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1.1 - Help friends move into new condo. For your hard work, receive gift of IKEA computer desk and microwave they don't need anymore. When desk parts are dropped off at your bachelor apartment, be careful not to ask any questions whatsoever concerning proper assembly and function. Following the move, drink several beers on an empty stomach, say goodbye politely, and take subway home. Pick up more beer.

1.2 - Enjoy several beers. Wait for surge of booze-fueled confidence to flow through you. Realize with sudden clarity that you could snap together that tiny little computer desk right now if you wanted to. Listen to small, nagging voice of reason in the back of your mind. This voice will remind you, in a soothing, reassuring tone, that assembling a large metal desk full of sharp jagged parts while half-potted is unwise.

1.3 - Ignore this voice.

2.1 - Clear area in your small bachelor apartment in which to assemble your IKEA computer desk frame. Do not under any circumstances pick an area remotely close to the area where the desk will go once assembled. Pick an area on the other side of the room; open another beer and congratulate yourself for having the hair to get this job done tonight. You are a real man, friend. Hmm, these beers are going quickly.

2.2 - Realize just how heavy solid steel desk frames can be. Make note of how small desk looked in friends' sprawling two-bedroom apartment, and conversely, how it takes up fully two-thirds of your cramped bachelor apartment (read: room with sink and window). Make final realization that there don't seem to be any screws with which to adhere the solid steel desk parts to each other.

2.3 - Commence fruitless search. Phone friend in desperation some half an hour later, and discover the screws to be in the microwave. Celebrate your discovery with drink, to keep morale high in the face of adversity.

3.1 - Screw on first of two heavy wooden slats to frame and attempt to lift desk. Note both its surprising heaviness and your weak, straining arms. Decide sensibly that you should move desk frame to its intended spot in bachelor apartment before attaching any more preposterously heavy metal slats to it. Begin to clear area on other side of room where current computer desk resides, disconnecting the seven thousand wires and plugs that power your computer. Discover with sadness that the intended area will not be nearly big enough to accommodate new desk.

3.2 - Move bed. Move dresser. Remove all books from bookshelf. Move bookshelf. Put books back in again. Get extremely cross. Lift old computer desk out of area where new computer desk will go. While holding old desk, realize the area in which you'd intended to put it is now filled with a bed, a dresser and a bookshelf.

3.3 - Savvy improvisation saves the day. Slide old computer desk into hallway, directly in the path of bathroom door. This is a good idea, because you've been drinking beer all night, and therefore will have no need to go to the bathroom.

3.4 - Steel yourself mentally and spiritually to the task of moving the computer desk across the room. Accomplish this through further drink and an assortment of quality television programming.

3.5 - A full two hours after deciding to undertake this (now mammoth and aggravating) assembly, finally attempt to move computer desk to its intended spot. Note its immense heaviness due to the metal and wood slat you have already screwed to it.

3.6 - Unscrew wooden slat so as to lift it better, undoing the one accomplishment you've successfully made in the past 120 minutes.

4.1 - With slat removed from frame, attempt to move desk again. Note large obstructions in path, like end table and couch. Toy briefly with idea of moving these items of furniture. Ignore idea on grounds that a) doing this will mean you'll have moved every item of furniture in your home, b) the place where you'd put these items already have items there, and c) you've wasted enough time with this stupid project already. Come to decision that large metal desk is going to other end of room in the straightest line possible. If your other furniture doesn't have the sense to get out of the way, that's their look-out. Remember to lift with your back and be very drunk (see 2: Assembling the Frame for proper lifting technique).

4.2 - While navigating painfully heavy computer desk frame over the first of many obstacles, knock over beer mug on end table, scattering glass shards all over walkway and into the weaving of your throw rug. Put down desk and spend twenty minutes thoroughly brooming up glass shards. Place these in a garbage bag. Pick up desk again. Knock over several other things.

4.3 - This step is essential: step directly on the garbage bag with all the glass shards on it.

5.1 - Remove wads of paper towel from bottom of foot when bleeding has stopped. Clean up the blood stains on floor that lead out the hallway and to the bathroom, where the first aid was. Note ruefully the blood stains going up and over the old desk directly in front of the bathroom door.

5.2 - Curse, if you want to. It will make you feel better. Realize three hours have now passed.

5.3 - Admit temporary defeat. Decide to just check a little email and surf the net a bit, then worry about all this tomorrow. Realize you can't get on your computer until the stupid IKEA computer desk is properly assembled.

5.4 - Decide to just get this whole hellish process over with. Crawl over old computer desk to go to the bathroom. Repeat this many times throughout night, as you get progressively less coordinated.


6.1 - Prepare to screw the final, large slat to the frame: the desk part, a cumbersome metal and wood board that all your stuff will actually rest upon, like a keyboard and mouse and such. One might pause at this point, and suspect this is actually a two man job: one man to hold the excruciatingly heavy metal and wood slat in place while another screws it to the frame. In burst of creativity, make your second man the upended microwave also given to you.

6.2 - With upended microwave holding immensely heavy slat part up, spend a full two hours trying to get one screw into the two interconnected pieces. Once the screw goes through the hole it must come out the other side and enter the slat. Since you cannot actually see the hole in the metal and wood part (it's being held against the frame, remember), you must repeat this process an estimated six hundred thousand times in a near-infinite number of combinations. Finally, all four of the stupid screws are through the stupid holes and the stupid goddamn IKEA computer desk is installed.

6.3 - Your apartment at this point should be a shambles of broken glass and gore, with a wake of destruction from the blast radius of the desk. Go to bed, the desk assembled. Have uneasy dreams.