Humor Magazine

At the Sound of the Tone, It Will Be Time to Run, Screaming, Into the Streets

By Pearl
I’ve been trying to send a fax most of the day; and like someone dragging a vacuum over the same stretch of uncooperative string on the carpet convinced that, eventually, the string will be sucked up, I return the same three sheets of paper to the fax machine thinking that this will be the time...
Some call it persistent. Others call it job security. I prefer to think of it as “paid by the hour”.
I’ve called the company to whom I’m faxing twice now.
“Your fax machine isn’t picking up.”
“Are you sure?”
Am I sure? What, do I look like someone appearing before a Grand Jury to you? Of course, I’m sure! I put the sheets in, I dial the number provided, the machine emits a high-pitched busy signal for a length of time just short of that necessary to drive one deaf, and then it spits out a sheet of paper that says “No answer – zero pages transmitted”.
I’m sure already!
And then I do it again.
Ack. I miss the mail.
I miss the tangibility of the mail.
I’m at that awkward age, you know. Sure I’ve been an unwitting tool in the computers’ take-over of the world, but I also have indistinct memories of using carbon paper to make duplicate copies on the typewriter, of weeping after typing a full page of a business letter only to finish it with a slip-up: Yous Truly…
Remember when the mail came? You opened it, sorted it into various piles, ransacked it for free pens or calendars, tossed the junk and proceeded from there.
Not so now. Now the “mail” comes in all day long. Never a wasted moment here! My e-mail is trying to get me to enlarge my penis, the fax machine has become an audible Rorschach test designed to measure my stamina and I believe there are plans to make the bathrooms more cost-efficient, maybe by installing flat-screen TVs with round-the-clock CNN transmission or treadmills or something.
I may be exaggerating that last part.
I’m going to now attempt, as I have all day, to fax three sheets of paper. The company on the receiving end assures me that their machine is up and running.
I can do nothing but trust that they are right this time.
Because if they’re not? And it doesn’t go through yet again?
I’ll be forced to do re-dial until it does.

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