Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Ikea Entertainer

I once won five dollars at an Ikea store in New Jersey. I was playing Musical Chairs.

It was my first trip to Ikea, and I didn't think it would be much, but what I thought was going to be a boring grocery store turned into the biggest mix of a furniture store, restaurant, and playground all mixed into one.

It amazed me.

We spent the morning browsing for furniture for our new house. (We had just moved to New Jersey) and my parents got tired pretty fast with me running around, going through the displays, trying out every single one of the beds, or looking at the arrows on the ground until bumping into somebody, and they decided that lunch would calm me down. So we went to the cafeteria inside Ikea and ordered some food.

While we were waiting my dad brought my brother and I to a little enclosed area they had filled with toys that you could buy at the store. There was an entertainer playing with the kids, doing magic tricks, anything to get a kid to beg their parents for a toy. I ignored him and looked around quietly, occasionally picking up a stuffed animal or something, but right as I sat down he announced that there would be a game of musical chairs.

Two kids stood up to play, he asked again, another came up, then he offered five dollars to the winner. Now, my eight-year old mind didn't process sarcasm, and I though he was serious, so I shot out of my seat and lined up for musical chairs.

He turned on a stereo and played music and we walked around in circles, eyeing each other carefully. The music stopped, I fell into a chair. Someone was out. It continued this way for quite a while, until it was only me, and another girl.

He played the music again, and kept it going for a long time, I almost gave up because I wanted the food on my plate across the room, but the music stopped, and I slammed into a chair.

I thought there would be some competition, but when the music stopped, the girl got interested in another toy, and ran off to look at it.

The man smiled. "Good job!" he exclaimed. "You won!"
"Thank you." I replied.

He turned around and played around with the stereo.

"Excuse me," I said, tapping him on the shoulder. "Can I have my money now?"

I know, I know, I shouldn't of asked, but I was eight, give me a break.

"Uhhhh," he looked confused, "Of course." the man pulled out his wallet, got a five dollar bill out and handed it to me.

"Thank you." I said.

Poor guy.