I prefer to refer to myself as a storyteller rather than an author. I write stories. Most of them are fictitious tall tales, but this one is both personal and true.
I entered high school in 1960, a long time ago. I looked around for a while and took notice that typing would be a useful skill. So, being the brilliant person I am, I arranged a class during summer school to learn how to type.
After all, most people know that type written term papers usually get at least half a grade point higher than one that was handwritten, sometimes more. Besides, my handwriting skills weren’t the greatest, speed or quality. Adding speed as well as the quality would have been a big advantage.
I want you to know I gave up a lot for that class. Not only did I give up many summer activities, but I also trudged through the summer heat every day to get to and from school. Well, I did have a bicycle.
I put a lot of effort into the class. I worked hard. I gave it all I had. I worked my fingers to the bone. Failed it miserably. Managed a blazing speed of 17 words a minute with three mistakes.
Actually, the seventeen words a minute was not a problem. It was likely fast as or faster than my handwriting.
However, I want you to know, I suffered all through my life, to this day because of those mistakes. They came out with all kinds of wonderful stuff, just for me. They came out with a tape that I could put just above the paper and type the erroneous character and it was as if the wrong character was never there. Well, not quite.
Throughout my life, the typewriter and I have had our battles. Volumes could be filled with stories about them, but I’m trying to keep this story short. It’s not supposed to be a book.
Let’s just say my type written papers had almost as many corrections as characters. It would have been nice to avoid them, but my job required them
Then, during the mid-eighties, they came up with something wonderful. The computer. Not only did the computer keyboard have a backspace key, but also, when it is used, it makes it as if the errant character never existed. What a wonderful thing!
Then they came out with something even better, an undo function. Nowadays, if I make a big mistake, I can undo it. If I realize that it wasn’t a mistake after all, I can redo it.
I want you to know, for those of us that had to work on dinosaur type typewriters: this is no small thing. Today, it is taken for granted. Today, I type about forty or so words a minute, but I still make a ton of mistakes. However, I can now reach up there with my little finger and make them magically disappear. (By the way, it is one of the most used keys on my keyboard.)
Then one day a thought occurred to me. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had backspace keys in life? I say something I know I shouldn’t have; I just hit the backspace key. I do something that hurts someone; I just press the backspace key. It’s gone, poof—as if it never happened.
Unfortunately, we don’t have that option. Every page in life is written in indelible ink. It can’t be erased. It can’t even really be covered up. When I say something or do something that hurts someone, I have to live with it as well as the person I hurt. Then again, if we all did have such a key, there would be no need to be careful. Maybe that wouldn’t be so good.
Then there are those who don’t care. If they hurt someone, it’s of no real significance to them. In the world of psychiatry, they have names for such people. I have a few names for such people too, a long list of them.
At any rate, when I hurt people, It is somewhat of a relief. I feel bad, and I sometimes hurt. It’s a reminder to be careful. Besides, it separates me from those who have no pain when they hurt others. I think that’s a good thing. It’s just a little thought from an old man who enjoys telling stories.
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There are many books to chose from. You will not find one with profanity or adult passages. Though a few of them get have some violence, they are far less violent than what you will find on network TV these days. More important, the violence has purpose.