Hey, if this fiction writing thing doesn’t work out, I could get a job writing instructions. Somebody needs to. I’ve been underwhelmed by the instructions I’ve read lately. I’m a reader. I figure I can learn just about anything I need to know by reading about it. But that presupposes someone can write clearly and intelligently about the subject. That might be asking a lot.

I was replacing the windshield wipers on my minivan, hoping for some great insight on how to perform this task without slicing my fingers to shreds like last time. The illustration is vague. The instructions say: Remove old wiper blade. Install new wiper blade. Brilliant. I had already deduced that, but thanks anyway.

So I keep reading. Ah, there’s hope. It says: turn over for more instructions. So I turn over. It’s the exact same instructions!

Someone needs a definition of the word “more.” It is not synonymous with “same.”

I figured it out anyway. Without blood loss.

Wish I could say the same about my adventure replacing our leaky kitchen faucet last weekend. I managed to bloody my lip on the garbage disposal. After banging my head on it. You’d think I would have remembered it was there. Big black thing hanging under the sink. Hard to miss.

All because I was trying to follow the first instruction: remove old faucet. That’s it. No clue on how to do that. So, using maneuvers that would have done a contortionist proud, I tried to use a flashlight and crescent wrench at the same time. You know, I’m just not that coordinated.

But despite my lack of plumbing skills, I managed to get the old faucet out and the new one in. The installation instructions were actually not too bad, until I got to this oxymoronic phrase “tighten loosely.”

Hmm. Okay. Being the girly girl that I am, I probably am only capable of tightening loosely. At least the diagrams were significantly better than the windshield wiper ones. And I managed to accomplish the job without flooding the kitchen. And now I have a faucet that doesn’t spray in three directions at once.

Think I’ll stick to writing. Seems safer. Less blood loss, at least for me. Can’t say the same for my characters.