Saturday, February 12, 2005



A Guardian article seems to indicate that the offgassed fumes of cheap laminates and brushed chrome causes psychosis in crowds:

When Ikea opened its biggest British store in north London, the worst that might have been expected was the odd frayed temper in the store's legendary queues. But when the Swedish furniture giant opened its doors in an industrial park in Edmonton at midnight yesterday, staff were met with a situation they had not bargained for. More than 6,000 descended, attracted by the promise of sofas, dining tables and bed frames at huge discounts....

Nine ambulances were called and three people taken to hospital with minor injuries. A fourth man suffered chest pains, while others were left with crush injuries and shock....

Kerry Christian, 38, from Edmonton, sprained her ankle after being pushed over. "People were fighting over the sofas in the back of the store," she said. "Someone pulled a wooden mallet and threatened my friend. One person had one end of a sofa and another had the other end. They were both shouting 'mine, mine'."... It is not the first time the opening of an Ikea store has led to violence. Three people were killed and 16 injured in a stampede when the furniture company offered vouchers at an opening in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last September.

Here's what I'd like to know: Why was that one gentleman carrying a wooden mallet on his person? What, was he the roadie for a travelling circus? A professional croquet player? A veal-tenderizing hobbyist?

The mind reels at the possibilities here.

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