The knuckle-headed nitwit who edits this publication snipped my final remarks from last week's missive, in which I was complaining about my printer, which is sucking the life out of me. I was going on about how it tries to get me to purchase products that it wants to consume. My final remark was something to the effect that I should just chuck the bloody thing and get a fax machine. But thanks to the ham-handed editor, those thoughts were left hanging in the ether. They have little impact now and I don't know with certainty why I return to the subject. Perhaps it is because I am still irked at both the editor and the printer. Printers in general are an annoying subject. Since last week (when I shared my unpleasant experience with a new printer), several readers have shared their own experiences with the confounded contraptions. One correspondent told me a woeful tale of running out of ink. That doesn't seem such a daunting task on the surface. The fellow explained that he had purchased his printer at a large box store at the reasonable price of $29. When his ink cartridge ran out he was shocked to learn that a replacement for just the black ink (not the color cartridge) was more than double what he paid for the printer. His final solution was to purchase a new printer. Another gentleman shared his tale of tragedy after buying a printer at a discount house. He, too, got the device at a substantial savings. The price was so low, in fact, that he didn't even bother to keep his receipt. It proved to be a mistake. Only after ripping into the packaging and hooking it up to his computer did he learn that his new printer was actually an old printer. I don't mean to say it was used. Rather it had sat on a shelf somewhere for so long, that its software was not compatible with the man's computer, whose operating system would not recognise the out-dated device. It occurs to me that I did not relate to you the reason I purchased a printer in the first place. I shall rectify that now. In the past, on the few occasions that I had need of a printer, I would tangle with the behemoth machine owned by the Free Press. By the way, I saw an automobile the other day that was smaller than the Free Press printer. The paper actually owns two identical monstrous machines, one of which is held in a secret location, I believe this is so it may be cannibalized to keep its brother alive. These machines are pre 21st Century, I believe, though I have no proof without doing any actual research, and I assure you I have no such intentions. They are so antiquated, if I had not actually seen the electrical cord plugged into the wall, I would have suspected they run on steam. Even on electric power, I believe they may actually contain vacuum tubes. I say this because the printers require a period of warming up before they will function. I am not stating this to amuse you. When plied into service, they sit and whir and hum for several minutes, all the while the readout says, “warming up.” Once the bloody thing has reached its required temperature, it may or may not fulfil its intended use. By this I mean to say it produces a litany of excuses as to why it will not print a document. My least favorite of these errors claims that there is a paper jam. The damn thing spit out this excuse so often that I once removed all paper from the machine and tried again to print, just to see what the machine's excuse would be. It had one, but I couldn't read it. Its readout doohicky went on the fritz. It is now just illegible gibberish. So, anyway, I bought a printer.

Appears in Issue: