Sorry, ran out of room in the subject line.

"Now, please don't laugh, but could somebody please explain to me how to use a monopod?"

My birthday is in a week and I am thinking of getting a monopod. There are many times that I would like an extra stop or two but don't want the hassel of lugging around my tripod. I understand that you can get 1-2 stops using a monopod so I think that would be a good choice for me. Of course, it won't do me much good if I'm not using it properly.

I asked this question on Photo.Net some months back but never really got an answer other than either "why bother" or "you don't already have a monopod?".

Also, if anybody has anything that I should definitely look for or avoid in a monopod, that would be helpful as well.