I watch the television, now, in a perpetual state of typewriter searching. Bu funnily enough, sitting down watching, my parents aren’t amused when I spot a typewriter, identify it and have to share my knowledge with them. They just don’t seem to be interested that there was an Olivetti Lettera 32 and a Nakijima ALL in “Underground: the Julian Assange Story” – an Australian telly movie about Mr Assange’s early life. Nor do they care there’s another L32 in a promo for a new show on the ABC-TV – Australia’s public broadcaster - but I can’t tell you what the promo is for; I was too busy looking at the typewriter.
I spot typewriters in books, too. It took twenty pages until a typewriter was mentioned in Catch-22. But Revolutionary Road was good. Frank, the main character worked at “Knox Business Machines” – and what do you think they sold?
I come out of movies talking about the typewriters in the movie – who really does care if the movie was any good?
I have a good shot of identifying peoples’ typewriters – long sold, forgotten, or thrown out – from their descriptions. I identified our school’s High School’s Faculty Co-Ordinator’s old typewriter, today, as a Hermes Baby, while she was talking about it.
“Oh yes,” she said. “It’s like this” – pointing to an Olympia SF – “ but it was smaller. And it was green, but thinner, and it had a nice hard case that fitted over it…”
“Oh, was it a Hermes Baby, by any chance,” I said.
“Yes! Yes, it was.”
Okay, the title of this post was a little misleading. It’s really only dangerous if I happen to identify a typewriter in the wild, a typewriter in the wild with a price tag, a typewriter in the wild with a price tag in my budget! That, my friends, is when the danger begins.