Once upon a time, there was a boy named Googly.
Unfortunately, Googly had first-time parents who didn’t know how to raise a child, so one day, while they were visiting IKEA, they left Googly there by accident. The worst part was they didn’t even realize that they left him there until it was too late. Once they realized, they knew there was no point of even trying to find him because he was lost in IKEA for goodness sakes.
And so, Googly was left to fend for himself alone as a baby in the jungle– er, I mean, IKEA.
Soon, a store employee found Googly and decided to raise him as a resident of the store, for it is a well known truth that all employees of IKEA just live there and sleep there and eat there. And so, for most of his childhood, Googly was raised in the Sofa section of the store. The Sofa employees treated Googly as one of their own. Googly grew to be just as kind and as soft and as compassionate as any Sofa or employee in the Sofa section ever had been.
However, one day, one of the top-ranked employees at IKEA visited the Sofa section. He typically worked in the shipping department of the store and was so terrifying he had earned himself the name “Sheer Brawn.” Sheer Brawn had himself grown up in an IKEA with his family and had worked in every section of the store. He only now worked in the shipping department because he could lift an entire refrigerator with just his left arm.
Sheer Brawn walked into the Sofa section and sent a shudder throughout the entire floor as he snarled,
“So I hear you have a little apprentice here in the Sofa section?” Sheer Brawn growled, “When were you going to introduce him to me?”
The manager of the Sofas spoke up, “Sheer Brawn, I know that you mean harm to Googly, but he is one of us now. At this rate, he has all of the makings of the next IKEA CEO!”
“Nonsense!” Sheer Brawn yelled, “Googly doesn’t belong here. He is not one of us! He is just a man. And, when he’s grown, he will surely find that he is unable to compete with the likes of me.”
And with that threat looming in the air, Sheer Brawn took his lunch break.
Googly was scared and the Sofa employees didn’t know what to do. However, another employee– a Bagger– had been listening nearby.
Bagger was a loner. All he did was bag peoples’ belongings all day and, because he worked with customers most closely and frequently, he was perhaps the toughest of all of the IKEA employees.
Bagger stepped forward, “Sofa employees!” he said, “I will take the boy under my wing and teach him all there is to know about this store. I know all of the products inside and out. He can no longer relax in this cushy department of yours. He needs to learn how to fend for himself. And then, when he is ready, he can go back into the real world– with people.”
And so, Bagger taught Googly everything he knew about IKEA– product numbers, how to use the label machine, where to locate every measuring cup and teaspoon. It was grueling, but rewarding work.
But, one day, Googly met a friend– Igloo. Igloo worked at the IKEA slushy stand and knew all about the fun places in the store. He and Googly would build blanket forts, eat all of the pretzels their hearts desired, and even have elevator races– all behind Bagger’s back. Igloo taught Googly all of the fun things about IKEA so that Googly never wanted to leave.
Bagger eventually found out about these escapades and reprimanded Googly,
“Googly! You are no longer allowed to spend so much time with Igloo and I’ve decided that you need to go back where you belong immediately. You need to be with normal people.”
Googly did not like the idea of this and decided to run away one night and work at the slushy stand with Igloo permanently. However, after Googly used cherry syrup for a customer’s order instead of raspberry syrup, even Igloo realized that Googly didn’t belong in IKEA. When Igloo told Googly this, Googly became upset and ran far away– deep into the depths of the gardening department.
After escaping nearly being strangled by a garden hose, Googly decided that he was going to make his own way. He could totally fend for himself in IKEA. He didn’t need the help of Bagger or Igloo.
Just as he was hyping himself up, Googly heard a noise. It was the laughter of Funky– the manager of the ’70s furniture section.
Funky had always wanted to live amongst normal people, but couldn’t because normal people scoffed at the fact that he lived in the past. His decision to choose IKEA over people was a tortured one– so much so that he often acted crazy and people called him King Screwy. Then again, maybe his weird behavior was just the effects of living through the ’70s.
In any case, King Screwy found Googly and said to him, “Teach me how to be more like you and you can live here with me forever, man!”
This is not what Googly wanted. Besides, what did Googly know about being a normal person? He had never even seen the outside world!
King Screwy was about to get Googly his own ’70s inspired outfit as both Bagger and Igloo stumbled into the ’70s furniture section. They had come to save Googly!
They distracted King Screwy with a ’70s inspired shag carpet they snatched from the vintage section of the store, took Googly, and ran.
But little did the three know that they were running right into the shipping department where Sheer Brawn was lurking.
The shipping department was dark and cold and Googly got the willies just walking through it. Soon, he couldn’t see his own hand in front of his face– nor could he tell if he was still with Bagger and Igloo.
Then, he heard a loud THUD and a snarl behind him:
“Hello, Googly,” Sheer Brawn whispered, “You are all alone now. There’s no way you can make it out of the shipping department, back into the rest of the store. I’ll ship you to Timbuktu, where no IKEAs exist and no one will ever be able to find you!”
Googly yelled and began to run. Because he was so small and Sheer Brawn had terrible eyesight from working in the dark all the time, Googly was able to elude Sheer Brawn at the last second.
But Sheer Brawn bounded after Googly.
Bagger yelled through the darkness, “Run Googly! Run to the lighting department!”
Googly didn’t know why he had to run to this department, but Bagger had never steered him wrong before, so Googly leaped up three flights of stairs, through the kitchen section, over mattresses and bedframes, and down the window treatment aisles to the lighting section– Sheer Brawn trailing him all along.
The closer the two got to the lighting section, the brighter it got. Lights of all kinds shone brighter and brighter with each step– floor lamps, sconces, and lanterns pierced through even the natural illumination that poured in through the skylights.
It was too much for Sheer Brawn:
“Ah!!! My eyes!” he yelled, “They burn! How can you stand it?!”
And, in pain and agony, Sheer Brawn retreated back to the shipping department– crying all the while. Turns out, years of working in the darkness hadn’t turned his eyes into sheer brawn.
Bagger and Igloo were not far behind Googly. The three embraced. And, for the first time, Googly realized that he didn’t belong in IKEA, at least not in the way that Bagger, or Igloo, or even Sheer Brawn did. He belonged with normal people.
Bagger and Igloo walked Googly to the entrance of the store.
“Now, you make sure that you bring your family here to visit us one day,” Bagger said, with a tear in his eye.
“Yeah! You be sure to bring ’em right to the slushy stand! I’ll be sure to give them a discount,” Igloo laughed.
This was really it. Googly was leaving the place he had called home for nearly ten years– a big wide world of excitement and sales and furniture– and he was stepping into the unknown.
And, so, Googly stepped out of IKEA, the automatic doors closing behind him, and lived happily ever after.