How to tear a phone book in half

Your thumbs should be on top, you fingers underneath, and your hands should be fairly widely spaced.

Hold your thumbs stead on the top side of the book, but slide your fingers inwards. The movement should resemble a supervillain steepling their fingers, but upside down.

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The motion of your fingers should pinch most of the bottom section of the book into a deep 'v'. This 'v' fans out all the bottom pages of the book, giving them space. You can use your thumbs to help crease the 'v'. Meanwhile a few top pages are still together, making it look impressive when you roll your hands outwards, almost like you're peeling a banana, and ripping slowly through the book.

Some will find this too much effort, and seek and easier solution. There is one available, but you have to be domestically inclined. As paper ages and loses moisture, it becomes brittle.

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The problem is, this takes time. Unless you have a phonebook from the s, you don't have that kind of time. Fortunately, there are ways to speed the process along.

Put the phonebook in a dish - preferably a clean pyrex baking dish - and throw it in the oven. Turn up the heat to around degrees Fahrenheit, not Celsius and let it sit for a couple of hours. It will become extremely fragile, and will tear pretty easily. Do not exceed degrees, since this will probably set your oven on fire, and the firefighters won't be impressed, even if you do tear the blackened phone book in half afterwards.

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Start on thinner phone books, to practice your technique. Over time, when you get the hand movements down and come up with a reliable way of fanning out the pages, it will get easier and easier. Soon you'll be able to impress drunken strangers for up to 30 seconds at a time!

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