So You Want to Use My Printer?

Well, well, well, if it isn’t Miss Paperless, Miss Save the Planet, Miss All I Need Is an Electronic Copy and No Thanks I Have a Boyfriend.

How the toner has turned.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it was you who once said that home printers are “largely obsolete.” That they are “outdated” and “don’t get used enough.” That they “look weird in your small apartment.” You know what looks weird? You without your mail-in application to Rutgers.

Boom! Sick burn. Or, as we like to say in the printer community, nice paper cut.

You thought you had it all figured out, didn’t you—with your online forms and your PDF attachments and your precious little e-signature?

Now look at you, with those puppy-dog eyes and a USB stick in your hand, begging me to fire off a couple of A4s “just this one time.”

“One time”? Yeah, and I’m the mayor of Printer Town.

What makes you think you’re worthy of my HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e, anyway? This home-office powerhouse prints twenty-two p.p.m. (that’s pages per minute) and has a paper-tray capacity of two hundred and fifty sheets. How many sheets does your paper tray hold? That’s right, zero, #nosheets.

And the scanner. This little screecher reads up to twelve hundred d.p.i. (I don’t have time to explain that one to you) and can spit out copies all night long, whether it’s your passport or your birth certificate or a third example of some document that you might totally need to scan someday.

But I can be nice. So what? You hadn’t thought about situations like this. You’re not a “thinker.” That’s fine. I’m fortunate to be able to help a poor, printer-less soul like you. Just Venmo me twenty-five cents per page, and I’ll be glad to run them off.

And who knows? Maybe you can do something for me one day. A little quid print quo. Like, maybe you could invite me to one of those parties I keep hearing about. I could even do the invitations in eighty-pound glossy if you play your cards right.

Now sit back and watch the magic. . . . Let me just unplug my cat’s water fountain to free up an outlet here. . . . I’m just turning it on. . . . It’s just getting warmed up now. . . . Yep, still warming up. . . . So it’s still a no on that drink then, yeah? O.K.! One application to Rutgers’s M.F.A. in visual arts coming right up.

Hope they like gray scale, by the way, because I’m definitely out of cyan. ♦

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