How to Do Everything (Part One) (Daily Planet email #931)

How to build a birdhouse

Gather enough material to create a six-sided enclosure at least 2x the size of a bird. Assemble materials into a box, leaving a small door-shaped gap (See: How to build a door) in one of the vertical surfaces. You will later need to put your hand inside, both with and without a bird in it, so consider this as you measure. Once you are satisfied that the parts are not going to completely fall over, add bird. Will the bird pack her bags and leave? No! Congratulations, you have built a birdhouse.

How to build a door

A door is most typically a hinged-plane inserted into a larger plane at floor level for purposes of access and egress. It is like a gate, but more consistent in linear and material integrity. If it opens and closes and stays closed, it is a door. Build one of those. Hey wait, does it open both ways? Sorry about that, I should’ve said. Please see our next issue for “How to climb a wall,” or have someone read it to you through the door.

How to do it big

Make no small plans. Build no small dwellings offa those plans. Build no little pink houses or tiny boxes or miniature mansions or teeny tudors or curt yurts. Plant no tiny bonsais. Eat no Little Debbies. Enjoy no fun size candies. Make y’all Macs big.

How to do your own research

First thing, you’re gonna want an Air Handling Unit, a Laminar Flow Work Station, and a whole lot of HEPA filters. Then you’ll probably need a molecular assay and a microbiological incubator. An autoclave, obviously. Keep in mind this is just for starters — a more complete list of equipment depends on the type of research being conducted. A doctoral degree in laboratory science would be handy, as well as board certification. Either that or a basic familiarity with using a computer mouse to move a cursor and click on websites, that’ll do too.

How to paint a fence

Gather a can of paint and a brush. Do not paint anything that isn’t fence. When the brush and the fence are uniformly matching in color, the job is complete.

How to make pineapple upside-down cake

Nah, don’t make me do this. It’s ridiculous. Fine. You open the can from the bottom. Satisfied now? Jeez.

How to make salsa

Get some tomatoes. An onion. Peppers if you want. These vegetables, when cut into smaller pieces and mixed together form a sauce known as “salsa.” If you want to make it like at Grandma’s, add high-fructose corn syrup and modified food starch to taste. Plenty of salt. When you use a mixing bowl, it is most effective with the open part of the bowl facing up, or toward you. (Fun fact — this part of a hemisphere is called concave!) Mix it, mix it, mix it up good! Some lime? Yes! SALT! Damn, that’s salsa.

How to eat salsa

When you convey the sauce to your face, there is a smaller implement you can use, made of metal or wood or plastic or what have you. It’s like a bowl, but smaller and with a handle, commonly known as a spoon. You use this small bowl much the same as the large bowl, but not for mixing, instead for lifting the food to your face. You’ll find it’s best if narrowed lengthwise, to fit better into your mouth. Now to get it into the face, open up your mouth, slightly wider than the width of the spoon longways, and insert. Using your lips and tongue, separate the food from the spoon and remove the spoon from your mouth, so all that is left inside you is the food and the spoon remains in your hand. (Editor’s note: You use a tortilla chip.) You what? For what? Instead of a spoon? Are you mad? (Editor’s note: Do you mean insane?). I mean what you think I mean, get out of my paragraph! (Editor’s note: Please see our next issue for “How to fire a blogfill minion.”)

How to take a flying leap, fly a kite, suck an egg, get your broom, play in traffic, chase yourself, sit on a tack, and soak your head

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but the people who say this don’t need these things done and they don’t care whether or not you do them. What they actually want is for you to leave, or at least leave them alone. I don’t know why they don’t just say that, maybe they’re just trying to spare your feelings though upon reflection, that seems unlikely. Just, um, go find something else to do.

How to make a protest and question everything

Do I have to do everything?

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Matthew Hane

The falling anvil development team. The proportions of a pleasing error. Did we do it for money? Heavens, no. We did not.