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Tom Ouellette

Easy To Assemble, No Tools Needed
By Tom Ouellette
Mar 14, 2004 - 4:52:00 PM

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Anything you buy these days, from a  TV cart to a gas grill to a 500-piece, life-sized jigsaw puzzle, (otherwise known as a, "Honey, I bought us an entertainment center.") thankfully comes with it's very own set of EASY ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS.

This is fortunate, since the average consumer has major mechanical difficulties with cereal box tops. If you’re really lucky there may also be three more inspirational words on the box like NO TOOLS NEEDED. So there you go, problem solved, job well done, you'll be grillin' and chillin' in front of the TV in time for the big game .. forget it! In reality, EASY ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS actually means that you get a piece of paper that, for all practical purposes, appears to be describing a research experiment involving howler monkeys and the effects of hallucinogens on primate behavior.

NO TOOLS NEEDED means rooting around in your shed for something (you're not sure what, but you'll know it when you see it) because they forgot to enclose the mysterious SPECIAL ASSEMBLY TOOL. This is just as well, as it is usually a flimsy scrap of white metal that resembles an alien implant, and will quickly self-destruct if you attempt to use it. And lets not forget to check the PARTS LIST, which might as well be a smudged photocopy of the Rosetta Stone.

So, now that you have absorbed the EASY ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS, checked the PARTS LIST, and found an old coffee can in the shed filled with discarded SPECIAL ASSEMBLY TOOLS, you realize that indeed, there will be NO TOOLS NEEDED: the PRE-DRILLED HOLES don't line up

Let's face it. It all usually boils down to just winging it with pliers, a hammer, an old rounded screwdriver, and beer. Of course, in certain situations, this could conceivably make for some scary scenarios.

GENERAL: "Get moving son, we’ve got to get this missile up and blow that asteroid apart now!"

TECHNICIAN: "No sweat General, the box said EASY ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS and NO TOOLS NEEDED. Hey, wait a minute! There’s no ASSEMBLY TOOL! Or PARTS LIST!

GENERAL: Heck! I TOLD 'em not to outsource that stuff!

TECHNICIAN: You were right. Look. The PRE-DRILLED HOLES don't even line up. That's pretty sloppy work ...

GENERAL: My God, son, we're doomed! We've failed the whole world!

TECHNICIAN: Calm down, sir. If you can find me a couple of screwdrivers, a hammer, and some pliers, I think I can improvise.

GENERAL: You got it, son! Anything else?

TECHNICIAN: A six-pack wouldn't hurt, sir ...

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