Monday, 26 November 2012

“Last Ever Typewriters”

The person who collects “last ever typewriters” is really building up quite a collection. And I think they would be really pleased with the last few years, as the collection only continues to grow.

Of course, they would have a Godrej and Boyce standard that they had especially imported from India. They would have quickly been on the phone when they heard the news. They would have pressed 1 seemingly a thousand times to work their way through endless call centres – with each new call centre the accent getting seemingly thicker and harder to understand. Eventually, after talking to what felt what like a hundred different people, and racking up a phone bill astronomical in size after being on the phone for three hours to overseas numbers, they would have reached a representative from Godrej and Boyce. They would have discussed at length, each not understanding the other very well, but in the end the outcome would have been what both had hoped for. Someone to buy the boat anchor, and finalisation of the purchase of what everyone thought was “the last typewriter ever made”. It was a win-win for everyone.

Just last week, though, they would have been horrified. Another “last” typewriter had come up, and the pesky National Science Museum in London had beaten them to it. Yes, it was the last Brother electric typewriter to be made in Britain. They, like most of use, had no idea that factory was still around, but when they found out they had missed another “last typewriter”, they were a little annoyed at themselves.

But they realised that it wouldn’t be all bad. This collector of ours had, in fact, been collecting for quite a few years, and had, in that time, procured the last Smith-Corona manual typewriter from both Britain and America. So, to them, it was just another Scout badge that they could work for any time they pleased.

What this collector is now doing, I’ll have you know, is sitting at home with their eyes set firmly – quite ironically in fact – on a computer, not a typewriter, so they can see when reports come in from China that their “last ever typewriter” is produced. He has already engaged a translator to make sure the transaction of this last typewriter goes well, and that he doesn’t end up with a giant blow up Santa Claus in his parcel; believe me, it has happened.

As many continue writing about “last ever typewriters” – which now includes myself, it seems – I can tell you all one thing. I have not bought, I’m sure, for my collection the “last ever typewriter”.

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