#620 – Compass

I’ve made a few mistakes from starting on a project before reading through the full directions first. Fortunately I have now assembled enough furniture from Ikea to have learned my lesson. Anyone else have problems following directions?


28 thoughts on “#620 – Compass”

  1. Speakerblast says:

    1. Strap jetpack to back
    2. Turn jetpack 180 degrees

  2. MaskedMan says:

    No, no… First step is ALWAYS *RTFM.*

    BTW, does the B-guy has problems with north and south on a map, too?

  3. MaskedMan says:

    Oh, and second step is ALWAYS “Check parts against the parts list.”
    Few things in this world more annoying than being 85% of the way through an annoying project, only to learn you’re missing a critical component. Yeah, I’ve assembled my share of Ikea furniture, too.:p

  4. Genesismonk says:

    One time I tried to do a lego kit of a dinosaur without the instruction kit. It came out looking like a cross between a banana and a rabid squirrel.

  5. DTanza says:

    Woah…… lol!

  6. Mophtran says:

    IKEA FTW!!!

    I have so much Ikea furniture, my house could be an Ikea showroom. ^)^

    Maybe that’s why I call it a gay Mecca. 😀

  7. Drakey says:

    I lawled.

    I hate assembling furniture. It’s really a drag. My mom made me put together her computer desk when she got it. It was horrible.

  8. kruemi says:

    Yeah, i’ve learned to read instructions too… in most cases. But if the produce comes from far east it’s adviseable to read instructions in different languages, because the translations are WAY off sometimes. Hail to IKEA-Instructions which work without words (and are almost as good as the LEGO ones :-))

  9. The Dustin says:

    “Are you sure that’s in the manual?”
    “did you Read the Manual?”
    “Nobody reads the manual.”
    “Then it’s in the manual.”

  10. Izual Shima says:

    I think this one made me laugh the most in a while. Thumbs up on the brilliant simplicity.

    The jokes on manuals, and not reading them, are all over, and tend to be funny, through and through.

    I only read manuals thoroughly when I’m desperate, and they tend not to be my first choice. They’re usually very poorly done, with glaringly big lackings. That’s my first reason not to read them. Even if they’re for stuff that’s definitely not in my field.

    Working with computers heavily…building, fixing, etc…
    I’m often disappointed on how they forget to put important stuff… Or do lazy things like cramming 5-8 similar models in the same manual… This one coupled with lack of proper structure and clarity, is dangerous, ‘cos you end up unable to find out WHAT specific model has/doesn’t have such and such things mentioned there.

    Aside from desperation (as even the internet forums are a better source of info than manuals, honestly. I often use both, just to compare), my only other reason to touch them, is for fun. Certain articles (games, mostly), have more interesting manuals, with lots of entertained-directed text and little easter eggs, that can actually become fun to read.

    @The Dustin, I don’t recall exactly where that one is from. Could be multiple places.

    I don’t think it’s from the Fairly OddParents. I know it looks like a kiddy show, and it is, mostly…but it belongs to the cartoons that also have enough jokes that only adults will get. Like SpongeBob.

  11. Psymon says:

    @Izual Shizima & The Dustin
    That exchange did indeed show up in Fairly Oddparents–the wild west episode with “the Pink-Hatted Stranger”. “Readin’s fer yellabellies” and the like.
    @all or no one–I’m never sure, when I don’t have a specific person in mind to talk to, whether I’m talking to everyone in the room, or just thinking aloud.

    I’m not quite as pitiful as you’d think from my encyclopedic knowledge of certain subjects…I think I just have above-average auditory memory–except where it would actually help me.

    I don’t like to start something without an idea of what I’m doing, but neither do I tend to read manuals very often. . .on second thought, I do tend to read the game manuals, and if the assembly/hookup is more complicated than “plug the various cords into the only place they’ll fit” (I feel sorry for the people running tech support for users who can’t match plug shapes and pin counts) or “match the colors”, I’d rather read an assembly manual than get 3/4 done and have to completely disassemble in order to fix a mistake I made early on.

    I also have to dig out the car manual twice a year to adjust for the time change–actually, I think the manual got lost, so it takes about ten minutes each time to figure out how to change the clock time–enough to be annoying, but not enough to waste the brain space remembering how to change the clock.

    It’s funny, if people ask me what I’m doing up so late, most of the time I’m actually up so early. Crowds tend to drain me of energy, so after a party in the afternoon, it’s not uncommon for me to go to bed as early as 7:00. This results in me waking up around midnight, and returning to bed at, or a little before, sunrise. Being up when everyone else is asleep also results in my getting a little bit–hyper, perhaps?–bored and energetic.

    I agree, internet fora tend to be better sources of info than paper manuals–if for no other reason than that you can search for the info you need rather than flipping through the book, searching. Also, chances are that using a search engine assigns better sources higher relevance, making the manual, being only a single underreviewed source, likely to be less helpful than the first results of a well-conceived search.

    Psymon has rambled too long.

  12. RG says:

    I always read instructions to prevent this sort of humorous catastrophe.

  13. Ian says:

    Fah! You don’t need no stinkin’ manual! Way to go Biff, sticking it to the man!
    @ Dustin, is that a Simpsons Quote?…When homer is talking about the Manual for the Power Plant.

  14. “Anyone else have problems following directions?”


  15. Rudo says:

    On the upside, he’ll get to China in record time.

  16. GL says:

    Directions? We don’t need no stinkin’ directions!

  17. Mastermenthe says:

    When I saw the comic, my first thought was:


    …Is it at all possible that Chris made this not as a reference to our old retired, cartoon compatriots such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck?

    If so, then I consider the humor level of this comic to have doubled.

    Oh, and I don’t have problems with directions. Instead I have problems with magnitude: “But how tight IS tight for this bolt?” or, “Cook until brown? Which shade of brown?” and of course, “Take a left at Alfalfia St. and then take a right at Interstate 56…Where the hell is Alfalfia St.!?”

    Then again, perhaps I’m not so good at following directions after all…

  18. Trevor says:

    They should really put the most important directions as early in the instructions as they can go.
    “Cook for three minutes? Ok then…Hey, what’s wrong with the popcorn? What does it say after cook for three minutes? Make sure this side is down…”

  19. Vicky says:

    When it said electric, i thought “Uncle Fester Biff?” but tis not to be….

  20. William Syler says:

    Good thing biff is bald……
    and hey, biff dont need directions! Didn’t you see the box? That’s how it’s supposed to be! It’s the ACME USDPR!!! (Up-Side Down Personal Rocket!) I’d recognize it anywhere!

  21. divastarz63 says:

    Hi Chris! This is my 1st time posting on your site. Love your comic!

    @ Shima: Yes, it is from Fairlyodd Parents. The episode with the Masked Stranger (when they go to Dimsdale Flats) to be exact. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s comic!

  22. Deteramot says:

    Am I the only one who reads the manual because I get bored?

  23. Reg says:

    I tend to brood TOO much on the instructions… I need to be more impusive like Biff! (Though that’d probably be lethal…)

  24. Izual Shima says:

    @Psymon: It’s “Shima,” not Shizima. Or was it intentional? The reference on my nickname is a mix of the angel Izual from the Diablo games, and Tetsuo Shima (from Akira, a momentous classic in japanese manga and anime).

    Also…the manual is just one source, in itself. And it often looks like it was done by people who loathe their job. They omit lots of stuff.

    The internet updates, and you can find corrections, and several sources to compare notes.

    It contains some of the largest pro bono, ad honorem workforces in existence, in several fields.
    That workforce has in spades, what the corporate mindset lacks. Good will and a genuine interest in being helpful.

    @Psymon & divastarz63: I was thinking that episode precisely. I’m just pretty positive a very very similar joke is used in other places. Especially on the “didn’t read it? Then it’s there” thing.

    @Deteramot: Sometimes…but I tend to forget what little I could learn from that. I tend to obtain the same entertainment from those, that I do from a bad movie…you know, the chance to make snarky comments and so.

  25. tCope says:

    Once a friend and I were assembling a model rocket. We were putting it together inside and then were going to take it outside to fire it off. It was going to be awesome. Well my friend was reading the directions…
    1) Place rocket on stand
    2) Place key in ignition switch
    3) Turn key
    And before I could say anything, there was a hole in the ceiling with a model rocket in it and a room filling up with smoke. Ah, memories.

  26. Baltic says:

    Mm, assembling furniture. Fun times. Me and a friend have worked out our own, real (crazy) man’s way to do that. Just a few easy steps:
    1) Have a shot of vodka
    2) Unpack the whole thing, locate manual and parts list.
    3) Discard manual and parts list.
    4) One more shot of vodka.
    5) Look at the floor being covered in parts, scratch head, ask husband of his sister to join us.
    6) Another shot.
    7) Assemble following our gut feeling. Swear a lot throughout the process.
    8) 2 hours later salvage whatever isn’t broken in process, try to locate parts list and manual, assemble everything according to manual, at the same time making sure no female relative/friend notices we’re using the manual
    9) Dispose of manual, proudly present the result of our work to any female friend/relative within reach.

    Works every time, and is much more fun than any other method.

  27. hayabusa says:

    i once was pouring some drain cleaner, deodorizer stuff down a drain at work, and poured almost a quarter of the jug down before i saw the directions that stated “use 1 ounce per 1 gallon of water”. i felt dumb that day

  28. YukiSnowflake says:

    god, this reminds me of those things we did in school:
    you know:
    1. read insrustions fully first
    2. write your name on sheet
    ect. ect.
    22. now just do number 2 and nothing else.

    god, i hated them!

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