Louisa Benbow

The Wonders of WikiHow.

It’s not everyday that I stumble across a website so informative, yet entertaining, that immediately attains bookmark tab status; Facebook, Twitter, Googlemail, etc are just some websites that find themselves embedded in that bar at the top of the window. Today, I introduce them to their neighbour, the newest addition: wikiHow.

wikiHow is described on the opening page as ‘a free resource that helps millions of people by offering solutions to the problems of everyday life.’ Now, don’t get me wrong because I’m a big fan of this site, and I can easily waste 20 minutes repeatedly hitting ‘Random Article,’ eagerly awaiting the next ‘How To..’ but, I have a bit of an issue with the ‘problems of everyday life’ bit. It could just be me; I might just be living a sheltered life, but bathing like an ancient King/Queen, collecting Unicorns and drawing an alien don’t seem to be the quotidian nuisance for me.

Some deliciously bizarre ‘How to’s… ‘ I’ve discovered on my relentless trawl through the articles include:

How To Pretend You Have A Pet

How To Make A Harness For Your Fat Cat

How To Pretend To Fly (there are some particularly entertaining demonstrative photograph’s which accompany this one)

How To Be A Gypsy

How To Act Sane Even If You’re Not

How To Make SIM Card Earrings

‘How To Make Friends With An Elderly Neighbour’ was an enjoyable read, I couldn’t help disagreeing with some of the advice though:

Step # 6: Follow up your initial call with another one. Check on them regularly.

They might be elderly, but they still possess the ability to find incessant calls and regular check-ups from the stranger who lives a few houses along bloody annoying.

As a final tip, it states that ‘some elderly people just won't be receptive because they are afraid, distrusting, angry… It pays to persevere.’

I don’t know that it does ‘pay to persevere’ in this case though; they’re afraid and distrusting, largely due to the sudden interest taken in them by an unfamiliar person, and I know I’d be angry if my phone constantly rang while I’m enjoying Flog It! and a packet of boiled sweets.

‘How To Be A Class Clown’ was another pleasant read; it rather boldly claims that ‘being a class clown man will make people laugh and invite you in their social group.’

Step # 2: Try to say random things. Say the teacher breaks one of the class windows, you could stand up and say, "You have broken the window of transparency." in a funny, deep voice.

In this situation, you’re not only offering a less than amusing response, but you’re advised to stand; upon acknowledging that your gag was spectacularly unfunny, the option of joining your peers in seeking out the berk spewing jokes that even Lenny Henry wouldn’t useisn’t there – the journey back into your seat could potentially feel longer than the queues in Sainsburys on Sidney Street.

Step #3: When the class is quiet try saying things like, "cough,

cough". I think this ceased being mildly amusing in Year 5. Although I’ve highlighted potential flaws in the aforementioned articles, I can, to an extent see the logic behind wanting to befriend an elderly neighbour, or being a class clown. I’m struggling to understand what can be achieved when actively avoiding showering?

‘How To Fake Taking A Shower.’ Have you ever become somewhat irritated of having to take baths when you're in the middle of an important event?

No. I can’t think of a single time when I’ve thought ‘oh, well this is annoying; bloody personal hygiene’s interrupting an important event again!’ I suspect that these ‘important events’ might be that of the virtual kind..?

Given that a large number of the articles haven’t offered me solutions to the problems of everyday life as pledged, I have a few suggestions of my own which I wouldn’t turn down help with:

How to tell a girl that her fake UGG boots have expired? You’re not even using the sole; all that time and effort your mum spent on getting proper shoes fitted Clarkes is wasted.

How to determine which is the pedestrian lane and which is the cycle lane on Parkers’ Piece?

How to train a brain into remembering that the chap slumped over the balcony above the Cornish Pasty shop isn’t real?

Seeing as wikiHow is a strand from the Wikipedia community, treat it similarly; Wikipedia will inform you that Leo Sayer’s dead, when he’s not, he’s actually touring in Australia. So when wikiHow recommends tactics on ‘How To Make An Enormous Head Appear Smaller,’ or ‘Draw Flames On Your Face With Eyeshadow And Eyeliner,’ take it with a pinch of salt.