Deborah Ross: I'm sorry, there really is no alternative to Billy bookshelves

If you ask me

Share

If you ask me, news that Ikea has overtaken John Lewis as the nation's favourite store means it is time this newspaper joined all the others in printing a tranche of Ikea facts and figures, as follows:

FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY TWO MILLION people visited Ikea last year, and not one approached a store without an excess of existential dread in their heart, soul, and very bones.

ONE IN TEN children are, apparently, conceived in an Ikea bed which is absolutely fine until a couple of years later when, alas, they start to warp, nothing on them closes properly, and bits drop off.

NINETY EIGHT PER CENT of shoppers who veer from the approved Ikea in-store path thinking they can shortcut to the exit are still missing after 48 hours. (If you must veer from the approved path, make sure you have a torch, warm clothes, and a Thermos.)

The other TWO PER CENT find themselves back where they started, and will tell you: "Thinking there is a shortcut to the exit is for fools."

The average store visit always takes SEVENTEEN HOURS longer than anticipated and can end in the desire to: 1) put a gun in your mouth; 2) ram raid the storefront; 3) gouge out your own eyes with one of those little pencils; 4) purchase 800 tea lights for £1.

TWO BILLION meatballs are sold annually in Ikea stores to a secret recipe that may or may not consist of coating MDF with a meaty veneer.

ONE HUNDRED PER CENT of people who construct a bathroom cabinet upside down do not have the will to dismantle and start again, so live with it alongside the Post-It Note that says: "Open From Top!"

FEW people know the Allen key was invented by William G Allen in 1910, because he was a bugger.

Although MANY assume the smirking little stick man who appears all over the instructions is not real, he actually lives in Neasden with his stick lady wife whom he looks at disapprovingly and marks with a big cross whenever she does anything wrong. ("It is most tiring," she says. "I wish he'd pack it in".)

FORTY ONE MILLION Billy Bookcase units have been sold to date, which just goes to show our favourite interiors style may be best described as "Pitiful Sheep".

The big yellow bag is NOT the must-have bag of the season, Vogue has said.

ONE HUNDRED PER CENT of people who conceived a child on an Ikea bed now wish they hadn't. Indeed, as one mother told us: "I love my daughter, so it's heart-breaking to sit by and watch her warp and not close properly as bits drop off".

And she then added: "Frankly, I wish I'd gone to John Lewis and paid the extra."

d.ross@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour and the Liberal Democrats would both end winter fuel allowances for pensioners with enough income to pay the 40p tax rate  

Politicians court the grey vote because pensioners, unlike the young, vote

Andrew Grice
US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a drink after agreeing a deal on carbon emissions  

Beijing must face down the perils of being big and powerful – or boom may turn to bust

Peter Popham
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable