(Most of the humour collected here is in the public domain, unless otherwise specified.)
Examine the software packaging until you find a little printed box that explains what kind of computer system you need to run the software. It should look something like this:
2386 PROCESSOR OR HIGHER
628.8 MEGAHERTZ MODEM
719.7 MB FREE DISK SPACE
3546 MB RAM
432323 MB ROM
2353700 MB RPM
ANTILOCK BRAKING SYSTEM
2 TURTLE DOVES
NOTE: This software will not work on your computer.
Open the software packaging and remove the manual. This will contain detailed instructions on installing, operating, and troubleshooting the software. Throw it away.
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 UN 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.
Hand the software to a child aged 3 through 12 and say, “(Name of child), please install this on my computer.”
If you have no child age 3 through 12, insert the software in the appropriate drive, type “SETUP” and press the Enter key.
Turn the computer on, you idiot.
Once again type “SETUP” and press the Enter key.
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:
After you make your selection, you will hear grinding and whirring for 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.”
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*!@!$)$ %@&*^) $*!#$_$*^&
At this point your computer system should become less functional than the federal government, refusing to respond even when struck with furniture.
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.