Well I’m waiting here in allen town,

For the self-assembly never found,

For the promises IKEA gave,

If I worked hard,

If I behaved.


So the furniture hangs off the wall,

But Billy never helped me at all,

No they never taught me what was real,

Brusali and Malm,

lost its appeal.

And I’m waiting here in allen town


Every child has a pretty good shot

To get the same furniture their old man got

But something happened on the way to that place

They threw a Swedish flag in our face.


And I’m waiting here in allen town

And it’s hard to keep a Hemnes down

But I won’t be giving up today…

And I’m living here in allen town…

with apologies to Billy Joel…


I made another trip to the Warrington IKEA yesterday.

I added further to my accidental collection of allen keys.

I’ve tried to dump as many as I can over the years, and yet still the collection grows.

Two purchases of collections of allen keys and many, many  free keys with self-assembly wardrobes, desks, bookcases, beds and the like, has left me over-dosing on allen keys. These represent somewhere in the region of 16 years of self-assembly furniture purchases. I exclude the allen keys for my bike.

So what?

Is this the achievement of modern late-capitalist home-ownership and living? Is this an assemblage that embodies the nature of modern society?

And what of me: what have I become? A hoarder of allen keys? Is this all I can ever hope to be? Maybe it will be a motif on my gravestone…

There’s a paper in this for the Journal of Material Culture, I just know there is.

Then again, when the zombie apocalpyse comes, I could use some of these allen keys to disassemble furniture to create blockades against the zombie horde. My hoard could beat that horde. I’ll be like Rick Grimes… but with allen keys!