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What’s this thing you call Type Writer?

Here’s a story that comes from my friend Sue about her 14-year-old daughter, Corby:

Corby is spending the weekend at my dad’s. My dad is in the process of trying to clean out the house for a future sale (which is a WHOLE other story). So he, Corby and my stepmother are going through the troves of junk in the basement. They find my handy, dandy MANUAL typewriter. Corby calls to report this “ancient” find.

She then begins to question me. “How does it work. I see the stick thing (the stick thing???) goes up into the middle of the machine. But how does the letter get on the paper?”

I try to explain.

She says she’s pressing on a key and it just isn’t hitting anything. I tell her she must punch the key harder. She still can’t figure it out. My husband, Dennis, asks, “Does she have paper in it?” Surprisingly enough, she did.

She asked what the black ribbon was for. I explained. Then she punched the key harder – and miracle of miracles – it worked (I can’t believe the ribbon hasn’t dried out – this thing has got to be at least 30 years old).

She asked me why I had this typewriter. I told her that I had to type papers for school on it. Her comment: “That must have sucked.” She has no idea…

She hangs up so she can play with the ancient piece of technology.

Dennis and I were having a good chuckle over the fact that I had to try to explain how a manual typewriter works. My phone rings again.

“Mom? How do I turn the Caps Lock off?”


And I thought having the Birds and Bees talk would have been difficult!

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