Simple Instructions

There’s a part in one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books (which I’d go look up if I wasn’t already typing one-handed because I’ve got a cat on my arm), I believe it’s in So Long and Thanks for all the Fish.  This part involves an interview where the outside of a guy’s house is all decorated to look like a typical house interior, and inside was all done up to look like the outdoors.  The reason for this was that the guy had come to the conclusion that the rest of the world was completely mad and ought to be contained… or something to that effect… and he came to this conclusion because he found instructions on a packet of matches.  Something so simple shouldn’t require such detailed instructions, unless of course, humanity had completely gone off its collective rocker.

Well, very recently, I had my own little moment that mirrored this guy’s revelation almost completely.  I ordered a super-cool Doctor Who mug from Think Geek — the Tardis moves from deep space to London when you put hot liquid in it — love it!  But with it came a piece of paper that said “Unfamiliar with mugs or their proper use? Check out our instructional video.” A video?!?  The sheet of paper already told me I couldn’t put it in the dishwasher, what else did I need?

Um… are there people who don’t know how to use a mug?  Are unfamiliar with mugs?  This blew my mind.  Completely.  Even worse than the time I saw the warning on a package of peanut M&M’s: this product may contain nuts.  (It better contain nuts, or someone’s getting a nasty letter!)  All I could think about was the guy with the inside-out house.

Then, I sucked it up and went to the website.  Breathed a sigh of relief.  I wasn’t going to have to dive into the future Douglas Adams predicted… despite the M&M’s nut issue.  Take a look for yourself, if you wish!  It’s rather amusing.



  1. That video is classic! I agree with you wholeheartedly on the issue of simple instructions. They drive me batty especially when it should be something that’s commonsense.

    1. Hey Chudney – oh, don’t get me started on common sense. I think we need to start a movement to change its name to uncommon sense 😉

  2. LOL
    What I love is telling someone who can’t use a mug that the law of gravity applies to mugs. They can’t use a mug, but understand gravity! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Ella, whenever I’m stuck for a blog topic, I can almost guarantee there will be a link to something!

  3. That’s too funny! I love the part where they pour water over the side.
    I noticed the accordion sun shade for my car came with instructions: Do not operate vehicle with sun shade in place. Duh!!

    1. I wonder if someone actually tried to drive with the sun shade in and that’s why they included those instructions 🙂

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