HOW TO MAKE A LEFT TURN WHEN MECHANICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL ABNORMALITIES PREVENT YOU FROM DOING SO:
Go a block past your target street. Turn right three times. Go straight.
HOW TO NOT THINK ABOUT WATERMELON:
Eat some watermelon. Eat some more watermelon. When you feel that you have had enough watermelon, have some more. Cut anything that isn’t watermelon out of your diet. Make eating watermelon a central part of your life. Neglect job, exercise, family, romance, hygiene, community service, prayer. Use that time to eat watermelon. If you run out of watermelon, get some more. If you become too debilitated to get your own watermelon, find someone who will get it for you. If this person has a change of heart and decides that more watermelon is not the best thing for you, get rid of this person. When there are no longer any people left who will have anything to do with you, find a stray dog or helper-monkey to get watermelon for you. When you are out of watermelon, meditate on the eating of watermelon. Do this until you forget who you are and nothing makes sense. Behave this way until the thought of watermelon causes you to throw up. Don’t throw up.
HOW TO GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE WHEN TALKING TO A MAN WHO WON’T LET YOU GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE:
Sneeze all over the man’s face. Say something quickly, before he recovers from the shock.
HOW TO BECOME AN EXPERT:
Read so many books about a certain subject that you can no longer remember which book said what about the subject or why it matters. Go back and read them all again, taking notes this time.
HOW TO NOT MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT SOMETHING:
Don’t talk about it. Don’t make veiled references to it. If asked about it, remember an appointment. Don’t show people the bruises it gave you. Don’t make an effort to avoid leaving pictures of it lying around in public. When buying tools for it at the hardware store, don’t make jokes about the tools to the person at the register. Just be friendly and buy the tools. If you think it has been stealing your mail, leave a note in the box for it. Don’t leave a note for it that is a bomb. You might injure the mailman.
HOW NOT TO FEEL INSECURE ABOUT A PART OF YOUR BODY THAT IS TOO SMALL, TOO LARGE, OR THE WRONG SHAPE:
Decorate the body part. Give the body part a name and a personality. Introduce a person to the body part. Have a conversation with the body part and leave the person out of the conversation. If the person tries to join the conversation, cut the person off. When the body part insists that you apologize to the person, scream at the body part. Tell the body part that the body part is just like everyone else. Storm away furiously.
HOW TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN AN UNFAMILIAR PLACE:
Breathe deeply and do some basic stretches. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Eat moderately. Jot down descriptions of the place in a brown notebook. Compose an ode to the place and perform it on the bass trombone. Discover two contradictory elements of the place and think about them while sitting in a rocking chair. Make a friend and hold her hand. Concentrate on her skin. Go where people congregate and bargain with them.
HOW TO ENJOY SOMETHING THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND:
Refer to the thing by a nickname. Tap your feet and hum along to the thing. Attend a symposium where the thing is being discussed and pretend that the panelists are naked. If the thing makes you happy, go ahead and smile, even if everybody else is frowning. If the thing contains a word that you don’t understand, say the word out loud until you start to giggle. Invite a friend over and stay up all night talking about the thing. When you are finished talking about the thing, sit together on the porch with hot cocoa and watch the sun rise. Say good morning.