This post is a parody of my “How to Get Help from a Help Forum” post. Since some people find themselves offended by it, I thought I would create a special set of rules and guidelines just for them.

If you don’t understand what parody is, please don’t read this post. You’ll just get your knickers in a twist.

Don’t ‘s

1. Don’t pay attention to the forum rules.

Our keyboards are like treadmills for our fingers. We do a lot of typing that doesn’t mean anything, and then we post it on the internet. If it seems like we wrote it for a reason, we may have, but we certainly didn’t write it for you. You are above the rules. Laws against speeding don’t apply to you. Laws against murder, insider trading, human trafficking—none of them apply to you, because you are so smart and good looking and shiny.

2. Don’t bother to learn our culture in this forum.

Yes, there is a way we do things in here, but we are like the anti-Borg: as soon as you make an appearance, we will adapt our culture to service yours. In other words, post-colonialism is alive and well. We bow to your superior, shiny, white, male, jock superiority.

3. Don’t post in the correct section.

We set up different sections of this help forum more or less arbitrarily. Feel free to drop a post wherever you like and we will literally spend hours of our lives tracking it down. Feel free to castigate us for taking more than a nanosecond to find your post and respond to it.

4. Don’t include a link to your site.

We’re keen to guess. Seriously.

5. Don’t describe your problem in your title.

We love it when you just say “HELP!!!!!!!!! ME!!!!!!!!!!” It bumps you right to the top of our to-do lists. My empty existence is now a little less empty. Thank you.

6. Don’t bother searching the forum first.

Even though your question has been asked a thousand times already, and has been answered a thousand times already, our lives will not be complete until we formulate a completely new and original response, just for you. It completes my life.

7. Don’t be nice.

I have no self-esteem. I enjoy it when you treat me like dirt. Please stomp on my head some more. It makes me feel so good that you have taken the time to abuse me.

8. Don’t be patient.

If we don’t answer your query with a 100% correct answer within 10 nanoseconds a fairy drops down dead. And we wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?

9. Don’t describe your system set-up.

Are you using Windoze? Mac OS 10.4? A typewriter? A toaster? It doesn’t matter; we love providing solutions that work for everything.

10. Don’t tell us what you’ve already tried.

We’re mind-readers, and so we already know that. Should some of us who lack that ability suggest something that you have already tried, feel free to shoot them. They deserve it, and it saves us the trouble of hunting them down with our marshmallow lasers.

11. Don’t bother learning some basic coding skills.

My goodness, please don’t even imagine getting your hands dirty with such things. That is for the help. Please continue to treat me like I’m inferior; it will keep me from getting all uppity and stuff.


1. Spam to your heart’s content.

The world is your oyster. I love going through 900 pages of spam to find the one thing I’m actually looking for. Once again, my existence is a form of post-colonial support for your luxurious western life-style.

2. Mark all of your threads as “Urgent” or “Emergency”.

Whatever is urgent or an emergency for you immediately becomes urgent or an emergency for me. I will drop whatever it is I’m doing—be it taking care of my children, going to work, sleeping—just to solve your silly, ridiculous problem.

3. Post raw code.

If it breaks the page, so be it. Stupid web browser designers! They should create programs that know exactly what you mean so you don’t have to bother typing a backtick ([code]`[/code]) or using the [code]code[/code] code to encase your code. Those few extra keystrokes you have to do to type that could be used to press the buttons on your tv remote that will tune in some stupid show starring the Kardashians.

4. Code dump.

Until you posted 1200 lines of code for me to go through with a fine-tooth comb, my life had no meaning. Thank you so much for cleverly figuring out a way for me to spend two or three hours of my completely undeserved free time.

5. Beg, grovel, and apologize.

I know you usually don’t mean it, but only do such things as a way to get noticed. I’m noticing your shininess right now! Aren’t you special? Yes, you are.

Of course, if you do actually mean it, then I must thank you for wasting bytes, bandwidth, and my time just so I can tell you how to fix the coding equivalent of walking around with your shoes untied. If you’re three, this may be a major problem, but relax, I’m perfectly happy to act like your mother and walk around wiping your nose until you’re twenty years old.

6. Ask for something that will work in all browsers, for all time, more or less forever.

Even though it doesn’t exist, I will enjoy spending hours and days and weeks of my life trying to create code for technology which does not yet exist just because you are too lazy to keep up with things. Honestly.

7. Hijack threads.

A single thread with a single topic? Booooooooooooorrrrrrring, girlfriend. I’m so glad you are here and can mix things up and keep them exciting.

8. Ask for IE4 hacks.

I enjoy adapting 21st century technology for stuff that is ten years out of date. While I’m at it, I’m more than happy to write code which will also work on your Commodore 128 or your Timex Sinclair. Heck, I can write code that will look good on a typewriter. And I’ll do it all just to make you happy.

9. Forget about marking your thread as “resolved”.

I exist to be used. So use me. Don’t bother letting me know that my suggestion actually fixed your problem. I enjoyed being kept in the dark. I am the human kleenex.

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