Step 9. Recovery
It is normal, at this point, to have absolutely no idea what happened to steps 7 and 8. Frankly, it's probably better that you leave it that way. You should really try to enjoy the peaceful times right now, because the fallout from the Blackout Steps is almost certainly careening toward you like a freight train. If you're lucky, you'll wake up tomorrow morning to find that you've merely pooped beneath an ottoman; if you're unlucky, you may have challenged Vanessa's crazy hillbilly father to a Swamp Duel, in which case you need to stop reading this guide right now and start researching airboat controls.
Looks like you've built a working computer in a drunken fury, or have at least managed to shove most of the pieces into the case. I mean, that looks like a hard drive out on the lawn, so you're probably not going to be saving things, but you know what? Maybe that's OK. Holding on to things has only gotten you in trouble -- Alan's disappearance, Vanessa, that heat sink the cops seized as evidence yesterday -- maybe it'll be good for you to be a little more zen about this whole computing thing from here on out.
Sure, it looks like you've strapped a partially empty bottle of Bushmills Honey-Flavored Whiskeybortion to the processor instead of a fan, but you've heard of liquid-cooled rigs, right? Whiskey's a liquid. Let's plug this bitch in and check back in with our good friend, free pornogra-
Step 10. Damage Control
So everything's on fire.
And what's worse: Step 8 was apparently tearing ass up and down the street on a fire-extinguisher-propelled office chair.
You're going to need to smother the flames, and for that, you'll want some kind of thick, heavy, expendable fabric. Luckily, Vanessa left that lame seven-generation quilt in the spare room -- you know, the one she keeps begging you to give back, and you keep insisting that you will, just as soon as she tells you the name of her new dickhead boyfriend?
"Just tell me the first letter -- one little letter. Surely that's worth your entire family history, right, baby?"
Grab that sucker and flail that shit into the fire as hard as you can.
You're going to want to stop to vomit some from all the motion, but you need to resist that urge. Keep flailing as spastically as you can, and do your best to keep that puke tamped down; it's almost entirely Honey-Flavored Whiskeybomination anyway -- it's just going to add fuel to what is already a pretty objectively bitchin' inferno.
Step 11. The Fire Is Out
Now you puke. There you go; right under the ottoman. Man, why does every bodily fluid inevitably end up there?
Step 12. The Ol' Switcheroo
Pack up what you can of the melted computer carcass and head on back to Fry's. The guy running the returns desk will almost certainly laugh in your face when you try to get store credit for a charred hunk of plastic with little pieces of Civil War-era quiltwork fused to the motherboard.
Here's what you do: You clench your jaw, you raise your head high, and you be a man.
You tell him Billiam built it for you.
"I didn't think he should screw his tie into the motherboard, but I'm not a computer guy; what do I know?"
The Returns Guy will nod, and roll his eyes, and wave you on into the store. Do not go anywhere near the Computer Parts aisle -- Alan will look at you with eyes full of fatherly disapproval, and you'll confess the whole thing. You grab the first prebuilt computer you see and get the hell out of there.
Oh, and this is important: When they ask if you want help out to your car, say yes.
The fallout from Step 7 will probably be waiting for you in the parking lot, and you're going to need somebody to be your Second for the impending airboat duel. It's the Second's job to swat away any thrown pitchforks; you won't survive the first tilt without one.
Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.
For more from Brockway, check out 5 Bizarre Pitfalls of Owning a Classic Car and The Hoverboard Lie: How Back to the Future Ruined Childhood.