Friday, July 15, 2011

Neither Hoarding, Nor Collecting

When we were at the dump swap-shop the other day, getting rid of three loads of dusty and undesirable goods, I watched a man step out of a car right in front of me with a Smith Corona typewriter case and deposit it on the floor, free for the taking. Unable to resist, I opened it up to tinker and test, and found that it was clean, little used, and almost factory fresh shiny.

Only problem was the carriage mechanism, which pulled all the way to the left and would not stop, so that it took a bit of finagling to close the case again.

Still, I was tempted. Surely it had to be an easy fix, something I could piece together again in the back yard of an afternoon with my swiss army knife and my determination.

But then I remembered all the typewriters that have already, and recalled our purpose for visiting the dump: to reduce our quantity of stuff. My plan for the typewriters I have is to cart them all up to Cambridge Typewriter and beg Tom to trade them all in for one shiny, well maintained, and portable machine. Everything I've got works well as-is and could just use a bit of adjustment and lubrication, so I'm really happy to come out behind on the deal so long as I come out lighter. It seemed like adding one more maybe-functional machine to the pile would be pushing my luck.

Even the price of free was too high.

It struck me that my collecting days are well and truly over. After months of cleaning, yard-selling, and hauling the accumulated crap of three households out of our barn, I'm really, really happy to be through with collecting.

Which makes me all the more grateful for the type-o-sphere. You all have such lovely machines. It's such a pleasure to look at them.

So long as I don't have to carry or dust them.


  1. Kudos to you for knowing when to say when. I also am out of the collecting phase. There are a couple of machines out there that I would trade for but since I only really use one all the time, adding more to the stable of trusty steeds is just not necessary.

    You are a pipesmoker, huh? I just enjoyed one this morning. Great inventions.

  2. Ah yes, the pipes, I do enjoy them. Another collection, though, that I am in the process of pruning. Although pipes do have the advantage of weighing significantly less than a typewriter, so the need is not so urgent.

    What's your preferred blend?

  3. I'm cheap, man. I buy the big bag of Smoker's Pride for $20 and it lasts me almost a year. How about yourself?

  4. Used to smoke a lot of English blends: Dunhill 965, Rattray's, a few of the Tinder Box mixtures. Tobacco taxes are brutal now, though, and lately I find a can of Half and Half lasts me about six months.

    Speaking of which, can you believe what kids are paying for cigarettes these days?

  5. It's pretty nuts. My old man smokes two packs a day and I can't figure out how he affords it.