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Getting Started
by Bruce McCall

Originally published in The New Yorker (Shouts and Murmurs, December 5, 2005, p.55).
Reprinted with Mr. McCall's permission.

     Congratulations on choosing your new Type A-30 / Type A-31 / Type Q-2 / Type Q-3 / Type AQ-1 / Type AQ-2 / Type AQ-2.5 / Type AQ-2000 (Type AQ-2000 is discontinued) handheld portable unit. 
     To operate in Cell Phone mode, see pp. 10-14. An unfamiliar voice will answer when you place your first call. A non-refundable fifty-dollar surcharge will appear on your monthly bill if you press ENDbefore hearing the complete message.
     To operate in Camera mode, see pp. 15-19 or press any green key.
     To operate in 3-D Cam, Spy-Cam, or Sky-Cam mode, turn the Microsoft Snoop-Cam function (on thumbwheel below viewfinder) to ON/OFF. If your unit is not a Type AQ-1, you will need a fifty-foot KordPak (see Accessories, pp. 520-608) to prevent reverse power surgeback.
     Never leave your unit in a freezer, convection oven, or cyclotron unless the Cell Phone function is set to END CHARGING(U symbol; Ü symbol on German-language units).
     The default setting for the Entertainment function is Adults Only. To switch to Mature, XXX, or Taboo, gently slap unit until the function you have chosen appears. Your credit card is not required at this time.
     To operate in Cheese Grater mode, see pp. 20-26.
     Important: If your unit has three red keys on the back (see diagram, p. 7), carefully lay it down and evacuate the premises.
     To operate in Magic Fingers mode, see pp. 27-36. (If you are not a licensed masseur/masseuse, see p. 37.)
     Always grip unit lightly while cradling it in the palm of your hand, with the logo facing up. The unit’s “creeping” tendency is normal. If unit becomes hot to the touch, use the Cell Phone function to call your local firehouse or volunteer fire department.
     Do not attempt to manually fold the attached satellite dish.
     To operate in Spot Welding mode, see pp. 38-42. Welding mask included with Type AQ-2.5 units only.
     To operate in Pants Pressing mode, see pp. 43-47.
     Note: Your unit is equipped to predict the winner of the next Irish parliamentary election (Leprechaun key), but you must enter candidate names on the Gaming keypad at least twenty-four hours before voting begins.
     To operate in Radio Habana Shortwave mode, see pp. 48-52.
     To operate in Men’s Beard Shave mode, see pp. 53-55.
     To operate in Ladies’ Leg Shave mode, see pp. 56-57.
     Microphone-feedback-adjustment dial on Type AQ-3 units is found on the faceplate (see Unit Overview, p. 2). In Types A-1 through A-18, the microphone-feedback-adjustment dial is the # key. Press until you hear a squealing noise.
     To operate in Pencil Sharpener mode, see pp. 58-62.
     To operate in Two Carolinas Redneck Culture Museum Audio Tour mode, press TOK2ME button on the thumbwheel after seeing pp. 63-64.
     This unit has been approved by the Association of American Underwriters as resistant to vibration from Antarctic drilling.
     To operate in Marine Haircut mode, see pp. 65-95.
     To operate in Kaleidoscope mode, see pp. 96-327.
     To operate in Pedometer mode, see pp. 328-329. Do not move your feet while switching to Pedometer setting.
     Do not attempt to read the Controls /Functions section (pp. 1-4) without the help of a licensed engineer. A list of recommended engineers can be found on p. 400.
     Recording the purchase date of your unit with your lawyer or guardian could void your warranty.
     If you are using your unit in the horse latitudes (see map, pp. 202-223), it cannot be switched from Marine Haircut mode to Calculator mode without a Supplementary BatteryPak or plug-in access to a power grid.
     Calculator-mode note: Never attempt to compute the distance to Betelgeuse from earth while watching C-SPAN. (See p. 401.)
     To operate in Sonar mode, see pp. 402-408. Sonar mode operation may interfere with Cell Phone reception.
     To operate G.P.S. function (Types A-3, A-2, A-1.5 only), register your whereabouts before startup by aligning Venus, the nearest Wal-Mart, and the heel of your left shoe. A Kangaroo iconograph should begin flashing on the screen.
     If you plan to use your unit as a Cell Phone only, disregard this paragraph. It is unnecessary to preset any logarithms.
     Your unit (see Type list above) has become obsolete since purchase date. Do not attempt to discard it in a slag pile, bog, recycling receptacle, or mine pit. Switch off unit before destroying. Any person throwing away a unit without switching it off will be reported to the Department of Homeland Security. 
 
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