Dear Dr. Boli: A while ago I bought a printer cartridge, and it came with a little piece of plastic over it that said “REMOVE.” So I pulled it off and left it in the box. But it sat there in the box, still saying “REMOVE.” So I removed it from the box and set it on the desk. It just sat there on the desk, saying “REMOVE.” So I removed it from the desk and tossed it in the trash can. But it was still sitting there on top of the trash, saying “REMOVE.” So I took it out of the trash and put it on the windowsill, where it sat, mocking me, saying “REMOVE” in white block capitals.
I am a shell of a man, Dr. Boli. I have removed this thing from the windowsill, from my dresser, from the kitchen table, from the top of the refrigerator, from the bathroom sink, from the porch swing, from the dashboard of my car—wherever I put it, it sits there, mocking me with its simple gothic type! Anything is better than this agony! Anything is more tolerable than this derision! I feel that I must scream or die!
So, anyway, what do you suggest?
—Sincerely, A Puzzled Consumer.
Dear Sir: The only way to break the curse is to lay the object on your neighbor’s porch. It then becomes your neighbor’s duty to remove it, and how he deals with the problem is his own business—unless, of course, he ends up leaving it on your porch. In that case, it may help to remember that a certain quantity of explosives might be trusted to vaporize the object, fulfilling your obligations to the printed directions on it by removing it permanently from the material universe.