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IKEA travelogue: Ten hours in line, a million crabby campers and a little sex

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The campout itself was a low. It was a non-event. For being so hyped and yet so unnecessary -- after all, it's just a furniture store from the land of Abba -- the campout itself was considerably boring. And this is coming from someone whose hair was dyed blue and who was wearing yellow shorts, too.

There weren't any group activities at 2 a.m. going on in the not-as-crazy camping area, home to those dedicated enough only to show up twelve hours in advance of the opening, not 36 or more, and who would only receive a random prize in the form of a gift card (the most common were $10 denominations). Oddly, however, at around 3 a.m., there was a mass panic about twenty tents up from ours. Apparently, two people were getting it on -- and loudly -- in the IKEA parking lot. Talk about an unexpected christening. Swedish tradition? Most certainly not. But it was absolutely hilarious to see the security guards' panic-stricken faces as they tried to figure out how to manage the situation and the, umm, Swedish squeals.

An hour later and there was another point of interest: the changing of the port-a-potty sewage. It wasn't quite as scandalous, but when you don't have anything else to do but play forty rounds of card games or loftily compare yourself to the other people there camping, it's a way to pass the time.

We wouldn't consider it an entirely disappointing night -- gotta thank those IKEA gods for their sense of humor with the tent noises, which, as was later revealed, came from two randy teenagers lacking adult supervision -- but it wasn't exactly the Abba-rific night we had planned for. And then the sun started to come up. With it rose the anticipation, the excitement and the IKEA fans who thought they could win a couch if they got there four hours in advance of the opening. Yeah right! As more and more people began to weave their way through the roped queue, the IKEA staff began to condense the line and encourage the frustration. This meant that campers had to put away their tents, their laptops and their boobs -- yes, one woman was breastfeeding her two-month-old. But once the line was rid of excess baggage, the real fun could start.
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Cory Lamz
Contact: Cory Lamz