Last Sunday I shlepped out to IKEA on public transit — an odyssey made more entertaining by the jolly Romanian bus driver, who was channeling Fittipaldi, Senna, and Fangio all at one go — because it was the last day of a special offer that I thought would net me a fifty-euro gift card.

Note the use of the word “thought” above.

It was a deal for people who had recently bought or rented a new house. As I understood it, if I presented a copy of my passport and my lease, along with my IKEA Family card, they’d give me 50 euros for every 500 I paid in rent. I understood wrong. I was supposed to have spent 500 euros! Despite my famous lack of frugality where The Big Blue and Yellow Box is concerned, even I wasn’t able to spend that much money kitting out a furnished flat.

If only the offer extended past the point of moving into the new place!

P.S. My driver on the return journey was the same charming daredevil. He really put that accordion bus through its paces, let me tell you.