Monday, June 19, 2006

The Real Ralph Murre

I was in business machine repair, y'know? Mechanical typewriters -- Smith-Corona -- Remington -- Underwood. But my real calling, my love, was adding machines. No chance of them telling stories, just numbers, y'know? Any number you could think, cleanly printed in black, or if things weren't going so well, you could print in red -- no doubt, there, about what the hell is this guy talkin' about? -- black and red numbers, that's all, like roulette, y'know?

Geez, my beer's gettin' empty here.

Yeah, numbers -- good numbers, bad numbers, what else you need to know, huh? Red numbers. Black numbers. You type 'em in and pull that big lever, KERCHUNK, and the answer to your question is right there. Beautiful. Flat-assed beautiful.

Say, how 'bout you catch this one, huh?

Then some G'dam college asshole comes along 'n' invents a buncha e-lec-tronic bullshit 'n' I'm out of a job. Best damned adding machine man in six counties 'n' I'm out of a job like that -- Pfffft! I studied up 'n' worked on 8-track tape machines and Beta video players for a while. Now what the hell I'm s'posed to do, huh?

Hey, mud in your eye, appreciate the beer.

- Ralph Murre


20-20 said...

Could you fix a comptrometer?

Ralph Murre said...

Comptrometer? No problem. Went out with a comptroller at one time. Big woman. Smelled of orange pekoe tea. Always liked the way her hair swung around in slow motion and glittered in the lights of a passing night train. A real comptrol freak, though. Fixed her comptromometer most every evening. Yes, there's nothing like having a well-tuned comptromononomometer to put a smile on a woman's face.If someone you know is having trouble with one of these, have her bring it to me.

20-20 said...

I think I dated her once. Sue, right? Blond hair. About size 16? I'm it's the same one, but orange pekoe? That's not my recollection. I thought it was WD-40. I was going to ask her out again, but she told me she didn't like how I was pushing her buttons . . .

domestic empire said...

I heard a programme on Radio 4 recently that said that traditional watch repairers were in decline despite there being much work about. The programme spoke to many people and made a convincing case. Perhaps this is an area that might compliment your skills?