It’s flat as Brian Ba­con’s Cat

Big Rigs - - OPINION - GRA­HAM HARSANT con­trib­u­tors@bi­

WAY back, in fact so far back it was early in the sec­ond half of last cen­tury, I had a good friend, Brian Ba­con. Brian was a great kid and we hung out to­gether most all of the time. Brian also had a rather fer­tile imag­i­na­tion.

One day we hooked up and he said, “My poor old cat got run over yes­ter­day.”

“Jeez mate, that’s ter­ri­ble! By what? Car? Bike?”

“Nah. He was run over by a steam-roller.”

“What! That musta been a hor­ri­ble sight!”

“Yeah, pretty grue­some, but he’ll be OK.” “OK?” “Yep, he’s a bit squashed look­ing but he’s bounc­ing back.”

“He sur­vived be­ing run over by a steam-roller?” “Sure did.” Of course the story didn’t take long to cir­cu­late around Hooter­ville. It also be­came rel­a­tively com­mon­place in our fam­ily – and those of our mates – to de­scribe things such as road­kill as: Flat As Brian Ba­con’s Cat, a term I use to this very day.

Now, back in those days, fur­ni­ture came as, well, fur­ni­ture. You went out and bought a ta­ble and that’s what you brought home – a ta­ble. With legs at­tached. Needed a cup­board? Yep, it came as a big rec­tan­gu­lar box com­plete with shelves. Not th­ese days though. To­day most ev­ery­thing comes to you as Flat as Brian Ba­con’s Cat. When we moved from Hooter­ville to MooTown, Rita de­cided that she’d had enough of The Coun­try theme our old house had been. Mod­ern was her new de­sire. Out with the coun­try style ta­ble and chairs, kitchen side­board, et al, to be re­placed with … Flat-Packs!

The ad­van­tage of Flat-Packs is that they are con­sid­er­ably cheaper to buy and a breeze to trans­port home.

The down­side is that you have to put them to­gether with di­a­grams and in­struc­tions. First cab off the rank were a cou­ple of desks from Of­fice Works which was rel­a­tively sim­ple, given that the kit only con­tained three pieces. Num­ber 2 were fil­ing cab­i­nets/draw­ers to go with the desks – one for each of us plus a spare to sit the prin­ter on. Aldi came to the res­cue on that front and af­ter an hour and a half com­plet­ing the first, the other two came in at around forty-five min­utes each. Pretty good for a novice thought I.

Fi­nally we moved on to a side­board with three draw­ers and two cup­boards for the din­ing area – again in the gloss white that is be­com­ing a fea­ture in our new home. Af­ter wait­ing a few weeks it turned up, com­pli­ments of Char­lie Gat­tuso of Gat­tuso Trans­port in Shep­par­ton.

This lat­est ven­ture was by far my big­gest un­der­tak­ing to date. It had di­a­grams so small that the drawer run­ners and the shelv­ing all had to be re­moved and put back in the right way up – ne­ces­si­tat­ing a com­plete re­build. Still, I got there in the end and proudly dis­played the re­sult on Book-Face.

His­tory tells us that we owe the flat-pack world to Ikea. I reckon that all those years ago Ikea came across the Brian Ba­con story and thought, “Here’s a way to stuff up the world and make a quid or three.”

What will the fu­ture bring? Flat-Packed Kenny’s and Mack’s? Don’t laugh folks, re­mem­ber when we thought Dick Tracy’s wrist-watch ra­dio was fu­tur­is­tic bull­dust. Good luck with that!

Baco, me old mate, you’ve got a lot to an­swer for!


ROLL OVER: This lit­tle pussy cat used up one life af­ter liv­ing through a steam roller at­tack.

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