I Want to Mimeograph Something

If you are my age or older, and probably if you’re a woman, you know the smell of mimeo inking fluid. Yes, children, that was how you made copies before there were copiers. Gasp! Really, mommy, there was a world without copiers? Yes, without copiers, or scanners, or the freaking need to get rid of freaking dial-up and change to a new freaking address and find every little spot your old email address is embedded and search and destroy.

I mean, yes, honey. And if you made a typing mistake on this mimeo thingey, you got to use mimeo correction fluid, which was a way of just filling in the hole the typewriter had made. That had a different smell.
What’s a typewriter, mommy?

It’s a thing with keys and well, type. You banged on paper with ink on the end of keys that swung up and with mixed precision bonked a letter onto the page. If you needed just one or two copies, you could put carbon paper in between the pages. Oh, and then they created an electric typewriter so you could make mistakes really, really fast. And then they created one with all the type on a little ball that would spin around. I still have one of those. They are all the words in the English language in one place. Just not unscrambled.

Was that the first writing mommy? Oh, no, sweetheart. People have been pounding on stone for a long, long time. Sometimes with a deer antler. Sometimes they pushed little things like keys into clay. Those were the Sumerians, and they got so tired they all died.

I need to borrow some freaking 14-year-old to make this damned transition for me. Can I tell you how long it took me to get rid of my damned AOL toolbar, which I never meant to have in the first place? What’s the deal with toolbars, anyway? Who the hell uses those? Oh, and I tried to get rid of my Norton so I could install my free McAffee, but the Norton didn’t go away quickly enough and was fighting the McAffee and everything just went to hell in a handbasket for a while.

I made a deal with my husband. New Jersey just made it illegal to use a cell phone with your hands. I don’t know how to use one without my hands, and I don’t have the damned widgets needed to make it happen. I want to go back to driving without talking. So no hands-free widgets. No phone calls. No blackberry, blueberry, dingleberry.

I’ve done well for a 50-year-old adaptable, hip, you’d never know it kinda gal. But today, I hit the wall. I’d like to be able to make some copies on a mimeograph machine.


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