#3. How to Cheat on Your Spouse and Not Get Caught
There's a worrying paradox where the quality of an Internet how-to guide is inversely related to how appropriate the subject matter is. Trying to improve your diet? Contradictory advice abounds. Trying to commit adultery? Here's a thorough common-sense guide on covering your tracks, which will ensure that the only people who know about your philandering are you, your paramour, and the bartender you break down and confess everything to at three in the morning on Whiskey Wednesday. I'd name the paradox, but there are no good guides on doing so.
Some of the marriage-ruining tips are obvious, like always use protection, don't come home with new hickeys, and tell the kids that, yes, it is absolutely their fault that mommy and daddy are getting divorced. Other suggestions veer more into the realm of spycraft, which is great because you can pretend you're a secret agent on an important honeypot mission. Role play spices up your passionate romance and distracts you from remembering that you're a terrible person.
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"Don't ask. Just roll with it, man."
Paying for everything with cash and tossing the receipts makes sense, although buying a burner phone seems extreme, not to mention environmentally unfriendly. Are you cheating on Mother Nature now, too?
To account for all your missing time, it's suggested that you pick up a new hobby, but don't commit to it as much as you claim to, like how I tell people I'm a writer but outsource half of my articles to a team of Chinese freelancers. The example the guide uses is to start taking a karate class twice a week but tell everyone that it's three nights, which is almost as ridiculous as how big your manhood will be when you buy our genuine herbal love enhancer to make the best happy times to your sweetheart, buy today!
You're also told to always use public computers. That's smart, but Christ, this is turning into a serious commitment. If you've already got to take up the jazz flute or learn to crochet, when are you going to be able to hit up the local library while still finding time to at least pretend to love your spouse?
Not to mention the fact that you keep getting kicked out for loudly celebrating nude pictures.
Oh yeah, that's encouraged as well. You should buy your cuckold roses, draw their baths, and make them feel special, all while being prepared to take your cheating to your grave. Don't do anything crazy like not cheat; just maintain an elaborate web of lies that will in no way come crashing down. Because where could anyone who needed to Google search for adultery tips go wrong?
#2. How to Cut Yourself Off from Society
This guide is just sad, and anyone who searches it out should be automatically redirected to a list of suicide hotlines set on a background of kittens hugging puppies. Why would anyone even want to consult it, you ask?
"Ever just felt like you are sick of being hurt repeatedly? Alternatively, maybe you yourself hurt people by accident and want it to stop? Either way, this is a last ditch effort to stop any sort of hurting."
So it's a guide for people who imagine themselves as the moody stars of young adult novels, basically. Truly, having friends is like entering an emotional Hunger Games. What soul-crushing tips can we follow to avoid all that painful human interaction?
Start by working on shutting down your emotions, like you're a Vulcan going through his eyeliner and My Chemical Romance phase. This already sounds difficult, but don't worry -- you don't have to avoid people completely. Just don't interact with anyone unless it's absolutely necessary, which is a good way to become a brooding badass in pop culture and the student whose name is highlighted and placed in the counselor's "Potential Shooter" folder in real life.
Next, only go out when you're forced to. And on your rare outings, remember that "smiles should be used as little as possible." Parties are definitely a no go, unless there's a corner you can slink into. Oh, man. Reading this is like watching a Zoloft commercial in reverse.
Remember to keep physical contact to a minimum, and that hugs are absolutely verboten. The guide doesn't explicitly state that you should start storing your urine in jars, but it's implied. Singing is still permitted, strangely enough, although only in private. Which, yeah, actually is kind of sad.
"People, who need people, are the luckiest pe- ... pe- ... oh God, oh God. Oh God!"
There are plenty more tips for setting yourself up as a future suicide victim, but let's skip to the climax, because making readers cry is a sign that my comedy article may have gone astray. To make up for our new lack of flesh-and-blood friends, we're advised to get some imaginary ones, because "they can't hurt you unless you want them to, they love you, they want to be with you." Guys, I ... I need a minute.
God, don't you want to find everyone who's consulting this guide and give them a big hug? From the constant references to school and the general existential angst, I suspect it's mostly addressing teenagers, so as a wise and elderly 20-something, I can assure you that things do get better. Well, for most of you. A few of you will end up as lonely alcoholics who cry yourselves to sleep every night while you dream of what could have been, but the rest of you will be cool.
"No matter how colorful I make the drink, my heart always remains black."
#1. How to Drive Safely While Drunk
Hopefully we all recognize that "drive safely while drunk" is an oxymoron, like "jumbo shrimp" or "thought-provoking BuzzFeed article." These guides begin by saying as much, clearly stating that you should never drink and drive. Buuuut sometimes you just really need to, so it's totally OK and here's how to do it.
A drunken-driving guide should be one word long and followed by a montage of car accidents. They should not say that it's OK to drive drunk only when you're just tipsy and not completely smashed, because people who've been drinking are not known for being able to accurately judge their intoxication level. That's why your buddy Chad yelled "I'm totally fine, dude, I'm going to nail this!" right before his attempted backflip into the pool broke three people's arms. It's always a Chad. Those wacky guys.
Tips like "lemon water will clear up your head" aren't just wrong, they're enough to activate a scientist's gag reflex. If lemons were a magical alcohol sponge, the world's most common idiom would be "If life gives you lemons, do a sick kegstand!"
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No, Chad, that's not really a ... goddammit.
We're told that if all else fails you should stick your fingers down your throat and vomit, because stumbling out of a bar with the remnants of the wing-eating contest clinging to your shirt will definitely convince everyone that you're good to hop behind the wheel. And once you're cruising down the road at "Fuck, I don't know, those numbers are kinda blurry" miles per hour, you should munch on a chocolate bar or a pack of chips to help keep you alert, because to the writer of this guide, "distracted driving" is worrying that you didn't throw enough Milwaukee's Best in the back seat to last you through the party.
But uh-oh! You're on your way home, thinking about getting your high school band together for one last gig and calling your ex to see if she's willing to give it another shot, when you spot a roadblock. What do you do, hotshot? What do you do?!
"I bet I could ramp it."
Simply shove a stick of gum in your mouth or take a bite of an apple to hide the stench of bad decision making. Why do you have an apple? Because "If going out on the town, why not put an apple in your car?" Why indeed. Whenever I go out for the night, my first thought is to make sure that my car's produce crisper is adequately stocked.
Once you reach the check stop, lie your ass off. I only had one beer because my buddy had to cancel. Oh, I'm just on my way back from my girlfriend's place. Was I at a bar? No, I'm not a lawyer. Alcohol is the devil's drink, and the 18th Amendment will rise again! Look out, angry walrus!
The guide ends with "acting smart may just save you a lot of time and trouble." It then immediately vanishes in a puff of irony.
You can read more from Mark, including his guide on human trafficking, at his website.
For more guides people are likely using right now, check out 21 Social Situations Explained Via IKEA Instructions and Instructional Diagrams for People Who Suck at Everyday Life.