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September 29, 2006


What do the instructions say?

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Jim: VO5

Everyone called her Molly and for the longest time I didn’t know why she was in the psychiatric ward. She appeared to be just a normal young lady with long, raven hair and a friendly smile.

Then one day I overheard one doctor telling another that she had severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He said that Molly was obsessed with following written directions.

A week after that, one of the orderlies found her huddled on the shower floor with her bare scalp rubbed raw. She was clutching an empty bottle of shampoo and sobbing three words over and over.

“Lather, Rinse, Repeat.”

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Stacy: Justice, R&D Style

The specialist wiped sweat out of his eyes and bent back to the instructions.

Ok, he thought, this should be easy enough...

1. Pull down lever A.
2. With your right thumb, slide forward piece B-C
3. Raise piece J-3 upwards until it locks into place
4. Lower piece D-9 and rest on the nearest flat surface
5. Turn switches F-6 and Z-0 to their ON positions
6. Stand back

150 yards into the dense Florida undergrowth, there was a terrified scream, then an oily red explosion. The assembled law enforcement officials cheered and high-fived each other. One cop-killer down.

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Michele: Unraveled

The instructions were simple and I followed them exactly. They weren't written instructions, per se, but more or less unspoken rules for something like this. If relationships came with instruction tags, there would be only these words: Handle With Care.

So I did. Those three words pack a lot in them. It's not so much what they say, but what they mean.

I took those instructions to heart. I did everything they implied, and even some things they didn't. I really went above and beyond that. It's just what I do.

Handle with care.

I did.

Still, it fell apart.

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The Eschatologist: Archeology Team Delta, Status Report

We have commenced unsealing the inner sanctum of Site 14. There is a faded symbol of unknown origin on the door, a yellow field with 3 black curved trapezoids, all bending towards a central black circle.

Armored pressure suits filter the ancient atmosphere, and protect us from the high radioactivity levels in the small chamber at the heart of this ancient complex.

Amazing! The computational device within works, and is powered by radioisotope thermals! A glass display, long since dead, has some script burned into it. Translated, it reads:

"Turn keys to initiate ICBM launch."

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David: The Job

“Your target is one Mabel Johnson, local businesswoman,” said the digitally altered voce on the phone. “A full dossier has been placed at drop location three.”

“Understood,” the anonymous assassin replied.

“Special notes,” the voice continued. “The client wants the contract completed before 8 Friday morning. Accident or apparent suicide preferred. Client wants it painful and bloody.”

“Not much time to arrange something like that.”

“You have our confidence. Client has offered double payment. You get the usual percentage.”

“Accepted,” the assassin said, and hung up.

“What are the odds?” Mr. Johnson wondered as he drove to the drop point.

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Ted: Learning Curve

"Here, just let me do it."

"No. I need to figure this out for myself. I can't always have you there to do this. I need to able to make this work even if I'm at the office, or on my laptop. I tried doing it just like the instructions say. I tried doing it the way the forums said to do. I even went at looked at how some other folks are doing it; just to be sure what I want to do is even possible. It is. The program is too damn difficult! When does version 3.0 launch?"

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