The case for the prosecution: it is a staple of English comedy that assembling kitset furniture from Ikea is impossible, that the assembly instructions are incomprehensible, there are always too few pieces, there is always at least one screw or similar left over, and it involves a lot of swearing.
Now, we need to make a couple of things clear about IKEA furniture:
Some critical parts will always be missing. If you need 40 screws, we will give you 20. Life is hard in northern Europe and you need to learn that.
We hide the pre-drilled holes so that you have to feel your way along a panel like a blind person reading Braille, looking for slight bumps in the surface.
We drill the holes in the wrong place and at different heights so that your furniture ends up looking like something on a stage in a middle school play.
The tacky veneer finish will chip so much during assembly that it will look like the target of a drive-by shooting by the time you've finished.
You will put it together wrong. Twice. Now you really feel like you are on the northern plains of existence.
Just as you start to make some headway with the assembly, IKEA Kramp sets in from the strain of forcing hundreds of screws into undersized holes and your hand is rendered useless for a couple of days. You have more calluses than a pervert in a peepshow. Finally, with wooden dowels glued to your fingers, you try to take your own life but you can't even do that right. Our work is done.
Yesterday I assembled two Ikea storage units. (No, they aren’t available in New Zealand so I have no idea how my wife got hold of them. Probably www.tortureyourhusband.com.) I am nobody’s idea of a home handyman but I do know how to operate a Phillips screwdriver, an Allen key and a hammer. I assembled two Ikea storage units by following the perfectly comprehensible assembly instructions, had all the pieces I needed and none left over afterwards, and there was no swearing.
So: if English men find this stuff difficult, they are useless.