After months (years?) of dithering and looking at prices of flat-screen LCD TV's online, the dam broke. I bought one of what has to be the greatest TVs of 2004, the Philips 26" LCD with distinctly Apple-like design. I named her Phyllis.
Only one problem. I got her home and hefted her slight, ladylike wisp of thing onto the top shelf of the bookshelf I had cleared off for her ... and no go. Ahem. The bookshelf is 26" across and the TV is over 30". I had measured the DEPTH but not the WIDTH. It never occurred to me I'd come home with some piece of hardware that was WIDER than my bookshelf. Call it a failure of imagination.
I traipsed off to Target, in search of cheap horrible furniture. Nothing was remotely useable, although everything was cheap - $49 was the average, even for your 3-section kid's combo computer-desk-station. Glumly I joined the horrid rush hour traffic on El Camino, and wondered why it is you can so easily predict that the dark blue BMW is going to cut you off when his lane dries up. You learn to keep a respectful distance from BMWs.
But then - in the midst of this anguish of the soul - a flash of genius came unto me. What do you do in college when you need cheap furniture, today, and you want to specify your own dimensions?
Yes! Cinder blocks and shelving!
I figured I only needed one plank. I took myself to Home Depot and eventually managed to scan the barcode and get the self-service station to charge my credit card. $5.50 for one board that is 1 foot by 4 feet.
Below, you see the amazing results. I admit this is not earthquake safe, or safe in any sense of the word, or even anything but outrageously foolish, but I am very pleased with my temporary fix, even though I'll have to go back to Home Depot and have them take 6 inches off the top.
Eventually I'll brave the labyrinthe that is IKEA, but for now, Phyllis is sitting pretty.