Instruction Manuals
February 16, 1998
Providence

We played a little game that one might call instruction manuals . It consisted of A) Writing instructions/directions/recipes/users manuals and B) Writing of what happens when a narrator or other character follows the instructions written in somebody elses part A.

HOW TO PLAY THE GUITAR:

1) You will need a guitar, preferably with 6 strings.
2) Then you tune it. A - E - I - O - U , that's how.!
3) You get a pick in one hand...
4) And the neck of the guitar in the other
5) And you pluck it. Or you strum it. However...
6) It's not easy to play the guitar....I never said it was easy....It's difficult. It's murder!
7) I like to wind the strings until they all feel about the right "tightness."
8) It helps if you hold the pick in the right hand and the neck in the other.
9) Of course, if you are a lefty, you'll have to flip the whole damn thing over.
10) But if you hear a buzzing tone, push down harder.
11) And in general, my best advice is to LISTEN.
12) Hey, if you don t like what you hear, don t give up! Keep trying!
13) Good luck!

I got the book first, then I got the guitar. Tuned it to the vowels. There was an extra one, so I tuned it to sometimes "Y". I picked the guitar with all my heart and soul, my eyes, and both hands (I picked it after I had already bought it, so there was only one to pick from, so I know it was cheating to pick this one, but I had to pick a guitar, like the book said). I couldn't find the neck, or the feathers to pluck, so I got a chicken, wrung it, and had it for dinner. After dinner, I was ready for murder -- damn good chicken! -- and ready to listen. Sat down with my Colt .45 and the guitar across the room on the guitar stand. Our conversation went something like this at first:

Me: Okay, let s hear it.

Guitar: (hmmmm... )

Me: What you got to say for yourself?

Guitar: (hmmmm... )

We talked like this for quite a while. But I didn't give up. And then, the guitar started to talk back to me. Suddenly, like an angel singing in my ear, like the scrape of crickets on a summer night, like a cloud of notes descending wetly into my living room, the guitar began to buzz and whisper, began to quiver in the stand, and began to tell the marvels and madness of other lands, of our land, of music!

Me: O, guitar!

Guitar: Frank, my friend, you remember the pain of birth,you ripped away from warmth, twisted and slimy, you came out no longer human! You're reptilian, Frank, a dragonfire in human skin...

Me: O, guitar, sing me another song for the evening! please try once again!

Guitar: Frank, you can breathe the air but it will never breathe you! It will only fuck you for the clean of your inner tissues!

Me: O guitar, sing me a song of glory or grandeur, silk and bullets, sweet ladies' blood!

Guitar: Frank, you are the product of one hundred and fifty years of belching industry.

I pointed my Colt .45 at the guitar.

Me: Sing again, guitar; I don't like what I hear but if you sing sweetly, I ll leave your sounding board with only one hole.

But the guitar continued to sing ugly songs. I shot once or twice; still the kind of tune the guitar was singing grated my mind like it was soft cheese. I don't know how many times I fired that gun. But when the guitar was nothing but a pile of sawdust, I heard it sigh something sweet and lucky. But I don t remember what.

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HOW TO TIE SHOELACES:

Two little bunnies love to play. They run down the length of the field, then one hops over the other. Then it goes down a hole, all the way down to the bottom. The other bunny lifts one ear up, listening for the wolf that chases it around a tree. The wolf's ear perks up around the tree, knotted adversely.

Too bad, for the bunnies are not one with the wolf. The wolf is bad, but bad as in good. Baaad. The wolf would eat sheep in their clothing, if only the bunnies were not also so luscious and available. Two bunnies prick up their ears, wiggle tails and wait. The two little bunnies love to play, or so thinks the wolf. At home, the wolf s two babies are snug as bunnies in their snowy bed. Sheep can't get down in the hole where the wolf lives. Would they want to?

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HOW TO WASH YOUR FACE:

Stand in front of a sink. Turn off the light. Look out the window at the street light. Hold the sink down so it won t move. Reach for the honeycomb knob and turn it to the right. Notice it s too cold, and you with your small arteries already have no heat or circulation. Reach for the other, make a scalding stream and dash your hands in like running through a sprinkler. Then turn them both at once, and leave your hands there until they turn red. When you know they're red, or pink, dry them. Then go to the window and your face gets clean if the window's open. Unless there's something in the air that drifts in and sticks to your face.

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In the morning, I like to be clean. I would like to wake up one morning and be clean. To look in the mirror and see a shiny gloss, a reflective face with nothing on it.

This happens now only when the lights are off, when I awake in the hours between dawn and the time the streetlamps go dim.

Otherwise, if the sunlight assaults me, if as I stand in the bathroom the mirror has eyes, the sink seems a cavernous yawn of a mouth and sings morning lullabies to me. This makes it hard to get to work on time. I often have to hold it down to hold it back to keep it to its muchneeded function of washing me.

I reach for the knob, I turn it, the tap starts to flow, but it's honey that comes; it's sweet, but it will keep me stuck here forever, looking blankly at the mirror's cold eyes. The other knob, the one on the left, is no better -- I turn it and blood flows, thick and warm but not cleansing. My hands have turned red and I dare not touch them to my face. Now I need somebody to sing to me, but the sink has gone silent, consumed with its task. Perhaps if I turn both the knobs at once, the sanguine mellifluous sirensong will start once again.

And so, every morning, I engage myself in this, the turning of apposite knobs, the tuning of blood and honey, until my face is perfectly mirrored. And until my ears are clean and can hear the reflected whistling of rushhour traffic drifting in through the window, reminding me the time has come to get myself dirty again.

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1) Do nothing. Do not write it down, or record it in any fashion.

2) Repeat step 1 as necessary, until you are satisfied that nothing is being accomplished.

3) When you are satisfied that nothing is being accomplished, write down what it is that you are doing. Try to be as objective and descriptive as possible.

4) Read aloud what you have written, with feeling. Imagine you are telling your best friend about a recent love affair. How does he or she react? Is she shocked? Is he jealous? Modulate your voice accordingly.

5) Write down, or record graphically, the modulations of your voice.

6) When the day of the exam arrives, unplug your alarm clock.

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After steps one and two, he decided to describe the way in which, while he sat in class, the translucent snot would collect under his nostril for minutes, and he would choose between a snort and a discreet index finger to the nose. He was in the dark, after all. So he wiped his nose, and sat there with his snotty finger, until the movie started getting brighter and glowing on the shine. He consulted his instructions again, to find a way to move on and forgive and forget about his nasal drip. The instructions told him to read this episode aloud, with feeling, and so he did. His friend was jealous, and not shocked, just as he'd suspected...

 

TO CHANGE THE CARBURETOR:

You might not want to change your carburetor, because itís very hard to do. To change the carburetor, you need to get under the car; this is difficult, and not worth it.

There is no reason to change your carburetor; carburetors are not important. (Fig 1) Your car will probably run fine with the carburetor the way it is. In fact, your car may not even have a carburetor.

To find the carburetor:

The carburetor is somewhere in or on the metal parts of the car. Look under the hood or underneath the car. The carburetor is usually made of metal.

Once you find the carburetor:

Once you find the carburetor, you need to take it off or out. The carburetor will be very much attached to the car. It will be almost impossible to get the carburetor to detach from the car. Removing it will require tools and various unscrewing and twisting maneuvers using tools and both the right and left hands.

Upon removal of the carburetor, you should put the carburetor somewhere. You will notice that after you have removed the carburetor there will be a space where the carburetor formerly was. This is the space where you will put a new carburetor.

Obtaining the new carburetor:

You may want to put a new carburetor in the space which has been made available by the removal of the old carburetor.

New carburetors can be sought out at a variety of car places, places which sell car parts, and places which have car parts. It is unlikely, however, that you will be able to find a carburetor at a car place or anywhere else.

Installing the new carburetor:

It is not advisable to replace the old carburetor with a part such as you might find at one of these car places. In fact, it is dangerous, and impossible. You should avoid doing it. (Fig 2) To install the new carburetor, find the spot where there used to be a carburetor. If your car did not have or need a carburetor, you may omit this step.

The tools required to install the new carburetor are the same as those used to remove the old one. Be sure you have all of them. Line them up in order, and maneuver them in a sensible way until the new carburetor is attached to the car.

Note:

Chances are, if you are having trouble with your carburetor, it is a problem with your mind or with other parts of the car. The carburetor itself is not a troublesome part of the car. In fact, it is not usually part of the car at all, but only a figment.

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present: Atobin, Jebin, Jguitart, Lkleinberg, Lmaraniss, Mobert