Could YOU get there from here?

December 21, 2008

Sonya wanted me to share these instructions with you. How would you have gone? If I’d even made it to Step 15, I might have blown myself up! Thanks Sonya.

“I just received these instructions from a friend about how to enter his family’s holiday home, and I thought it might provide a smile :-)  I am comforted by the thought that the author is a ‘geek’, and generally doesn’t go near end-users….”


  1. Enter through the door next to where you park, using the key with the “W” on it.
  2. Walk through the laundry and turn immediately to the left in the hallway (your left, not my left).
  3. Open the closet door.
  4. Enter the closet.
  5. Do not trip over stuff.
  6. Turn on the torch that I neglected to mention that you should have grabbed prior to step 1.
  7. In fact, you may have wanted to turn on the torch back around step 1 as well.
  8. Find the fuse-type box on the wall to your left (yes your left, not my left).
  9. Operate the appropriate switches**
  10. Go to the gas tanks outside (to the left of the door you came through in step 1 as you face it from the outside, or to the right as you exit again – your right, not mine)
  11. Make the assumption that the little switchy-valvy thing (a stop-cock?) at the juncture of the little pipes coming from the tanks is set to allow gas to flow from a tank that isn’t yet empty.
  12. Open the valve on top of the tank to which you deem most likely that the stop-cock operating mechanism lever indicated was currently being pointed to. This is done by twisting it in the direction indicated as “open” on the value. You may use the torch from prior to step 1 to inspect this.
  13. Go back into the house.
  14. Go to the kitchen.
  15. Try to operate the gas stove. It takes a while (though I can’t remember how long, but probably a lot less than a minute) for the gas to make it through the line and displace the non-gas enough to be combusted by the spark at the end of the gas line where the stove is. As part of operating the stove, you would probably be pushing the push-button on the front of the stove and is then used when operating the stove to make sparks.
  16. For extra enjoyment, you might want to set the digital clock that is over and yet part of the stove to the correct time for it.
  17. Turn off the torch. This could have been done after step 12, or perhaps before. And you probably did.

** appropriate switches very likely consist of:

  • something that turns on the power
  • something that turns on the hot water … I would say that you could set the switch on “manual” rather than the other, non-manual setting during which the timer times the water being made hot, and conversely not the other way around.

If that’s not clear, please ring me on my mobile. Then, if not immediately, or vise-versa.


[This article was first published in the March 2005 CyberText Newsletter.]

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