Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature. Sorry about the hiatus folks, but Tabatha has been bogged down with a lot of work planning her class, preparing for one more semester of school, and other important endeavors like waking up in the mid-afternoon. Mostly that last one. (It’s a commonly known fact –among students–that one’s last Winter Break must be recognized by never seeing the light of 10am).
Anyways, I have found a break in my rigorous sleeping schedule long enough to renew the Friday Fiction Feature for the new year! Yeah, yeah, I know New Year’s Day was yesterday, but as I have yet to be formally recognized as Supreme Ruler of the Universe (by anyone but my brother anyways) I was unable to shift the calendar to fit the Feature. Until then, I’ve selected some handy manuals and informational guides to help you as you get started on those New Year Resolutions.
Forbidden Knowledge: 101 Things NOT Everyone Should Know How to Do
by Michael Powel
First on our list is a general things-you-should-know as you set about planning your new year. I know at least a few of you are planning some kind of world-takeover (and if not, I believe Brandy’s always recruiting minions), and before you set out to work on those plans, you had better have a few pieces of information no one else has. A how-to guide on all the things you probably shouldn’t be doing like Forbidden Knowledge sounds like the perfect manual…to give to your minions.
Could you use a little more danger in your life? A little more edge? A little more fun? With Forbidden Knowledge you get it all. From crashing a wedding to starting a riot or stealing a car. Michael Powell has always been interested in doing things he shouldn’t. His hobbies include looking gift horses in the mouth, staring directly at solar eclipses, and blowing past speed traps up and down route 66.
Mental Floss Presents Be Amazing: Glow in the Dark, Control the Weather, Perform Your Own Surgery, Get Out of Jury Duty, Identify a Witch, Colonize a Nation, Impress a Girl, Make a Zombie, Start Your Own Religion by Maggie Koerth-Baker, Will Pearson & Mangesh Hattikudur
While your minions are busy studying up on the dangerous and inadvisable in Forbidden Knowledge, why don’t you sit back and crack open Be Amazing! for a handy how-to on all the basic steps to, really any New Year’s Resolution.
Who says you can’t? It’s time to get off the couch and take your life to the next level.
Step one: stand on the shoulders of geniuses
What good are the world’s greatest geniuses if you can’t muddy their shoulder pads and use their accomplishments as a step stool? mental_floss has combed through every success story in history to deliver this ultimate how-to guide for climbing your way to greatness.
Step two: bask in the glow of admiring fans
Whether you want to glow in the dark, swallow a sword, quit smoking, find Atlantis, live forever, get out of jury duty, buy the Moon, sink a battleship, stop global warming, become a ninja, or simply be the center of the universe, Be Amazing covers all the essential life skills. Just absorb a few pages, then let the hero worship begin!
You will need: You May Want:
A hunger for greatness Sidekicks and/or minions
Some duct tape An impressive nickname
This book An amazing outfit
HELP! A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle Hansen
Now this particular selection may seem a bit out of place, but if taken in the right light, I think it can be a very useful guide. If you want to get ahead as a sibling, an editor, a student, a CEO, anyone with a cubicle, (insert other business-world-y jargon here) there is one (generally untaught) skill you’ll need to master: Blaming everyone else. Help! A Bear is Eating Me! is a thorough learn-by-example tutorial on how to make sure nothing is ever your fault, thereby clearing the path to the coveted state of being Always Right.
Trapped in a remote Alaskan forest, pinned under his own SUV, gnawed upon by nature’s finest predators, Marv Pushkin — Corporate Warrior, Positive Thinker, Esquire subscriber — waits impatiently for an ambulance and explains in detail the many reasons why this unfolding tragedy is everyone’s fault but his own.
How to Be a Villain: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans, and More!!! by Neil Zawacki, James Dignan
Now, Be Amazing is really more of your general do-awesome-stuff guide. However, for our more discerning, and…specific audiences, we also offer How to be a Villain. Now I know at least a few of you are renewing the old resolution to Take Over the World Mwahahahahaa! and the way I see it, you have a few options in how you go about this. You can work your way up through academeia or business, you can try being the Queen/King’s long-lost daughter/son and reclaim your right to rule through some amazing heroics, or, you can pick the more fun and reliable option:
A delightfully evil gift, How to Be a Villain is a step-by-step guide to joining the forces of darkness. Because, though villains may never win, they sure have more fun, hatching master plans for world domination, smoothing their dastardly tights. Neil Zawacki answers all the most urgent questions: Should I go with a black or red theme? Do I invest in an army of winged monkeys or ninja warriors? And just where will I put the evil hideout? Whether readers choose to pursue a career as a Criminal Mastermind, Mad Scientist, Corporate Bastard, or just a Wanna-be Evil Genius, they are sure to find plenty of tips for jumpstarting any evil enterprise. Cheaper than attending the annual bad guy conference and way more fun than being good, How to Be a Villain is guaranteed to elicit deep-throated evil laughs across the land.
The Action Hero’s Handbook: How to Catch a Great White Shark, Perform the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, Track a Fugitive, and Dozens of Other TV and Movie Skills by David Borgenicht & Joe Borgenicht
Of course, some of our good readers really are good readers, and blush at the idea of taking over the world via violence, mass hypnosis, alien-assisted takeover, usurping royalties (oops, better stop now, giving away all my plans). Well never fear, here at the Friday Fiction Feature we do try to include all our readers, so for those who favor a world-ruling approach that involves considerably less maniacal laughter, we also offer The Action Hero’s Handbook
The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Up with the Indiana Joneses
For everyone who’s ever wanted to be as smooth as James Bond, as clever as Captain Kirk, or as tough as Charlie’s Angels, The Action Hero’s Handbook is the ultimate guide to the essential skills every action hero needs to survive and thrive in this dangerous but exciting world.
This book features dozens of real-life action hero techniques, directly from experts in the subjects at hand: FBI agents, sexologists, stuntmen, hypnotists, karate masters, criminologists, detectives, and many others. Learn how to:
• Catch a great white shark
• Deliver the Vulcan Nerve Pinch
• Spyproof your hotel room
• Win a fight when outnumbered
• Climb down Mount Rushmore National Monument
And dozens of other Good Guy Skills, Paranormal Skills, Fighting Skills, and Escape Skills. With meticulously researched step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow illustrations, The Action Hero’s Handbook will get you ready for anything. Good luck—we’re all counting on you.