Have you heard of the international best-selling “Show Me How” book series? Titles include Show Me How, More Show Me How, How to Be Cool, Show Mom How and Show Dad How. The series offers stripped-down how-to tips on an incredible range of topics. Though some are impractical (I’m looking at you, “fight an octopus…”), many others are quite practical, indeed.
So when I heard that the Show Me How series had gone digital via an app called Show Me Now, I decided to download it and give it a whirl.
The app divides its advice into nine categories. Move, Eat, Style, Help, Survive, Make, Nurture, Home and Wow. And although I wish the app contained a higher number of practical how-tos, I am happy to report that Show Me Now is heavy on entertainment.
That doesn’t mean that all of the nine categories were appealing to me. The Move category, for example, I found to be pretty worthless. Unless, of course, you’re planning to get all Great Gatsby on us in the near future. Because then, I suppose, that four-step tutorial might come in handy. But “sink a free throw”? Or “deliver a tennis serve”? (By the way, deliver?) These are things one can’t learn to do via a series of bullet points. Even if they were written by Michael Jordan and delivered by Bjorn Borg. And the first bullet point in each was to stand behind the line. (Cue the no-shit music.) Gee, thanks.
I wasn’t real big on the Style category, either. Of the 34 choices, only 6 applied to men, and given that “tie a dapper ascot” and “rock the chelsea knot” were two of them, that really only left four. And I’m all set on “get a clean shave” and “divide a unibrow,” thank you very much.
If the Move and Style categories were shaky, then Nurture is flat-out earthquake. Simply horrendous, easily the worst one of the lot—“bond with baby after birth” (note use of the term “after birth”—double entendre?) and “message baby” both drawing audible laughter.
But the other six were pretty good. For example, in the Eat category, I found something I can’t wait to try on my next family camping trip—“cook cake in an orange.” It sounds simple. Just cut off the top of an orange, then hollow out the inside, fill it halfway up with cake batter, replace the top and then wrap heavily in foil. Place ‘em on the coals, making certain to turn often and 35 minutes later, you’ve got a campfire dessert with a citrus flair. Bet on a big hit with the kids.
The 28 Help how-to’s were all pretty interesting. Well, except for “save a toe,” complete with the depiction of a guy with an ax and (get this) a chopped off pinkie toe? That one was just plain gross. And I’m pretty sure that if I ever chopped off my toe, I’d probably not have my shit together satisfactorily enough to pull out the ol’ iPhone and zip through the Show Me Now app. But “treat a bee sting,” “endure a jellyfish attack,” and “treat a case of frostbite” were interesting reads.
The Survive section certainly didn’t disappoint, though it wasn’t the most practical category in the world. I’m afraid I’m gonna have to ask “avoid a gorilla fight” and “fend off a mountain lion” to take a seat next to “fight an octopus.” But “build a campfire” was solid. A little obvious, but solid, nonetheless. Especially if you’re a wuss and don’t know how to build a fire.
The Make category contained what was probably my favorite how-to, even if it did have bad idea written all over it—“launch a rocket.” (Looks like I may be toggling back to “soothe a first-degree burn” under Help if I’m not careful with that one.)
With the help of Home, my kids might get a tire swing out of the whole Show Me Now deal. And a Wow’s “make a dry ice” bomb is certainly worth a try.
All in all, a few helpful tidbits and countless entertaining how-to’s (quick shout out to “do the hug takedown”) even if I probably couldn’t ever use the majority of them in real life.
I am happy to say, however, that there was one how-to I was able to try, in the Eat category—“open wine in an emergency.” See, last night my toddler triplets experienced simultaneous meltdowns at bedtime. Although the ordeal may not have been a full-blown “emergency,” I can assure you that it rendered me in desperate need of a drink. And the bottle opener was nowhere to be found.
So I stripped my Merlot of its foil and wrapped it in a towel, then went outside and banged the bottom of it against a tree a few times. I then unwrapped the bottle from the towel and saw that the cork had begun to come out to the point where I could grab it and pull it out the rest of the way. Boom. Done.
That alone was probably worth the $2.99.
Final assessment: Show Me Now is worth a peek. It’s bound to entertain and will most definitely not disappoint, assuming you’re not counting on it to turn you into MacGyver.