Do-it-yourself is fine unless I’m doing it myself. Yourself is probably much better.

I did it myself the other weekend, putting together a floor lamp from scratch that ended up scratching the lamp as well as the floor. Fortunately, considering my limitations, the floor lamp only needed “some assembly required” although the phrase “some assembly required” is now officially banned by the Geneva Conventions.

As usual, some assembly required included some 18 steps and some 72 assorted pieces, including some 28 bolts, some 13 screws, some 11 other kinds of screws that looked just like the first kind but were a hair smaller, some 9 nuts, some 3 wrenches, some two screwdrivers, some 1 bolt, and the following instruction sheet that appeared to be somewhat directly translated from the Serbo-Croat.

Step 1: Cancel all appointments for Saturday afternoon between 1 and 5:30 p.m.

Step 2: Turn Part B clockwise for 45 degrees or until it clicks into Part A.

Step 3: Find Part B.

Step 4: Blame my wife for not finding Part B.

Step 5: If Part B is unavailable, use instead similar-looking Part D, which also gives you full prescription coverage.

Step 6: Remove the screw (Part S) from the socket (Not Part S) by carefully unscrewing the frame (the party of the second part) from the frame (not included).

Step 7: Assemble poles (4 Parts R and 6 Parts U minus 3 Parts L) from top to bottom, assuming you are right-handed. If you are left-handed and use a Mac instead of a PC, turn the instruction page upside down.

Step 8: Tighten with medium wrench until pole begins to crack.

Step 9: Stop.

Step 10: Untighten.

Step 11: Re-do Step 5 until you get it right.

Step 12: Intermission.

Step 13: Peel back the adhesive cushions (Parts S,C,R,E,W,E,D) and place them carefully on the base of the assembled pole.

Step 14: Determine how adhesive the adhesive cushions are because what you thought was the base was, in fact, the top.

Step 15: Turn poles counter-clockwise unless it’s daylight saving time.

Step 16: Use Phillips screwdriver (Part X, not Part Y, which is the screwdriver that doesn’t belong to Phil) to screw bolt to top of poles being sure to align top with the edge of the bookcase in the family room.

Step 17: Assemble shade to socket.

Step 18: But only if you’ve first assembled the shade, which does, in fact, also need some assembly required.

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