normal day it would make an entire post all in its own right. I have a couple of pictures of this, too:
But today was all about the rat-bin. The rat-bin is brilliant. There is a twisted genius at work in the IKEA Merchandising department. All hail the rat-bin.