Typewriter versus Computer - Part One

Interior. Courtroom. A lawyer is questioning a Sea-Foam Green Remington Streamliner II. An IBM PC Model 5150 sits at the defense table. It hums audibly throughout the proceedings.

"You're honor, I'm simply trying to establish a basis for the physical strains put on my client in its routine function... May I continue?"

The judge nods.

"Thank you. Now, you were describing the re-inking process. Would you please continue?"

"Yes, thank you." As the typewriter speaks. It clickety-clacks with each syllable finishing its sentences with a *Ding* and sliding of the page bar. "Like I was saying, the factory recommends re-inking every six months. This process has been streamlined for my model, but it can still be problematic. This is because most users shirk the recommendation and delay the re-ink. By the time they finally decide to add ink, it's long overdue and the mechanics are gummed up. This leads to frustration on the users part."

"What would you say is the typical manifestation of this frustration?"

"Would you please clarify?" Clickety-clack. Ding.

"Of course. You say people become frustrated, is that correct?"

"Yes." Ding.

"And, when they become frustrated, how do they respond?"

"Well..." Pause as the typewriter makes a cranking sound while the reel spin. "Excuse me. Well, sometimes they curse. Sometimes they pound the table. Sometimes they will strike me." Ding.

"They strike you?"


"Your honor, please have the court reporter register the witness's affirmation of the previous question."

The judge nods.

"So, would you say it is common for a user to become physically hostile towards you?"



Exterior. Night.

Aaron: Damn, it's cold, I might have to cowboy cigarette this one.

Pete: Pass me your lighter. Damn, hands are going to freeze just lighting this.

Aaron: Do you think he noticed me in there?

Pete: Got it. Damn, I need to quit. This is stupid.

Aaron: I mean, he was acting kinda weird, but I don't think he saw, right?

Pete: I wouldn't worry about it.

Aaron: Damn, he totally saw me. I shouldn't have done that. I'm just drunk. She looked good.

Pete: Dammit, pass me the lighter again.

Aaron: Should I apologize? I mean, that might make it better. I don't know. That could just make it more awkward too.

Pete: You still need to get rid of that ticket for tomorrow?

Aaron: Yeah. You interested?

Pete: Maybe. I'll let you know.

Aaron: Could you, like, let me know soon? Cuz, you know, I don't want to have to eat it and, like—

Pete: Yeah, okay.

Aaron: I think they're fighting now. He looks really pissed. Oh, he just put on his coat. He's leaving. He's heading this way. Heyyyy, how's it going, buddy? Heading home already? It's freezing out here. I'm going back inside.


Pete: You want one. No, it's cool, I need to quit anyway.

Not interested

"I'm sorry, I'm really not interested."

"While I understand that money may be tight, it's tight for all of us, I must reiterate the urgency of this campaign. Take a look at this. Yes, you see there, that's a projection of what will happen if current trends continue. Pretty shocking, right?"


"I know, it's incredible. And let me show you something else. You're not going to believe this. Hold on, one second let me find it. Ok, right, here, these are actual photographs of what's happening. Now, you might think that's terrible, but you can't do anything. Well, we like to think of it as a 'coffee a day.' That's all that it takes to..."

"I'm sorry, I'm really—"

"No, you hold onto that, it's okay. Yeah, we really need contributions all the time. We're a grassroots organization and we need full-scale opposition."


"Now, the best way you can help is by becoming a monthly subscriber, so can we count on you to make that commitment. No, that's okay, I have plenty. You keep that."

"I don't know."

"Let me show you something else—"

"Twenty dollars a month?"

"Well, technically, to be considered a member, you'll need to commit to fifty dollars a month. But that does include a thank you gift. Let me get that out for you. See, now doesn't that look nice. And, of course, your subscription will greatly increase our ability to—"

"Hold on. I'll get my wallet."

"Thank you so much. While you might not think... ... ... ... Thanks. Yes, we're all set there. Well, I'm happy to welcome you as a new member. I hope..."

[closes door. sighs. here's neighbor's dog frantically barking as doorbell rings next door.]



(Don't tell anyone I was here...)

A flower shop.

"No, no roses."

"Geraniums are a good option. They're beautiful, and... they send the right message."

He opens his wallet and takes out a credit card. He changes his mind, places it back in its slot and reaches for a twenty instead.

"Nevermind the vase, actually."

She wraps the bouquet with a bow and slides it into a plastic flower carrier. She takes the twenty and hands him back a dollar and forty-three cents. She hands him the bouquet.

"Thank you. Have a great day."

"Thank you."

He heads for the exit, then pauses near the door and turns around. The woman is typing on her phone. He exits.