[If you checked in for part 4 of the "Covid and Our Mental Health" series, that will be next week. Stage 4 is depression, and that kills people, so I'm taking extra time to make sure everything I say is universally helpful and not open to dangerous interpretation]

I recently purchased a "zizin Metal Raised Garden Bed Outdoor Large Square Planter Box for Vegetables Flower Bed Kit" from Amazon because I base all my agricultural-based shopping decisions on the number of words in the title. I am writing this because I wish to call a small bit of attention to what I believe is a medium amount of largely misleading info on its Amazon page.

My wife has been wanting a victory garden for a while, so I purchased this box as a gift for her for Mother's Day. The product arrived as advertised. While putting it together took some time and effort, I'm no stranger to assembling furniture from parts, I knew it would take some time, but it wouldn't be too big an ordeal.

After all, it's just a box.

The instructions that were supposed to come with the box did not. While I was searching online for them, I came across the Amazon reviews section. This is where things started to depart from reality. "I liked the ease of assembly and simple written instructions," posted one commenter, "easy to set up," said another. In fact, over ¼ of the reviewers used the word, "easy" or "simple." I had no reason to be suspicious, looking over the pieces it seemed pretty easy to me.

After all, it's just a box.

I also found this 5-star review comically revealing


"12 people found this useful." Really?! A dozen honest-to-gosh actual human beings looked at a review which said, "I got this for free. Haven't used it. Barely looked at it. 5 stars!" and decided that, yes, that was somehow helpful in making a purchase.

I didn't really think too much of it at the time, these kind of shenanigans are, of course, rampant when you're buying disassembled furniture from parts unknown. There was a picture on the packaging that seemed to show enough of the finished product for me to put it together.

After all, it's just a box.

So I studied the picture on the box, and this is where I encountered my first real brain-twisting moment in what would be a morning full of- well actually this was really the only brain-twisting moment, but it was a floozy of a doozy:


Note how the east-west corners just sort of overlap. Notice the three rods in the center start horizontally aligned and end vertically aligned, rods in this dimension can't do that.

It was no longer a box, it was some M.C. Escherian satan-spawned metal raised garden bed outdoor large square planter box for vegetables flower bed kit from Hell.

I stared at this image for a good three minutes, beads of sweat forming on my forehead and elbows (it's genetic, okay?!) Finally, my eyes refocused, and I realized something game-changing:

I was looking at the image upside-down:


Okay, that one's on me zizin.

Armed with this new information, everything looked pretty much straightforward. Still, realizing I may need another tip or two like, "turn it upside down, idiot," I turned to the Q-and-A part of the product. Looking back, this was where most of the misinformation was presented.


There were 58 separate bolts and 58 separate screws


I did not receive any instructions


It took me 2 hours after I had figured out the diagram.

Once I finished, the rest of the reviews seemed correct: It was quite sturdy and seemed well-sealed against escaping dirt.

So, I want to thank you, zizin company, for helping me give the best Mother's Day I have ever given. It wasn't the garden box, though, it was the three sweat-and-swear filled hours I spent putting this together to show my wife I cared. For this, I bestow upon your product my highest honor: 3 out of 5 stars.

@Evan Hoovler


– Evan "Drunk Nerds" Hoovler (@evanhoovler)

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