Susan's Blog

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Lot of Flap

Interesting how, just as I shipped off my final proposal to my agent, Precious has shown signs of fatal weakening. Not only has she sustained injuries over the years such as: most of her letters are worn off from all my typing, so it’s a good thing I learned how to touch-type in high school; there are permanent palm-prints where your hands rest; the screen is a spotted mess; there is a streak of red nail polish in the upper-right corner. So now, the “z” and the “apple” keys are hardly moving.

I flipped off the key tops to have a look (against Ned’s counsel, I should add, probably reminding him of the time we went to U-Haul for a small truck and all they had was a really big one and while Ned pondered and worried about what we could do about it, I hopped into the driver’s seat and drove right up to him.)

There, within the complicated metallic innards of Precious, twinkling like a tiny gem, was a glass bead from the cossie repairs. I pressed my finger onto it and drew it out. “Oh, look!” I smiled to Ned, who was not at all amused. “There must be more of them under the ‘z!'” Sure enough, another little twinkly bit rolled further inside Precious.

I pried off the “z,” figuring to do a bit more surgery. No go. The cap was stuck and it still is, half of it flipped up into the air like a partially removed scab, revealing the vulnerable flesh underneath. And there it stays, flapping in the breeze, making it really, really hard to get a “z.” I may have to be like Monty Python and use some other letter to mean “z.” Like the guy who can’t say the letter “c” but finally discovers he can use a “k” or an “s, ” depending. But what sounds like “z?” I can’t even spell it out, because I need to use the letter “z.” D’oh.

I picked Precious up and shook her a bit, while Ned’s eyes widened in horror. I think he whispered, “Careful.” But I am not. My stuff has to be able to stand up to my style of use (I wouldn’t call it Ab-use). My family, my friends, my shoes, my cars, my plants, my gardens, my computer, all have to be tough because I am hard on everything. I was now remembering a segment of a childhood tape recording Dad had made of Laura and me playing with cars, where I heard my baby self say, “It boke, Daddy.” And he said, “Susan! You took off all the wheels!” But I merely insisted that it “boke.” Mistakes were made.

I was hoping Precious would last a little longer, so that I could celebrate my next book contract (knock wood, I should be so lucky) with a new laptop. Well, I am still managing to use her, even with the flapping z. What’s a little flapping between friends?


Precious is tough, she’s got some time left.

— added by Someone Said on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 8:28 am

Yeah! Who needs the 26th letter anyway? It’s for sleeping!!

— added by Susan Senator on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 8:35 am

Is your new book a lipogram? I suppose “z” would be the easiest of all sacrificial lambs.

— added by Don on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

Noz, it iz notz!! Maximillian Zachary Batchelderz juzt fixzt itz!!!

— added by Susan Senator on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 9:38 am

That made me laugh out loud . . . because it sounded like you were channeling your inner LOL Catz.

— added by Don on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Just this morning on NPR I heard about a typewriter repair place in Arlington on Mass ave, the place is a haven for old typewriter enthusiasts.

I admit that I didn’t know you used a typewriter. How do you find it differs from a word processor?

— added by Nepenthe on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Hey, Nepenthe! I don’t use a typewriter, I use Precious, my iBook G4. I learned on a typewriter in high school, but I’ve been a Mac Girl forever.

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 3:40 pm

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