Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Typist's Nightmare


   Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

Carbon paper
Three copies
Click clack
Tap tap
Parental pressure 
Before you can do
What you really want to
Get a proper job
Take a course
A secretarial course
So that you have
To fall back on

Old typewriter
Boring class 
The quick brown fox
The lazy dog
Fingers pushing
Hard old keys
As eyes
Stare hard
At the
Diagram above

Don't dare
Look down
Click clack
Tap tap
Teacher is glowering
Mean old bat
She's overweight
Whiskered chin
That's not nice
But what the hell
Light a ciggie
Oh bugger she’s

Years later
Technical age
Hands gliding
No click
Nor clack
Almost silent
As fingers fly
Over electronic keyboard
No white-off
The beauty of
Backspace and delete
Book written

Barbara M Lake ©

November 2011
Trinidad WI


  1. Ah, yes... The good old days weren't always so good, were they, Bee? Technology has so changed our world for the better in so many ways.
    Good take on this Magpie!

  2. This brings back memories. I took one semester of typing in high school and did poorly. I don't have very good hand/eye coordination. To this day I still type with 2 fingers..but am very fast at it : )
    Very creative take on the Magpie prompt!

  3. Loved your poem. Art Linkletter said in an interview that typing kept him from starving when he was looking for his real work. Mother took that as a sign I should - make that must - learn to type. She didn't do that to my brother it is to be noted.

    I hated typing. It lowered my grade point every semester and gave me an ulcer. I could have written your poem except my witch of a teacher was hag thin.

    Missed out on a National Geographic writer's assistant job because I could not type 55 wpm without errors. Note - male applicants did not have to take that test.

    Now I am grateful for those hours of horror with the witch. And yes, it has kept me from starving a few times.

    Thanks for the memories.

  4. In a timed typing test in high school, I thought the teacher was standing to the left behind me...watching as I typed. I got so nervous, I did terribly on the test...after which I turned and realized it was only a wide, ceiling to floor pillar in the old basement classroom.

  5. this took me back also to my typing class- I never did really master that art and still to this day look at my keys and peck away-pretty fast too!

  6. It's amazing to me how may of you have similar memories to mine. After I left school my father insisted that I did what was known as a Secretarial Course. God alone knows why because I never had any intention of being, neither have I ever been, a secretary. No disrespect to secretaries! After an intense three months in a dinghy school I managed to pass my Type Wriitng and Pitman's shorthand but God alone knows how as I was not good at either. I developed my own shorthand over the years and still don't type as I was taught - could not master the all fingers but I got speed!

  7. This is so wonderful!
    Your words sound: Clickity-clack!
    Perfectly constructed!

  8. the beauty of back space and delete...aint that the truth...that correction tape stunk...i guess i am glad i took typing all those years ago to learn the key board...

  9. Oh, I learned that way too! Typos were the worst. In fact in college I made a deal with my roommate that if she would type my papers for me, I would write hers. lol, we both felt like we got the better part of that bargain! lol Nice one Bee.

  10. 'Something to fall back on' - yes, I did Saturday morning lessons in shorthand and typing. Hated the shorthand but am ever grateful for the typing. Horrible sit up and beg typewriters with a shield over the keyboard to stop the 'typist' looking at the keys.
    Thank goodness for modern keyboards on laptops.

  11. I was the old bat typing teacher. Also taught shorthand.

  12. Thank you Mimi - I changed some of the words since I first posted

    Brian that correction tape was awful and when you had run out of it and had to look for a little unused corner.............

    Other Mary, thank you - sounds like you got it right! Clever girl!

    Yes Jabbalog - I remember those awful typewriters which I had to learn on. When I got my first electric typewriter, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!

    dkzody - couldn't have been you unless you wore tartan skirts, heavy jumpers, brogues and looked worse than Susan Boyle before her makeover!

    Thanks to all for taking time out to come by and read. And thank you for sharing your memories.

  13. oh the memories~! haha...I loved this, Bee. Remember when the automatic return came along? We thought we were in heaven. ha.


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