In which my own marketing nearly kills me

I am not normally the type to read instructions, at least not at first. I’m perfectly happy to go over them once I’ve taken a shot at something, but my usual method is to muddle in and see if I can figure things out before touching the instructions. I’m not stubborn about it or anything like that; I just don’t go for the instructions first.

My new banner arrived today. I like it! It looks nice! And I should take a second and thank Jamie Noble Frier for the amazing artwork and Michael J. Martinez for the cover blurb. (Have you read Tales: The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 3 yet? Get on that.)

The new banner is built into that base. It did not come with instructions.

Have you ever used one of these things before? There is a tension rod behind the banner itself. It hooks into the metal piece at the top of the banner, but 1) you need to know the feet are there (they rotate underneath the base for ease of transport) and 2) you need to be standing on the feet before you try and pull the banner up because otherwise the base is going to snap up toward your hands after a second or two and the whole thing becomes very unwieldy and also 3) it is not immediately clear how to hook the top of the banner into the top of the tension rod, especially if you do what I think is the natural thing and try to pull the banner up while standing in front of it, meaning that you’re obscuring your view of the tension rod while you’re pulling the banner up.

This means that two or three times you will either lose your grip on the banner or you will not seat it properly and it will crash back down into the base at what is frankly a terrifying velocity and volume and you will yell loud swears and your son will ask you what is wrong in a vaguely frightened tone of voice that you will be ashamed for making him use.

So. For future reference:

  1. Rotate the feet out from underneath the enclosure so that they are perpendicular to the base.
  2. Stand on the feet, behind the banner.
  3. Insert the extended tension rod into both of the holes in the base. There are TWO holes. The second one is invisible and it will take a moment to get the rod into both. FIND THEM BOTH.
  4. While continuing to stand on the feet, lift the banner up over your head and insert the tab on the tension rod into the slot on the banner. TEST IT to make sure it is seated properly.
  5. Walk away slowly, terrified that your footsteps will transmit a shock to the banner through the floor and it will snap back into place.
  6. Do not touch the fucking thing again until you are ready to take it down, and when you are, do it very carefully.

Learn from my mistakes, y’all.

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