A few hours ago, my girlfriend and I were chatting about how the airport in Milan that we had just flown into for tomorrow’s concert looked like it was in the middle of a forest. Recalling the last time that I felt as if I was in such woodland terrain – at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin – I made some throwaway comment about the craziness of seeing wild boars running across the entrance to the stadium a few nights before the concert. She responded – as she often relentlessly does – with lighthearted, self-pitying scorn, “Oh, you mean the boars that I asked you to send me a picture of yet you still haven’t?!” Matching scorn with scorn, and taking the opportunity once again to question whether my Bruce-resenting girlfriend ACTUALLY reads my lengthy diatribes, I retorted, “I included a picture of the ol’ boars in the footnotes of my Berlin piece, which you not only claimed to have read but even liked! As such, you totally should’ve seen the furry creatures by now…” Her fateful response, which inspired this rather random, hopefully brief post:
“Oh, I never read your footnotes.”
“Why?!,” quoth I.
“Because after I click on them…” quoth she, “…it takes me a year and half to scroll back up and find where I left off before the footnote took me all the way to the bottom of the post.”
Truthfully, a few people have expressed some confusion as to how to properly treat the footnotes, but I usually just chalked up such problems to the technological illiteracy of a select few of my more geriatric readers, and assumed a large majority of you have figured out on your own the best way to seamlessly read the footnotes as you progress through one of my behemoths. But now, since my slightly-older-than-me-but-still-fairly-young girlfriend who I always considered to be somewhat technologically advanced has had trouble with them, I thought I’d post this simple step-by-step guide on how to best deal with my sometimes excessive number of footnotes.
Imagine this is a normal post, and you’re just coasting along reading without any numerical distractions. BUT, out of the blue, a pesky footnote – in the form of a number – appears. When you stumble across it, you should click the corresponding number with your cursor or finger. Let’s do it together. And note: there WILL be a sort of quiz at the end of this tutorial to make sure that everyone is on the same page – as Bruce says, nobody wins unless everybody wins! Here we go…
A numerical footnote is going to appear at the end of this sentence – please click on it now.
Welcome back. What’s the passcode?
If you don’t know the passcode – and especially if you skipped clicking on the footnote altogether – then you have not followed the instructions correctly. SHAME ON YOU. If that’s the case, go back to footnote number 2 and click on it. Once you know the passcode, you’ve successfully mastered the art of the footnote!
Let’s do it again because, you know, practice makes perfect. Click on this upcoming 3rd footnote now.
For those who’ve been performing these steps correctly all along, my apologies for wasting your time with this post. (If you didn’t click on that 4, you’re ruining my day). But if this post has proven revelatory for you and you’re now wondering how much you’ve missed, I wouldn’t worry too much; you can very easily go back and read all of them. But even if you don’t, you haven’t missed THAT much. I try not to include anything too essential in the footnotes because such content should be included in the main part of my pieces. Basically, you’ve deprived yourself of some pithy asides, random factoids/statistics, and overly detailed performance notes that I didn’t deem sufficiently integral to understanding the general nature of a concert but still worthwhile enough that some of y’all may find interesting – and I’m all about giving as many different types of people the option of getting what they want. I just didn’t realize until now that some of you may not have known how to get what you want in regards to the footnotes. Hopefully that’s clarified now…
If memory serves, the most crucial footnote so far was the first one in my aforementioned Berlin report, because I wanted to start by refuting a claim that I knew many readers could throw at me to try to delegitimize the entire piece. All of the arguments that I put forth in the piece were somewhat founded on the ideas expressed in that footnote; the only reason that I deemed it worthy of nothing more than a footnote was because I had already fleshed out my thoughts on the matter in a previous write-up here. For those of you who’ve actually read every single word that I’ve posted on this website, I figured you wouldn’t want to spend more than a footnotes amount of time delving back into the exact same territory.
See, now that you understand how to properly access my footnotes, you’ll never miss a lame mother joke ever again! Aren’t you lucky…
 Hi, Mom!
 Voila – now we’re in a footnote! Here’s the part that I feel like some haven’t figured out yet. When you’re done reading this footnote, simply click the number – in this case the ‘2’ – that begins this footnote. Doing so will immediately bring you back to the original footnote that brought you here from the middle of the textual body of the post, thus allowing you to seamlessly transition back to reading the rest. Are you ready to click on the number ‘2’ at the beginning of this footnote after you’re through reading here? I hope so. Ok, the passcode is, “Bruce, please play more songs from Tunnel of Love.” Now, click on the number ‘2’ at the beginning of this footnote.
 Now click on the ‘3’ at the beginning of this footnote to go back…
 Though at the very least you got a peak into the nature of my relationship with my girlfriend! Alright, now click on the ‘4’ at the beginning of this footnote to go back to where you were in the piece proper…
 This is probably wholly unnecessary, but I’m going to explain anyways JUST IN CASE even one of you isn’t aware of this: whenever you see a portion of text in a different color and it looks like you can click on it, then you in fact CAN click on it. Almost always, these hyperlinks bring you back to the post that I’m referring to in the highlighted text, in this base being my report from Berlin.
 There’s another hyperlink for you.
 Hi, Mom!