We made the change from a desktop PC to laptop about seven years ago when the old desktop became so virus-ridden that the technician did not want to take our money to attempt a cleansing. The current one is our second laptop. No, we did not put any bits of the diseased desktop in the local landfill.

At that time, we abandoned the ancient printer (it took three ink cartridges to print black and white). That behemoth drank ink like guests at an open-bar wedding reception suck down free booze. At least one of those three ink cartridges had to be replaced each week and woe unto your document if you attempted to print with only two cartridges. We were delighted to bid farewell to that printer.

From the first my editor, Claire, and I agreed that we each prefer to read from the printed page. So, I needed a printer. I shopped: all the name brands at all the usual places. While the purchase prices weren’t awful, the printers all used (surprise) multiple ink cartridges. Not wanting to support that habit, I shopped for printers; this time, places that provided the service of printing. 

Soon, I was back at Staples, where for years I had bought those weekly ink cartridges. I handed over my precious USB drive and, almost immediately, copies happened. Meagan, Laurie, and the other young women who work the odd shift in the Staples’ Print Center have seen me right and write. “Black and white? Double-sided? Three-hole punched?” “Come back in thirty minutes.” They have never made me pay for ink. Thanks to them, my writing is possible and passable.


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