A Love Affair
I knew the printer wasn’t working when no typed pages flew out of her up-front opening where typed pages are supposed to fly out. Great! I spend a week feeding her $18 cartridges of yellow, magenta and black, and now that her appetite had been sated, no output. And by the way what marketing genius conceived the scam where “black” demanded yellow and magenta. It made as much sense as filling your car with gas but the car wont go unless you also bought a six pack of beer and two bags of potato chips.
Clearly I needed a new printer. This clever machine announced his death in a dialect then even I understood were death notices: Many were in languages that would defeat a Harvard professor of language but one that I could figure out said “your pal, the printer June 2, 2006 to 5 July 2016. Oh she had gone to that junkyard in the sky where you could print black without magenta or yellow.” I’d need a new printer, even worse I’d have to properly introduce the printer to the computer. I’m a scribbler not an engineer. But then relief as I thought of my great grandchild in Kindergarden. He was already 6 – he knew all about ‘puters’ as he called them. No, not a good idea - better my third grade grandchild – much more experienced. That thought cost me a quart of strawberry ripple ice cream and alarm at his mature and loud vocabulary as failure followed failure. Then inspiration lightened the room as I thought of an engineering friend who loved key lime pie. My wife, who didn’t know a printer from a nuclear reactor had just made a key lime pie! What followed was the shortest marketing phonecon on record.
“Henry, come on over and help me share a key lime pie”.
He came – he ate three pounds of key lime pie. We finished. That key lime pie was as dead as the printer. Henry – full of pie – was – as I planned – in a jovial mood. I showed him around our house. And somehow we ended in the computer room.
“Hey Ted, the wire between the computer and printer isn’t connected” (my third grader never noticed that! Public schools today are atrocious). At this point – I hung my head and confessed pie and all – the whole key lime pie inducement scheme. My friend – what a friend – jumped in the drivers seat. He pushed buttons, he tied wires, he cursed, he sweated. He condemned every printer you could imagine as my chaste computer wouldn’t mate with the low class printer. I didn’t get the whole picture but it had something to do with the “puter’s” old operating system and new printer. Such snobbery. It was age discrimination. That lousy printer should end up in court for rejecting the advances of my senior computer. But as in most fairytales, except this, THIS one is absolute truth. We somehow find a happy ending. My friend, his forehead wet with frustration mentioned that he saw another printer in my bedroom. “Yeah, its an old one – I said – somebody gave it to me”. The word “old” rang in the room like a bell – his eyes lit up like he’d just drained a fifth of champagne. “Go get it” he screamed. Sure enough, she loved that old operating system. The two devices mated in front of our eyes. In fact together they made this love story.