Natural selection is important to our society

IKEA recently recalled a large number of dressers or chest of drawers including those under the Malm label...

IKEA recently recalled a large number of dressers or chest of drawers including those under the Malm label. I recently purchased one of these dressers, assembled it myself and filled it with faded t-shirts, Costco jeans and a plethora of socks with holes in the big toe.

According to the retailer, some of the dressers, if assembled incorrectly, can fall over and potentially injure or kill someone, particularly a child who happens to be climbing the drawers like Mount Everest. Apparently, since 1989, six such fatalities have occurred.

Not a fan of IKEA, I loathe the trendy hipster atmosphere of the store. It smacks of spoiled brat syndrome. There’s something else about the store philosophy that creeps me out, and I have a hard time describing it. I guess you have to experience the “walk through the top level with Edmonton suburbanites, then pick it up at the bottom level” approach to understand.

Anyhoo, this column isn’t a rant about IKEA’s atmosphere. That’s a rant for another day.

This week I’m ranting about what scientists call “natural selection.”

In all fairness to IKEA, the retailer, in my opinion, did a brilliant job of warning people about risks dressers could fall over. They did it multiple times and multiple ways.

First off, the instruction manual for assembling the drawers…the first paragraph you see when opening the very first page states, “WARNING, Serious or fatal crushing injuries can occur from furniture tip-over. To prevent this furniture from tipping over it must be permanently fixed to the wall.”

Secondly, the dresser included hardware for securing the dresser to the wall (angles with screws). The instructions clearly showed how to install them.

Thirdly, I just noticed the other day as I was putting socks with holes in the big toes away, there’s actually a warning cartoon stuck inside the drawer showing a kid climbing the dresser, with a big “X” over it. Obviously, IKEA is warning us not to do this as there must be some danger involved. I guess it didn’t work, because the Scandinavian furniture maker is recalling all the dressers.

Last week I was making comments about a German tourist who fell to his death at Machu Pichu, the famed Incan ruins located at the top of the Andes Mountains. Most archeologists feel these ruins were built for the Incan royalty as sort of a summer cottage; the ruins are extremely impressive and a hot tourist spot.

The aforementioned German tourist wanted to take a “selfie,” a photograph taken by, of and for oneself. The German stepped over warning barricades erected to keep people away from the cliffs. While taking the selfies, our German tourist stepped just a bit too far, fell off the cliff and, in one sweeping motion, provided that elusive proof that critics of evolution continue to demand. Natural selection gives those who want to take chances, who want to risk their lives, who want to disregard warnings, a chance to remove themselves from the gene pool. These people are typically referred to as “show-offs.”

Recalling these dressers is actually insulting to those of use who use our brains for more than taking selfies. I was well aware as I assembled my Malm dresser that, if I didn’t want this thing falling over, I should affix it to the wall.

Where did this entire recall issue come from? No doubt from parents or other caregivers who incorrectly assembled the furniture, disregarded the warnings and caused a tragedy.

Then called a personal injury lawyer, as accepting responsibility for their actions was obviously out of the question.

Stu Salkeld is the editor of The Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.