by Jo Slade - Story: 70274
Jan 30, 2012 / 5:00 am
Jan 30, 2012 / 5:00 am
This started me to wondering, can you even buy a typewriter anymore? I’d google the answer, but there’s no google in this temporary world-without-internet. Are typewriters still made? And if so, why? Personally, I wouldn’t mind having one just in case I ever have to hand in my column while living in some insanely nightmarish post-apocalyptic world without computers, electricity or Starbucks. I’d be sitting amid the ruins, typing away on my manual typewriter and chewing coffee beans, and maybe shooting passersby who looked at me the wrong way. I’d develop one of those squints, the evil kind, for effect.
I'd google 'apocalyptic' right now if I could, to confirm that I'm spelling it right. Instead I have to simply hope for the best, or, perish the thought, get up and use a dictionary, the book kind, assuming one still exists in this or any other house. There isn’t a search text box in a book dictionary, though. How can you search a word without a text box?
Thinking about things (something I do on occasion to surprise my brain cells) I realized that Castanet would look pretty different in a post-apocalyptic world. The news, for example, would have to be typewritten by war-ravaged reporters staggering dazed through streets, finding their gruesome stories. “Wall of flames destroys downtown” “Mutant cannibals roam streets” “Lindsay Lohan ‘didn’t notice’ end of world event” “Six creative ways to cook the Christmas rat” “It’s the bomb . . . no, really” “Party Bus on hold”. Weather would be pretty easy. “Forecast for next 100 years: “Sub-zero temperatures, gray skies with 100% chance of heavy fallout”.
To help those intrepid apocalyptical reporters, I would probably advise them to develop the squint. Really, there can’t be enough emphasis on a good-quality evil-eye squint.
After the news and columns have been typed, they’d need to be taken to a little shop around the corner that would just happen to have, after all these years, a rickety non-electric hand-crank photocopier. Does a hand-crank photocopier actually exist? Well, I can’t google that information right now, but I'm just sort of hoping it does because otherwise there sure would be a lot of typing to do.
Telephones would not be working, not even the dial phones, so Castanet wouldn’t really know who wanted to subscribe to the news and who didn't. That question would have to be sent out citywide by smoke signals, but if staff got too caught up in the accompanying drum beat, they might start getting the signals wrong which could result in the wrong message going out. Puff-puff-puffpuffpuff-puff, ‘You suck, nyah nyah nyah”, a message that would almost certainly be seen by half-starved and rabid gang members arming themselves for a murder spree. Yes, there would be dangers in the post-apocalypse world, dangers that we can't even imagine.
Classifieds would remain popular. For Sale: Car, electronics fried, makes great home. For Sale: Sofa, glows in dark. Wanted: One-way ticket to the Southern Hemisphere. The Castanet discussion board forums would see some changes as well. Instead of idly sitting at a computer typing comments willy-nilly, members would have to write their thoughts on paper then run them down to the office and post them on the Castanet Emergency Post-Apocalyptic Bulletin Discussion Board, at which point all the other members would have to rush down to read what was written, and reply. We’re looking at pandemonium here, especially if the topic is one that gets members riled up. Which is every single topic. The moderators would have it good though. They could just hide behind a door and issue warnings *WHAP* as members walked by.
An alternate plan for the forums would be to lock the membership in a room, probably a padded one, and there they could have their debates. In the case of political or religious debates, guns could be provided to clarify points.
I’m not really sure how my mind ended up on apocalypses, but maybe it comes of typing in the bedroom of a six year old, which is different than, say, typing in a sane and quiet office. There’s more camouflage in this room than the entire Canadian military, I’m sure. Guns are strewn from one end of the room to the other, and there’s rope in here, and first aid kits, and what seems to be a green-fuzzed unidentifiable food item, ie ‘emergency rations’. Overall, I’d say I’d be in a pretty good spot for writing a column in a post-apocalyptic world, but as long as we’re still in pre-apocalypse mode, I think I’ll stick closer to home.
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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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