At 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, police were called to an apartment in StrÃ¶mstad, Sweden, by neighbors. Because of a lot of loud banging, arguing voices and a screaming child, the neighbors suspected some serious domestic violence was occurring.
Not to fear. All it turned out to be was a young couple trying to assemble an item of furniture. All of the banging and loud voices awoke a young child who started screaming.
Most of us can understand the situation, because we have been there ourselves. That's only one reason I usually work alone and away from others when I assemble any kind of kit.
At one time, assembling furniture, storms doors, shelving or other items was fairly easy. The item was purchased, transported home, checked to make certain all the parts were included and then the instructions followed.
(Of course there are always those who never follow the instructions, but that's another story.)
Anyway, it has increasingly become harder to complete the task of assembling anything purchased in kit form.
Part of the problem is that the manufacturers have managed to find additional ways to make their unassembled products more complicated to assemble properly into the finished furniture, door or whatever.
But that is only part of the problem. The instructions are a major reason assembly of kits is so hard now.
First of all, some manufacturers seem to think assembly instructions should be in picture form. No words. Just drawings. And I guess it works.
Except, the last few items I have assembled from picture-only instructions required some disassembly, then reassembly to do it right.
The storm door assembly instructions did have a few words. Basically they said it was a two-hour job. It is really a nice storm door. Only it took eight hours, not two. It would have helped if a couple of the pieces were actually the same as the instructions pictured. The kit had been updated but not the instructions.
Another problem is this: even when there are written directions for assembly or operation, they have often been translated from some other language. Most of the time, the translator has either been a computer, or someone who does not really understand English.
One instruction and operation manual, which was translated from Chinese, is actually very good.
Except for one puzzling warning sentence: "Do not make impatient the relaxing moon."
Hopefully that warning is not about anything really serious.