Where's Gutenberg When You Need Him?
Published: February 5th, 2013
By: Jim Mullen

Where's Gutenberg when you need him?

I’ve heard for years that “no good deed goes unpunished,” but it seemed like a clever phrase being passed off as wisdom, something you might get in a fortune cookie on an off night.

Now that I am trying to print 50 form letters at home on behalf of a tiny nonprofit for which I volunteer, I’m realizing the truth of it. What should have taken 20 minutes with my state-of-the-art computer and top-of-the-line printer and should have cost next to nothing is now on its third day, and the bills are mounting. Midway through the second frustrating day of trying to do this simple job – using the new printer I had to buy after my old printer broke while removing a jammed envelope – it hit me that I could have done the whole thing with an old typewriter in an hour or two.

Why, oh why, did I give away my typewriter 25 years ago? Because the paperless future was here, that’s why. We’d never use paper again. Which is puzzling, because I buy paper five reams at a time now, something I never did when I typed. But with today’s high-speed printers, it takes only 50 “Lost Puppy” posters here, a few hundred school play notices there, a few maps to grandma’s new house, and suddenly I am Office City’s new best customer.


The Evening Sun

Continue reading your article with a Premium Evesun Membership

View Membership Options