How To Install Software -- A 12-Step Program

by Dave Barry from his new book Dave Barry In Cyberspace
     1. Examine the software packaging until you find a little printed box 
     that explains what kind of computer system you need to run the 
     It should look something like this:
     3546 MB RAM
     432323 MB ROM
     05948737 MB RPM
     NOTE: This software will not work on your computer.
     2. Open the software packaging and remove the manual. This will 
     contain detailed instructions on installing, operating, and 
     troubleshooting the software. Throw it away.
     3. Find the actual software, which should be in the form of either a 
     3.5-inch floppy diskette or a CD-ROM, located inside a sealed envelope

     that says:
     By breaking this seal, the user hereinafter agrees to abide by all the 
     terms and conditions of the following agreement that nobody ever 
     reads, as well as the Geneva Convention and the U.N. Charter and the
     Secret Membership Oath of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks 
     and such other terms and conditions, real and imaginary, as the 
     Software Company shall deem necessary and appropriate, including the 
     right to come to the user's home and examine the user's hard drive, as
     well as the user's underwear drawer if we feel like it, take it or 
     leave it, until death do us part, one nation indivisible, by the 
     dawn's early light,...finders keepers, losers weepers, thanks you've 
     been a great crowd, and don't forget to tip your servers.
     4. Hand the software to a child aged 3 through 12 and say, "(Name of 
     child), please install this on my computer."
     5. If you have no child age 3 through 12, insert the software in the 
     appropriate drive, type "SETUP" and press the Enter key.
     6. Turn the computer on, you idiot.
     7. Once again type "SETUP" and press the Enter key.
     8. You will hear grinding and whirring noises for a while, after which 
     the following message should appear on your screen:
     The Installation Program will now examine your system to see what 
     would be the best way to render it inoperable. Is it OK with you? 
     Choose one, and be honest:
     |  YES  ||   SURE     |
     9. After you make your selection, you will hear grinding and whirring 
     or a very long time while the installation program does God knows what 
     in there. Some installation programs can actually alter molecular 
     structures, so that when they're done, your computer has been 
     transformed into an entirely new device, such as a food processor.
     At the very least, the installation program will create many new 
     directories, sub-directories, sub-sub-directories, on your hard drive 
     and fill them with thousands of mysterious files with names like 
     "puree.exe," "fester.dat," and "doo.wha."
     10. When the installation program is finished, your screen should 
     display the following message:
     The installation program cannot think of anything else to do to your 
     computer and has grown bored. You may now attempt to run your 
     software. If you experience any problems, electrical shocks, insomnia,
     shortness of breath, nasal discharge, or intestinal parasites, you 
     should immediately *!@!$)$%@&*^)$*!#$_$*^&
     11. At this point your computer system should become less functional 
     than the federal government, refusing to respond even when struck with 
     12. Call the toll-free Technical Support Hotline number listed on the 
     package and wait on the line for a representative, who will explain to 
     you, in a clear, step-by-step manner, how to adopt a child aged 3 
     through 12
     --Tamara Schomber, M.Ed., PSC
     Watertown Elementary, Tennessee

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