Thursday, May 12, 2005

Melissa discovers a typewriter

Ye Olde Typewriter -- remember those? The keys you had to bang to make an inky imprint on the paper. The loud clickety-clack, the ding to warn you that you were near the end of the line, the ching of the lever that served as the carriage return. Yeesh, carriage return! I'm really showing my age, aren't I!

Typewriters have gone the way of the dinosaur. This one's practically a museum piece, sitting in the lobby of my brother's office. After Melissa finished ballet on Tuesday we picked up Allan from work and Melissa spotted the typewriter. It occurred to me that she'll never use one, and she'll only learn about it secondhand, like many analogue devices nowadays. I'll end up like my parents, saying things like: "In MY day....!"

"In MY day we had to take typing class! So there! We'd be tested for speed and accuracy because we had no backspace key! That's right! And don't even get me started on the DELETE key -- it was a revolution, that's what it was!"

"In MY day, we had to use messy liquid paper/Tipex/white-out to correct mistakes! The stuff was expensive and then you had to buy thinner, too!"

"In MY day, we had to use messy typewriter ribbons! And once the paper was pulled out of the machine, heaven help you if you had to put it back in and try to finish typing the page!"

"In MY day, if you wanted to insert a paragraph, you had to start all over again!"

"In MY day, we had no arrow keys! There was none of this scrolling up and down!"

"In MY day, an ELECTRIC typewriter was a luxury!"

"You kids have it SO EASY!"