Sonnet Sunday for 2018-0210 / DS-002: Oh Brother, How Type Thou

For rules and discussion of sonnet formats, pop over to this introduction.

This week’s sonnet is autobiographical, about a decision to buy a typewriter with gift money when I was a teenager, juuuust before computers really became mainstream.

A ways back when, my grams gave me a Ben,
and next a long discussion then we mused:

How should I spend this sum I’ve been given?
What won: a typerwriter is how it’d best be used.

I liked to write, to type, and Uni foists
A solid rule that papers must be turned

In with a certain unhandwritten choice
Of legiblity for which profs yearned.

But turned out that computers won that race.
It now, alone, sits near, but far outpaced.

Many years ago, when I was still a teenager and never really bought anything ‘big’ with my own money, I was given a $100 bill (called a ‘Ben’ above, as the person shown on the USD$100 is Benjamin Franklin) by my father’s mother.

After some discussion, my mother and I decided together that it would be used to buy me a typewriter, which I would need for college one day. In my father’s era of college, papers could still be handed in in cursive, and in elementary school teachers told us all of our college papers would need to be written in cursive as rationale for us to learn it. My mother proposed that college papers would probably all need to be typed given how less and less expensive typewriters were becoming, and she ended up being right, in a way.

I used it to type several things, including, memorably, a Top Gun fan-fic starring my schoolmates and a favorite teacher as the leader. It was a Brother AX-450, which had a neat feature where you could type out a whole line of text on a little one-line LCD screen that had a character limit, and you could edit that single line before you entered it to be typed, and the machine would type that single line for you and carriage return.

Shortly thereafter, however, the family got a hand-me-down 8088 IBM-compatible desktop PC, upon which I could type stories on word-processing software called Symphony, which even had password protection so no one could “steal my ideas” and I kept most of my stories on a 5-1/4″ floppy.. but, alas, the Brother typewriter rarely even ever got used after that. I still have it, too, and am not sure when I’ll ever part with it.



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