Thanks for all the ideas people have offered for "How To" stories. Given that I need to get a talk ready for a presentation in New York later this week, I suspect I will not end up doing anything. If you miss a week, you can e-mail it later or can bring it to class the following week to be read and workshopped by the class on the spot.
When I looked to my bookshelf for inspiration, I realized the only book I have that begins with "How To" was How To Speak Minnesotan. I believe this is a book that I borrowed from someone and never returned, although I can't remember why I ever would have wanted to borrow How To Speak Minnesotan. In any event, I am not one of the zillions of attempted and actual Ph.D.'s who owns that book How To Write Your Dissertation In Fifteen Minutes A Day. I did entertain the latter as a story premise, however, especially since I couldn't figure out what would happen in a short short shory called "How to Speak Minnesotan."
My favorite Minnesota band, btw, is the Gear Daddies, especially their songs "Cut Me Off" and "Stupid Boy."*
* Wow, this sentence contains perhaps the most stupefying cognitive lapse of my entire blogging career. See comments.