Underground fire, police tape and a new adventure

I am determined to make my house (apartment) into a home. My home. My likes. My furniture.

However in doing so, that means I must assemble said furniture. In full transparency: I hate reading instructions. I want to be able to just do something. Reading instructions just takes up time that I could be doing. I’m real annoying on “game night.”

Bribery works

I purchased a stainless steel kitchen work table online that could serve as both a dining table and a prep station.

When it arrived, I realized getting it into my apartment was going to be tricky. The table weighed 50 pounds and was packaged in a seven-foot box. With no ramp to get to my elevator, there was no way I could get this to my apartment solo.

Luckily, I have a dear friend who enjoys wine as much as I do, so I convinced her to join the forthcoming shenanigans by bribing her with her favorite vino. I informed her that I just needed her to read the instructions (see above) and help with the lifting.

Why is there police tape everywhere?

I live in a high-rise apartment in downtown Dallas, Texas. So, there is always a lot of activity on the ground floor. However on this day, that action included a number of police and emergency responders surrounding my building.

To be honest – this wasn’t something out of the ordinary (which is why there is no photographic evidence). I’ve seen restaurant fires, train accidents and people collapse due to the heat. I assumed this was related to one of those types of incidents, so my friend and I entered my building without inquiring.

After loading up the monster box, I explained to her that we would have to exit through the front doors, walk around the building and go through another set of doors (near the brouhaha outside) to a different elevator bank.

Once we rounded the corner, we noticed the commotion on the ground level had risen. Now, police tape blocked off the entire intersection and extended to the edge of my building.


An officer forcefully told us to stand back. I calmly (IMO) explained that I lived in the building and the police tape was blocking my only entrance.

He agreed to let us duck under the tape, while explaining to people behind us that they would have to go around because there was an underground electrical fire.

That was a new one. Also – should I have insisted he let us in? Maybe waiting for the all-clear wouldn’t have been a bad idea. Did I need to assemble the table right then?

Instruction construction

What the?

Once safely inside my apartment, we got to work. She poured the wine; I opened the box.

Secrews, not to be mistaken for screws.

This table was after my own heart. The instructions were so crumpled, we couldn’t really read them at first. Even better, we found a misspelling.

All the pieces were in the box, so we took a swig of wine and started assembly.

100% of pieces

Four legs and a level

As this was the first piece of furniture I had assembled in more than a decade, I wanted to be meticulous. I carefully counted out all the screws (or secrews if you read the parts sheet).

I remembered watching a video on YouTube a long time ago about how to make sure screws are inserted evenly. I tightened leg one, then moved to leg three, then leg two and finally leg four. I returned to each leg to re-tighten and secure.

Next, I had to add the shelf. I decided to put it low to the ground so it could serve as storage and a footrest.

Shelf added and it’s level!

Unfortunately, my friend had to put down her glass of wine to help me slide the shelf through the legs. Then, we had to make sure it was level before I added the screws. My family recently bought me a (purple) toolbox with necessities, so for the first time in my adult life, I owned a level.

Miraculously, it worked!

Flip and use

Upright and level.

Now that we’d leveled the shelf it was time to flip this bad boy over. With ease, we turned it upright, checked the top to make sure it was level and celebrated with another sip of wine.

I had assembled my kitchen table! I now had room for baking and eating! And it just took a navigation through police tape, bizarre instructions and a glass of good wine (which I can now drink at my new table).

Ready for use!


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