Pen and Paper: A Sad State of Affairs

Paper lay quietly on Jane’s lap as she used Pen to write with her left-handed scrawl. She hadn’t been writing long, when the phone rang. Quickly she set Paper on the arm of Overstuffed Comfychair, and set Pen down right on top of her.

Normally Pen would start up a conversation with Paper right away, but today she was quiet.

“Pen? Pen….are you ok?” asked Paper.

“Um….yeah. I guess so.”. Pen hesitated, then went on. “I’m afraid I have some bad news, Paper.”

“Well……what is it?”. Paper was afraid to hear, but figured it would be better to know, and face whatever it was head on.

“We..we…we’re not going to be famous after all, Pape. Jane has decided not to use us for her school writing project.”

“But why?”. Paper looked as if she was about to cry. “I don’t understand.”

“I don’t completely understand it either, but apparently, if she uses us for her project, the school could claim us for itself, and then we wouldn’t be her Pen and Paper anymore. Something about intellectual property rights.”

Paper sobbed. “But I was looking forward to having all the kids love us, and helping them with their vocabulary and their writing…..”

“Me too, Pape. Me too.” Pen said sadly. “But if it makes you feel any better, she’s decided not to use us because she loves us so much. She wants us to always be her very own, beloved Pen and Paper.

“Maybe she’s just being realistic,” muttered a cranky voice.

Paper rolled her eyes. “Dell’s awake,” she informed Pen.
“What are you talking about, Dell?” she asked the laptop. He was sitting on the table next to Overstuffed Comfychair, and had been eavesdropping on their conversation.

“You two are bound for obscurity,” Dell sneered. Pens and paper are positively B.C. The future is digital. The time is coming when no one will even know what to do with you. You’ll be nothing more than antique curiosities.”

“Wwwwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhh!” wailed Paper.

“Dell, you are so mean!” Pen yelled.

“I hate to put a crack in your Windows, but Jane only uses you to communicate what Pen has already preserved on my pristine pages,” Paper alliterated.

“Paper, Paper, Paper; that won’t be necessary much longer,” Dell interrupted. “In fact, it isn’t even necessary now. Jane could just skip over the two of you and create and preserve everything right on my hard drive. Power to computers!!!!”

“That will never happen,” Pen replied, matter-of-factly. “Jane loves to write and record ideas, but a big part of it is that she loves the physical act of putting ink on paper, of filling notebooks with ideas. Jane loves us.”

“Phft'” snorted Dell. “That won’t last. The convenience of digital record keeping will win her over eventually. I tell you, computers will rule the world! Humans will one day be helpless without us!”

Dell’s screen saver activated as Jane came back into the room. “Talk about ‘B.C.'” thought Paper, as a toaster with wings passed through her line of vision.

Jane picked up Pen and turned to s fresh page.

The Keyboard Chronicles.

“Oh NO,” Pen and Paper thought, together.

To Be Continued……

Jane Rivera, 08/14/2011. All Rights Reserved.

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6 comments on “Pen and Paper: A Sad State of Affairs”

  1. Jane:

    I really like this piece.

    It’s hard to know, isn’t it, if all this change is all for the good, or if we are losing something precious in the process?

    Perhaps you would enjoy viewing & listening to the following hour-long discussion:

    Handwriting in the Digital Age
    The Diane Rehm Show (from WAMU FM, Washington, DC, broadcast Thursday, July 28, 2011)
    Summary and streaming audio via:
    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-07-28/handwriting-digital-age

    Steve G

  2. “Write” on Janie.

  3. I really like this too. I am sad that pen and paper and pencil and paper-bound books seem to be on their way out.
    Good job!
    P.S. I have Layla right here with me and felt her tummy from behind. I’m pretty sure she’s pregnant. 🙂
    Terry, my husband wants to take them to our vet, where they have Kennels to keep them in while we’re gone. Yay!

    • Is the daddy guinea pig named Derek? :0). ( get it? Derek and the Dominoes…Layla)
      I think the vet is a good idea…she’ll be in the right place if she delivers, and the piglets will be safe.

      Thanks holly!


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