Contact Info

Questions? Concerns? Invitations to high-society potluck dinners?
Email us at

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How do I excel at being a waiter?

Waitering or waitressing is has been called an art by waiters and waitresses. They refer to it as a skill that has helped them connect with people, enhanced their prioritizing skills, and also put some extra coin in their purse (with exceptions to the few non-nancy boy waiters.) While they may feel that having this life skill is completely unique to them after spending years in this profession, The Survival Guide offices feel we have a pretty good grasp on what makes a good waiter/waitress based on our restaurant observations.

We have scowered the city's many Famous Daves for the most authentic serving experiences, taking notes and making graphs out of crayons and placemats we demanded. Here are some tricks to the trade we observed.

Always be entertaining
People do not go to a restaurant to eat, they go to enjoy the decorations and to watch the lesser-fortunate families. Above all, they go in hopes that their waiter/waitress is equally excited about jackshit. Your success in waitering/waitressing is dependent on how well you can rile up a party as you take orders for some stupid drinks and entrees. Have a joke that's clean enough for an entire family, so you can really get'em rolling on the floor*. I suggest a Pollack joke, because it's something everyone can enjoy, and it serves them right. Damn Pollacks.

*People rolling on the floor might be a blatant disregard for health code and fire code. Make sure to know your restaurant's limites before telling a filthy Pollack joke.

Don't be a stranger
When you are waiting on a table, your customers do not know where you are whenever you are not with them. Sure, you could be busy with other orders, but it is equally possible that you are hunting down their distant relatives, armed only with a bow and your street smarts. Remove these fears by being in eyesight constantly. That way, they do not have to fear for their relatives the same they did for mine in the Poland-England War of 1953.

So many arrows... Everywhere...

Forget things
From my time observing waiters/waitresses, the biggest relief was those few times that the check came when an item we ordered was not listed. As a server, you must realize that these are hard times for anyone, and if you could just give someone a little break every once in awhile by glossing over the check, you can make a big impact on lives. You do not want to seem bourgeoisie by making people pay for EVERYTHING they ordered. We are all part of the working class. You can't simply expect people to pay for all the things they ordered without seeming like a tool. Hell, unnecessary price gouging is what started that whole war anyhow, and thank God it took England to level out those filthy people.

Be hittable
As a customer, we like to imagine things. Things that we could not ever tell you about, like how we'd imagine us, riding pegasus above hellfire while boning majestically as lesser imps and demons nip at the hooves of our winged stallion. You should come into work knowing that you might be seen juxtasposed into this famous England-Poland War imagery.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sensitivity Training: Working With Women in the Workplace

There was a time in this country where smacking a female coworker’s ass was a sign of good faith. Those times have gone, and for good reason. Everyone knows that smacking a female coworker’s ass could make other female coworker’s jealous because their asses remained unslapped. Then, as a well-respected gent, you’d be obligated to smack the asses of all women in the work place, to make sure no one was left feeling inadequate. Before you know it, entire workdays would be spent slapping ass and productivity would take a substantial hit and because we live in an ever-competitive businesses world, we can’t afford to spend workdays slapping asses to make sure feelings don’t get hurt for fear of a competitor getting the leg up on your place of employment. This, as is commonly known, is why it’s considered rude to smack a coworker on the ass.

But it hardly ends there. Working side-by-side with women is far greater than a simple matter of not slapping ass. Be warned: when interacting with a female coworker there is never a right way. There are only wrong ways. Here are some common scenarios a male is likely

Scenario: A female coworker asks if she can borrow your stapler.
Wrong way: Hand her the stapler like it’s no big deal.

Right way: Tell her she looks nice as you fumble idiotically trying to pick up the stapler to hand it to her. If she shows any sign that she did not genuinely enjoy the compliment you should be ashamed. You could have phrased that so much better! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Scenario: A female coworker is going on a lunch run and wants to know if you want anything to eat.
Wrong way: Tell her what you want and hand her money.

Right way: Don’t ask for anything but hand her a wad of bills anyway. Wait, why is she doing the run to begin with? Chivalry is dead and it’s all your Goddamn fault! Oh great, I bet you’re feeling nauseous now. If you have to puke wait till she leaves, you can’t show weakness around her, that might make her uncomfortable and you don’t want to ruin her day. Oh God, do you think you ruined her day? In that case, you might want to puke in front of her in an attempt to appease her.

Scenario: A female coworker is being a bitch to you for completely unprovoked reasons.
Wrong way: Confront her about it in a positive manner and explain to her that you’re willing to help her out but you’d appreciate if she didn’t take her aggression out on you for no reason.


Friday, December 26, 2008

D.I.Y Time: Snow blower

Fuck snow. Usually this section of the entry is to cajole the reader into beleiving that we are on the same page, but I am so confident that people are sick of snow that I can just come out and boldly state "fuck snow." And while to say "fuck snow" leaves it to interpretation, as one questions whether this is a physical demand or figurative, I answer your question by saying "with a really big snow blower."

The snow blower is yet another way man has asserted himself over nature by using his prowess in machinery and gasoline to move snow in the loudest way possible. Just as we have conquered lawns with mowers, we can control snow with blowers. Though they are nice, they cost money. And gas still costs money. So what are you suppose to do with your crippling fear of monetary transactions?

1. Get some blades
Snow hates getting stabbed. You know that satisfying crunch you hear when you step on snow? That's the snow crying, which is tragic because its tears are warmer than the actual snow and the snow will end up kill itself at a faster than the sun will. Use their crippling flaws against themselves. Get some string and loosely tie some blades to a towel pole. Then, swing it around real fast. This emulates the power of the snow blower, and is also the perfect weapon for street muggings. No one will know how to respond with your knife maypole.

2. Find a leaf blower
The leaf blower can be fashioned to blow away the freshly cut snow with some clever engineering tricks. If you do not have a leaf blower, go to your neighbors with your knife maypole.

3. Car engines
Go to your front yard and pick up the car engine that is sitting on cinder blocks. The snow means you might need to thaw it out, so just put it in an oven or microwave for a few moments. Microwave works best, because it's nuclear powered. When it is fully dried, tie the knife maypole to the engine, and use the blower engine to blow away the snow you have.

Your finished product should resemble something like this:

Just push it up and down the driveway, and your pavement will never look as stunning.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How do I prepare myself for a post-apocalyptic future?

Christmas Eve is upon us and Christmas is quickly followed by the New Year’s and a new year should be a constant reminder that one of these days shit’s going to go wrong hardcore and your life may very well be taken in some sort of nuclear holocaust. However, there is likely going to be a handful of survivors and one of them very well be you (but probably not because you’ll likely die of radiation poisoning but you may mutate before you die, so that’d be fun for a bit), so Christmas Eve is as good as a time as any to talk about preparing yourself for life after the world’s inevitable end.

Maybe you will be in a submarine when the bombs fall, I don’t know, but the point is you could be alive (but again, probably not) so let’s talk business.

Find out what people are using for currency.
Money makes the world go round and you don’t want to look like a jackass trying to buy things with obsolete American tender when everyone is using Pokemon cards as money. Pay special attention to whether or not the new currency is finite in number. If the new currency is man-made, then there’s not a lot to worry about, but let’s say, for example, the new currency is condoms. No one is going to be making more condoms because the condom factories will have been blown to pieces, so it might be in your best interest to try to hoard as much as you can. Also, they’ll be useful because I’m sure there will be all kinds of nuclear STD’s after the bombs drop. Even better, if you’re able to monopolize the world’s condom supply you would become incredibly wealthy and you could call yourself the “Safe Sex Sultan,” which has always been a dream of mine.

Find out if you’re the last of your gender.
Hypothetically speaking, if there is a single guy hoarding all the condoms, there is going to be a baby boom because people aren’t going to stop boning. Unless of course you’re the last man or woman. If you’re the last man, it’s going to be a pretty sweet deal. If you’re the last woman however, expect to live the life of a termite queen: bloated, constantly birthing, and always covered in your offspring. You might also grow mandibles. Pregnant women may be very different in the future.

Stay away from pet stores.
Nuclear bombs have the potential to give any animal the Godzilla treatment, making it enormous and giving it lightning breath. If you are scavenging buildings for food and supplies, leave the pet stores alone for fear of being maimed by a huge radioactive Golden Retriever puppy that has giant scorpions living on its back.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Writing Workshop: How do I write science fiction?

Science fiction is an intimidating genre of writing, because good science fiction makes the reader believe that the writer knows what he is talking about. This is one of the many tricks to the sci-fi trade. Your job is to create an alternate world which you readers can relate to, but how can anyone sympathize for Mars or Martians or space vegetables. Here are some quick guidelines to making your own space opera epic.

Check your adjective use
People know what apple juice, beds, and heaters are, but how can you use this in order to further your sci-fi career? Let's say that you have a character who really likes juice, but he does not have juice because he is living on Phobos. This is quelled by simply stating "(Main character) grabbed a glass and started pouring himself some SPACE JUICE."

We both establish that the main character likes juice, and that the future has brought us space juice. Here are some other items you can use:

SPACE paper
MOON sleeping
STAR sleeping
COSMIC bowling
SPACE heater

That's it!
You can try writing towards a theme or have your novel be a response to something, but all of that will come easy once you establish your environment and product names. Even if you do not know how to actually write a story, people will be enthralled with the alternate universe you created out of futuristic bowling, heaters and pies.

Amazon Customer Reviews for Leon Firestone

Back in October, Leon and I went on a bit of a Tesla coil kick. We dedicated an entire area of the guide office to Tesla coils. Although it probably started out with some sort of research intention, those suckers just look cool. Little did we realize that a machine that shoots lightning would consume copious amounts of electricity. As a result, our electric bill reached a new staggering high. Lacking funds because we had just spent all of our money on like 40 Tesla coils, we took the next responsible step towards making money to pay our high utility bill: we hijacked mail trucks and took stole boxes. Then, the plan consisted of two parts. 1.) I would then open an Amazon store and sell the contents of the box while 2.) Leon would cram himself into the now empty box and he would be shipped to the original location. The former part of the plan eventually got us the necessary money. The latter part was just for funsies.

Here are some of the reviews from those lucky people who got a man crammed into a box instead of whatever the hell the paid for:

[No stars] Was not a television,
By Fredrick Quinn (Peoria, IL)
When you buy a 42-inch plasma television off a respected online vendor, you have some expectations. One of which is that the TV box will not contain a man that will scream real loud when you open the box. My wife is scarred and won’t go near any televisions now without crying. To make matters worse, the man stole our old TV on the way out.

[1 stars] Would not recommend,
We just moved into a new house with a big backyard so I wanted to surprise my kids with a play set one day before they came back from school. The dimensions of the box were inaccurate; I had expected a bigger play set for my kids. Instead only one of my three children could climb on the play set at a time. And after about a week, the damn thing fell on our dog and then blew away in the wind.

[5 stars] Changed my life,
By Dennis Kubly
Never before had I expected a cookware set to help me come to terms with my homosexuality. I had worried I was going to live my entire life in the closet but again, the Rachel Ray brand has come through for me.

[No stars] JUST A DUDE,
By Anime4EVER

Monday, December 15, 2008

How do I rock climb?

[The following article was written by Leon Firestone and was rejected from Climbing Magazine in 1973. No reason was given in the response as to why it was denied, so that was not very constructive on the part of Climbing Magazine's, now was it?]

Mountain climbing is a misunderstood sport for several reasons. Largely because you can be the best at it without any real barometer for skill. The trick to becoming a successful rock climber like me is to adjust your scope so you cannot fail. For example,

Notice the steady incline in the waterfall? Notice how it is made of rocks? Rocks you can climb? By successfully scaling this, you are a rock climber. This guide is not just how to be a successful rock climber, though. Here are some tips and tricks to help you climb your own rocks.

Find a climbable rock
Notice that we settle for climbable and not "challenging" or "on fire." If you want to learn how to rock climb, you have to walk before run, and then run before you can rock climb. Try something that goes only ankle or shin high. I suggest a cemetery, but only because I am a fan of the macabre.

Gear up
Pack your Survival Guide to Everyday Life Survival Kit, which you should have on your persons at all times anyway. All of it.

There is also the matter of personal preparation. Make sure to do you exercises as rock climbing can be an exhaustive experience. To insure you get the proper training, please buy The Survival Guide to Everyday Life "Training Rock." Also, get loads and loads of crampons. Not for better traction, but to make the rock you choose as your bitch.

The ascent
If the rock does not stand higher than your knee, simply step on it with one foot, and try to find a way to fit the other foot.

If the rock is higher than your knee, then try to jump and scissor the rock in such a way that you stay off the ground. As long as you are off the ground, this counts as a successful rock climb.

If the rock is above your torso, try sit on it by jumping up butt first. If your feet are on the ground while you are sitting, just swing them around so your entire body is on top of the rock, or just pick up your knees.

If the rock is above your chest, find a new rock. You are not ready for the big leagues.

I hope this gets you interested in rock climbing and starts you on your climbing career, readership of Climbing Magazine!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Actor’s Corner: Nailing a Part With No Preparation

The time will come when you will you expecting a production of Our Town but only moments before the curtain goes up, a clearly frazzled director will leap from the stage apron to your row and beg you to take the role of George Gibbs. You will chuckle to yourself and decline politely. Then the director will take a knee and beg you, explaining he can spot a George Gibbs from a mile away and that he needs you because in an act of gross oversight he failed to cast the character. You will tell him you are indeed flattered, but still, you cannot. At this point, audience members around you will begin to say encouraging things. One stern man will yell that only queers don’t like the theatre. This will start a slow clap and the director will take you by the hand and lead you backstage.

This will happen. It’s important you don’t fuck it up. People paid good money to see a production and now this is your problem. Only moments ago you were so like them: not expecting to be George Gibbs. However, the theatre has no time for your expectations.

Note: the following advice is universal and does not pertain specifically to the character of George Gibbs or Our Town at all, for that matter. In fact, I never liked Our Town. It’s like, I get it Thornton Wilder, everybody dies. I didn’t need a 3 Act play to tell me that. I mean, mad props for getting a Pulitzer for Drama. That’s really impressive. And I mean that sincerely. I even like the idea of the narrator breaking the fourth wall but still, this shit is boring.

People are easily impressed by accents.
Just talk with an accent. Just make sure it’s an accent that’s different than the rest of the characters. It adds another level to the character because clearly he is an outsider and that makes him mysterious. Is your character running from the law? Perhaps he was heavily involved in the sex slave business? These are the questions the audience will ask if you have an accent. Just those two questions, though.

Your character should have a mustache.
Mustaches allow you complete anonymity. This is good for two reasons: on one hand, it allows you a chance for some theatrics at the end of the play when you remove your moustache and everyone gasps at your true identity and two, if you totally bomb your part people will be looking for a guy a mustache to provide some constructive criticism for. As an actor, receiving constructive criticism is an unspeakable shame. If you already have a mustache (perhaps because you’re an accomplished actor that expects roles to be thrown at him) put a bigger, fake mustache on top of your regular mustache. If you are a woman and have a mustache, do not put on a bigger mustache. Not like it you’d get the chance to act in anything; ain’t no motherfucker going to ask you to be in a play if you’re some lady with a moustache.

Distinct physical abnormalities show skill.
Hannibal Lector was creepy because he didn’t blink. Using this logic, your character should just be crippled. Unless there is another character in the play that is already crippled. In which case, you should be at least three times as crippled as he is. You might have to be creative, though. If another character is wheelchair-bound, it’s going to be hard to out cripple that. If your character was dragged around by a belt tied to his arms pulled by the dogs, that just might out-do wheelchair.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How do I lose my virginity the Leon Firestone way?

Be 15: This stage is important because you are far too innocent to actually go out of your way to make an elaborate plan to net you sex. This is also before the 'Why does no one want to bone me" mentality kicks in at 17. Also, at 15, you are less likely to be in a situation in which you will try to booze a girl into sleeping with you. If you were 15 and this happened, I kind of want to be your friend.

Be at a Styx show: I'm not sure how this holds up to today's musical standards, but the Styx rocked pretty hard. Regardless, I am sure you're chances of losing your virginity will not be hindered by the fact that is a greatest hits show. Their music is known for the smooth, arousing rhythms, and will no doubt get prospective mates in the mood. This was later reaffirmed when the police approached my car pulled off to the side of the road, blasting Mr. Roboto with the windows down, and caught me fervently masturbating.

Find a drunk mother who is in the wrong bathroom: This part can get tricky, as a lot of it comes to pure chance. You cannot just wait in the bathroom for her because you would scare away her presence, but you must check just enough so it does not seem creepy that you walk into the bathroom, look through doors, and walk away disappointed. Try to pick up the telltale signs of a drunk mother in the wrong bathroom. Do the people in stalls have heels on? Do you hear a drunken woman in your immediate area? Is their hysterical crying? All of these must be taken into account.

The beauty of this is that the drunk mother should guide you through the process in the tone of a caring mother, which is admittedly screwed up and will probably mess you up with sex for the next three years. Fortunately, if she's drunk enough, the caring tone is turned into "Do it, you faggot. With your dick," like my case. There are a few regrets, as i never knew her name, but I am still happy I was able to get that out of the way to enjoy Sail Away as a finale. Man, such an epic song. It has everything a song should have: exposition, rising action... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Point of the matter is, go to a Styx show and become a man in the most dignified way possible. Or else you are gay.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Corrections to The 2003 World Almanac

Despite being a New York Times bestseller, the 2003 edition of the World Almanac is not without factual inaccuracies.

I have noticed the following errors in the following sections:

Noted Personalities – Composers of Classical and Avant Garde Music
Not included in this section is Walter Beardly, my landlord at the time. Beardly would compose elaborate musical scores and then sing them as he crawled around the building’s vent system. Although this was terrifying in a way words cannot describe, he made a deal with all the tenants that he wouldn’t charge for utilities as long as we didn’t move out and gave him constructive criticism on his compositions from time to time. Although he may not be well known, an almanac can’t call itself an almanac if it it’s not all-inclusive especially when he had such an impact on a single community's musical world.

Nations – South Africa
The entry fails to mention that the currency for South Africa is fingers. This is very significant for not only cultural reasons, but also ethical reasons. Based on their currency system alone, South Africa has managed to provide an answer to a question that has plagued thinkers since the beginning of time: how much is a single human being worth? South Africa’s answer: 10.

Sports- Women’s National Basketball Association
Although not technically wrong, there is a line between being a helpful reference and just wasting paper. With over two pages dedicated to the WNBA, the 2003 World Almanac is guilty of killing and wasting trees.

Price – 19.95
Wrong. Two weeks ago I paid almost double that for this damn almanac. The people behind The World Almanac really need to be able to predict the changing value of the dollar and how much you will pay for an outdated reference when a man pulls you into an alley and holds you at knife point and demands you will pay an inordinate amount of money for said almanac. These things happen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Public Outcry: How it's made: Turkey Killing Machines

Now is the time that we give something back to the community. When someone does a Google search and they happen upon The Survival Guide, we can read what they searched for. However, some of the things people search for are not answered on our site, so this is our way of helping out the answer-seekers, one by one.

The Query: how do turkey killing machines work?

Our Response: "How It's Made: Turkey Killing Machines"

The Survival Guide still has a pending lawsuit with the Discovery Channel due to the likeliness of their show "How It's Made" has to our world-renowned reoccurring segment, also called "How It's Made." Mr. Jones said that he would organize a case against them with everything he's learned from People's Court. He said he was going to go to the court, and he left the office humming the theme song, so I knew he was focused about law. Then he came back 3 hours later covered in blood and screaming. Just screaming. Not trying to say anything or respond to me. Just screaming.

Regardless, we are waiting for Discovery to apologize and change the name of their show to something more fitting, like "How these things are done," "Makin' stuff," " or "The Survival Guide to Everyday Life Presents How It's Made."

Anyhow, Turkey Killing Machines? This query is quite a broad subject, so I believe the querier is looking for either turkeys that are killing machines, or killing machines that have been made by turkeys. For the latter, I would direct you towards the documentary Chicken Run, as it showcases some of the Chicken technology and Mel Gibson. If you are researching the former, then still watch Chicken Run. It is such a good film.

In hindsight, I wish the query was "Please tell me all about how the Discovery Channel is run by two-bit idiots." I was riding that rage, then some guy just HAD to know turkey killing shit. I mean, I love the Discovery Channel. Shark week is marked on all of my calendars, with the day before marked "Stock up on booze, drugs and women." The Survival Guide office throws a soiree of sorts. It's all very high class and revolves around the longest running week dedicated to sharks on cable television.

But Mythbusters? The show based around our own penchant towards the world and my Walrus-'tache? It's amazing they aren't giving us money for that idea, but they aren't because that case was thrown out by the judge. Or at least that's what Mr. Jones said. Well, wrote. On the wall. In his own blood. I'm starting to think that law is not his thing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Banned Levi's Jeans Commercials

Compared to the rest of the world, the USA gets pretty lame commercials. I once read that in Britain there was a commercial that had two naked chicks feeling each other up in a kiddie pool filled with Bailey’s Irish Cream. Interestingly enough, the commercial was for kiddie pools and not Bailey’s. The fact that booze and kiddie pools have the same demographic in the UK is just one of the many reasons they are more socially progressive than us.

Because I have an interest in all things banned and contraband, I have a collection of prohibited Levi Jean commercials on various VHS tapes, as well as a closet full of narcotics I have stolen from various police evidence closets in the state the New Jersey. If the technology existed, I would upload the videos onto the Internet but I’m afraid that day is a ways off. But when that day arrives, what a day it will be!

Because I cannot show you the commercials, I will describe them for you. After reading each description, simply close your eyes and allow your mind to take you where technology cannot!

Original air date: 12/12/1988
Description: A slightly aged (but still busty!) mother-figure is folding laundry on a bed. After folding a pair of Levi jeans she accidentally knocks the pair off the bed onto the ground. After picking up the jeans up, she realizes the rear side of the jeans are made out of hundred dollar bills. Perplexed by this, she turns the jeans over again. The side that was clearly denim a half a second earlier is now made entirely out of marijuana. The Levi logo fades in on the bottom right corner of the screen as she rolls a blunt using the jean money.

Original air date: 7/16/1994
Description: A pair of sentient jeans is running from the cops on a suburban street with a gun being held by a belt loop. The jeans kick down a door to a two-story home while returning fire through the dining room window as they climb the stairs. One of the bullets hits the police commissioner at the base of the throat. The jeans, still firing wildly, come to a bedroom balcony that overlooks the street and the now rapidly forming police barricade. A female cop with a megaphone urges the jeans to cooperate. The jeans yell back they’ve gotten their hands bloody before, but never bloody with cop blood and that there is no turning back now. The jeans then turn the 9mm on themselves but before the trigger is pulled a hail of sniper fire rips the denim apart. As the tattered jeans tumble over the balcony, the Levi logo appears in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Original air date: 5/9/2005
Description: An okay-looking man puts on a pair of Levi’s and a hot lady does not wrestle him to the ground and try to have sex with him. The reason this is banned may not be as clear as the other two (for one, it’s a federal crime to burn money and two, female cops don’t exist) so allow me to explain. Putting Levi’s on will always make hot ladies try to have sex with you. Always. If it doesn’t work, then you just haven’t bought enough. It is considered unethical to lie to customers, so the commercial was banned.