Monday, September 28, 2009

Blast from the past!

On Thursday, I felt like I had entered some sort of Time Warp...or maybe Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine.

The day started all normal like. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and, during the night, the cats had peed on my shoes. There was nothing to suggest that this day would be unlike any other. And, there was certainly nothing that could have prepared me for the weird and wonderful thing I was about to experience.

My son, Connor, and I went out for a short walk. All was as it should be, until...the "thing" appeared. I wasn't quite sure what it was - it was still fairly far off - but there was something about it. Something...inviting. Yet, I was wary. I remember trying to hold Connor close as we approached it, but he kept trying to scurry ahead...as kids are want to do.

What was this strange object? It was so unfamiliar, but at the same time...familiar. It seemed to be a relic of a some lost civilization. An eerie reminder of a time long past. A world long forgotten.
With one hand keeping my curious son at a safe distance, I reached out the other...slowly. My eyes widened. Was it what I thought it was? Could it be? Would it even be possible? It looked like some sort of...writing machine. Maybe an ancient tool that helped our ancestors communicate?

With my hands now resting on it, I was in a state of both disbelief and belief. Yes, it was! It shouldn't be...but it was. Now, I'm not so sure I would have known what was sitting before me, had it not been for that High School History class that I attended...once.

Because, I had seen this thing before...in a text book. I remember the picture vividly. A family gathered around. Smiles on the children's faces. A lady...elegant but simple, with her hands placed on..."it". The machine. The writing machine. Oh, what did they call this primitive processor of words? Then it came to me. And, without thinking, I blurted out "Type Writer!"

I obviously had been entranced because I, only then, realized that Connor was now right down beside the type writer, hitting the keys with the curiosity and excitement that only a seven-year old can muster. I think there is something about seeing an item from long ago that is even more amazing than seeing a space ship.
Connor begged me to let him take it home and...I eventually gave in to his persistence. Man, those old machines are heavy!
1 pleading child + 1 heavy machine + 1 softy father = 1 slipped disk.
I risked my long term posture so that my kid could play with a turn of the century writing device. Okay, I wanted to play with it too. It was pretty awesome.

It has this little bell that would ring, whenever I reached the end of my page, and I had to manually push the carriage back, every time I wanted to start another line. In the "olden" days, even typing was exercise. I was pushing the carriage so often that I wondered if it was possible to get Carpal Tunnel in your elbow.
If I typed too fast, all those little hammers with the letters on them, would clog up. Very cool! Sometimes I would just type as quick as I could, so that I could watch them collide in this mass of metal...and then peel them back one at a time. Every once in a while, when the letter didn't appear on the page, I'd have to "back space" and type the same letter again...but harder.
Finally, I let Connor play with it...not because I was done, but because of his incessant whining about having "his turn". Kids today. They can't even wait patiently for a measly three hours.
But, Connor also had a blast with this "blast from the past". In fact, when he found out that I was going to let him keep it, he did a song and dance number that would rival anything on Broadway...except maybe Phantom.
I thought it would be great to type out today's blog on that old machine, and some how post it here. But, unfortunately, by the time I came up with that idea...Connor and I had used up all the ink on the ribbon. I tried to get more, but Home Depot was sold out...for the last 25 years.
Anyways, had I typed my blog out, here's what part of it would have looked like...

...only it would have been longer and with real words.
Have a good one,
Timmy

1 comment:

  1. I love it!!! Hey, didn't Connor say you could rewind the ribbon and use it again? It would eventually shread but hey, think of the fun to reuse something!! Aren't we into "recycling"?

    ReplyDelete

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