Scene: Ikea in Paramus, New Jersey. Camera winds through labyrinth of carpet piles and clusters of Ikea patrons, finally stopping on Knitcrit, who is bent over a carpet specimen, pulling at its pile in a way that can only be described as manic.
Knitcrit: (examining fibrous residue on fingertips) I think this one sheds, too.
Todd: Do you really think another carpet from Ikea is a good idea?
Knitcrit: I was thinking that I’d get an office carpet from India this summer, and then suddenly I had this image of students with their dirty shoes standing on it and me spilling coffee on it as I run to class and I thought the hell with the Indian carpet, Ikea exists to furnish offices. (begins neurotically pulling at nearby carpet again) But I think this one sheds.
Todd: They have real sheepskin over there. Also cowskin.
ignoring this disturbing information, Knitcrit’s attention shifts to a nearby couple’s conversation:
Female Ikea victim #1: says something in Russian - she is looking at the Red Ringum pile.
Male Ikea victim #1: responds in Russian; walks over to red Ringum Pile, examining them with clear interest and intent to buy
Knitcrit: (frantic, urgent) Um. Um. UM.
Female Ikea victim #1 looks up
Knitcrit: (language barrier be damned, plunging right in) That carpet. It sheds. It DOESN’T STOP. I had it for over a year…no matter how many times we vacuumed. It shed and shed and shed. Everywhere. (voice breaking) IT DOESN’T STOP.
Female Ikea victim #1: (Convinced, remarkably unfazed by random impassioned monologue from stranger in Ikea, stepping away from the Ringum pile) Thanks!
Knitcrit: No problem! (to Todd, who has just returned from a trip to confirm that they are really and truly selling whole, furry cowskins) I just saved them! I kept them from buying a Red Ringum!
Todd: (seeking to sound affirming without encouraging further similar behavior) That’s great, honey.
My crusade to save the world from Red Ringum has actually been going on for some time – the last time I was in that very Ikea, I took a pencil and added the word “SHEDS!” to the Ringum sign, so to the observant customer, the sign now reads “Ringum SHEDS!.” For reasons of incompetence or, we can hope, solidarity, the Ikea employees of Paramus have not, as of this writing, replaced the sign.