Captain’s Log. Diaper Date 2429. Daddy Chronicles. I’m pondering something. I am wondering if our dependence on technology makes us more efficient, or does it simply mire us in a series of error beeps, whistles, and blue screens. Today, I attempted to use the copy machine, and though I have no empirical data to support my claim, I swear this machine has been broken, or at half strength, more than it has been robust and reproducing.
It saddened me at first to see that the copy machine was down. And then it maddened me to the point that I nearly wanted to commit machineocide – I started having visions of the scene from Office Space where they take a bat to the problematic fax machine. I have three bats in my room, and still have a pretty good swing.
Instead, I found myself taking a breath and walking to a different machine. However, the situation got me wondering – were there machines that we depended upon when I was a kid that caused a great inconvenience?
Hmm. I can only think of two examples.
Across the street from my church there was a “Mom & Pop” convenience store. When I got old enough, I was trusted to walk across the street and buy a snack or play video games. Back then Double Dragon was huge. I didn’t own a Nintendo system, so once a week my pilgrimage to the arcade game sufficed as my weekly fix. I can remember having one foot pointed toward the door when the Benediction would begin. A couple of times I may have even beaten the Pastor out of the door to the lobby.
There were a few occasions when the machine was broken – it did get a lot of action. I spent a lot of time, and quarters, at that game. I remember being disappointed, but I also remember finding something else to do.
The other machine I remember was the car shaped cartoon theater in the shoe store. I used to love going show shopping with my mom when I was a kid. She’d give me a couple quarters and I would watch a few cartoons. But then the machine broke – and I learned to have the patience of Job as my mother tried on multiple shoes…and then didn’t buy ANY of them (which would drive my grandfather crazy when he came with us). But, again, I can’t complain as she showed patience with me at baseball card shops and arcades and a host of other places. Eventually, they just removed the machine because it broke more than it worked. But somehow I survived.
This brings me back to the copy machine. I suppose the responsible thing to do is to simply let it go. Realize that I will find a solution. Take the high road and walk to another machine.
And so I did – only to find another broken machine – and so was the one after that. On my fourth try, a true quarter mile from my classroom, did I find a copier that worked. And so I put my original in and it started to copy. And I was happy.
Until I realized that this machine was out of toner and making almost translucently printed copies.
I would have gotten my bat. But I was too tired. And yet, everything worked out that day. No Office Space for me.
You win this round copiers.
For now…Captain out.