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Where’s Johannes Gutenberg When You Need Him?


“Everything is amazing and nobody is happy” by Meowbay

I realize that most of my day is spent using machines that were science fiction not long ago.  I work in a medium that didn’t exist 75 years ago.  I move at 85 miles per hour regularly, and I call people all over the world while doing so.  It’s basically magic.

What I’m doing right now?  Blogging?  Literally unthinkable at the time I was born.  Not even science fiction was predicting the Internet until it was well on its way.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that Louis C.K. is right: Everything’s amazing.

So, I shouldn’t complain when things don’t work, but last week…

Literally every single copy machine in the building broke within a fifteen minute period.  First, the office copier ran out of ink.  So, I went to the writer’s office.  After about three pages, their copier jammed.  It was one of those epic jams where you open every single door, tray, flap, and drawer, but you still can’t find that one hole punch that’s sitting on a gear somewhere.

So, downstairs to the art department I go.  Their copier crashed.  Rather, the computer running the copier crashed.  BSOD.  Error 404.  Red ring.  Dead.

This shit didn’t happen with mimeograph machines.

Man, clothing styles were weird in the 70s, weren't they?
This is what mimeograph machines look like, right?

It was at this point I had to drive to Kinko’s. Obviously, this is more expensive, but hey, I’m not paying for it, right?

Not directly.

I had to copy 118 scripts (who knows how they come up with this number), but I couldn’t just hand the master copy over to the guy at the counter and say, “Have at it, young man!”

See, this script is “confidential.” I couldn’t let the guy with the high speed, high capacity copy machine even touch these sanctified pages.  I had to use the customer copiers.  Inevitably, they ran out of paper, ran out of toner, or overheated from continuous use.

It took hours. Moving from copier to copier, bugging the clerks, keeping track of the multiple receipts.  And you wouldn’t believe the glares I got from the other customers.  I can’t imagine a less efficient way of doing it.

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5 Responses

  1. To Nathan: LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

    “On the positive side, it was the closest you could come to getting stoned in First Grade.”

  2. This shit didn’t happen with mimeograph machines.

    Clearly, you didn’t spend much time with mimeograph machines. Laying the mimeograph paper on the drum straight was an absolute nightmare. Sorta like trying to get a piece of Saran Wrap to hang completely straight without sticking to itself. And, if I remember, it left blue shit on you everywhere it touched you.

    On the positive side, it was the closest you could come to getting stoned in First Grade.

  3. Thank you for a good laugh!

    I wonder, do not these pro copy guys some form of woe of silence? Or couldn’t you just have stood by him while he did the job, making sure he didn’t read or made 119 copies?

    It feels like it must have been much easier for you to miss pages or leave original pages behind in the copier or left jammed paper being readable rather than a pro giving the script feet.

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