“The Life of a Printer” by Haden Ringel

Click. The sound echoed around the room. One little tap can do magic in the world of technology. Just like this little click. In the dusty old office the printer began to stir. The printer was well rested having just woken from a long nap. “Chug chug chug” the printer said. In english that means “Lamp, it’s so dark in here, please turn on your light.” The lamp replied by twisting it’s knob and illuminating the wondrous invention that we call light. The light spread around the room making all of the inhabitants feel warm and most importantly, happy. In the tiny electronic brain of the printer, a thought came. It was time to work. The printer felt more and more as the message moved through the air currents. The printer frowned, where was the special code? Then it came and the printer felt happy again. 

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Time passed. The printer knew that she not could put off her work no longer, however daunting it may be. “Chug chug. Chug chug! Chug chug? Chug.” The printer exclaimed. Almost immediately after the printer, exclaimed, the paper and ink began to work. They slowly moved the paper up the conveyor belt, their wires straining, the ink pressed inch after inch of the paper, just as they were told. Then something happened, something wasn’t working right. The printer, the paper, and the ink sat down to think. What could be wrong? Nothing ever had gone wrong in the the printers one year of life. An idea began to come to the light as it stared at the printer. The front of the printer was closed, that’s why it was taking so long to print the paper.  The lightbulb wondered why it hadn’t thought of this before.

“Screech screech. Screech screech screech!” the light said to the printer. Of course the printer realized. The printer’s gears pushed with all their might. Inch after inch, the printer’s cover began to open. The printer was tired of waiting so it pushed with all of it’s might. Finally, the cover opened fully. With that problem solved the printer began to do it’s job again. Everything was working perfectly. The paper pushed himself all the way out of the printer. When the paper looked at himself he realized something was wrong again. Half of him was blank. The paper looked around him and saw the printer fall asleep. The paper also heard ink’s cries for help. The paper wondered what to do. Just as the paper was about to cry out in despair, the human thumped over. The human pulled something from his pocket. He then opened the hood of the printer and placed in whatever he was carrying. The printer screeched back to life, and ink began to wake up from her near death experience. The printer took a deep breath in and sucked the paper back in.  Ink began to slowly but steadily print the paper.

Paper pushed again, trying to get himself up again for the second page, then there in that dusty old office something happened. The last piece of paper was already used up. The fading moans of the paper were heard as he tried to keep the last remaining parts of his soul together. The printer shivered as it felt the presence of a strange creature, a giant creature. The printer wasn’t sure what this creature was. Without the paper she couldn’t see a thing. The printer felt like a fish trying to swim in air, without paper. She was still traumatized from the near death experience that ink had recently had. The printer began to feel drowsy. Almost in synchronization with the drowsy feeling the printer’s hood began to close. The lamp began to notice that something strange was happening. The printer never had slept through a job before. The lamp watched from the oak desk as the human began throwing all of the contents of the shelves on the floor. The crash was audible throughout the whole house. The lamp thought that she heard the human murmur something. The lamp only picked up three words. “Need more paper.”

Once the lamp heard the deafening thump of the human stomping down the stairs, She decided to turn off her light too not exhaust herself. All around the city of Officeopoly the inhabitants paused. It was the printer’s time for working, so why wasn’t the familiar sound of the printer occurring. All of the pencils and paperclips too, sat down and thought hard. Tick Tock, said the clock, as the mouse ran up it. 

Finally, the smallest paper clip felt an idea forming. She hadn’t heard the huff huff of paper recently. The little paper clip hoped that nothing had happened to paper. All of the paper clips loved paper, since they worked so closely with him,  the little ones loved Mr. Paper as much as their own parents. The little paper clip marched back to the meeting and proudly announced her idea, all of the older paper clips patted her on the back. And so the march of the paper clips began. All of the paperclips put on their little hats and hopped in a straight line up the stone steps on the side of the wall. The paperclips  huffed and puffed until they reached the top of the stairs. They bravely walked across Paperpoint bridge and Inkpot ramp until they reached the printer’s grand facade. The paperclips marched right by it and all carried stacks of paper back from their secret hiding place. The paperclips opened up the drawer with all of their men and then strained to place the paper in. All of the printer’s work force woke up again and began to finish their daunting task. When the human returned at last he found his documents neatly printed in the printer’s tray, after all of the blood sweat and tears that it took, the printer had finally accomplished her mission.

© Haden Ringel, The Logan School for Creative Learning, Denver, CO


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