On December 22, 2015

The write pen

By Daris Howard

I always look forward to our family reunions, not only because I get to see all my family, but because I get to check out the newest technology. My brother David works in the tech industry, and one of his assignments is to test the newest computers to determine what items his employer should adopt.

As usual, he brought the latest computer, and as we sat outside under the trees, he let us try it. A person could take the screen off and use it as a tablet, or connect it to the keyboard like a computer. It also had a full docking station. Its ram and hard drive space exceeded all of the computers I own combined.

Of course, for the price of it I could have made a couple of mortgage payments. The stylus alone was over a hundred dollars, and it was nothing more than an expensive mouse in the shape of a pen.

Everyone was duly impressed — everyone, that is, except our mother. When David asked her if she would like to try it, she said, “Just what would I use it for?”

David tried to think of something, but couldn’t. Then he saw her journal sitting on her lap, and he knew the perfect thing. “With this computer,” he said, “you can speak and it will transform your speech into text. Just think how fast you could write your journal.”

“But I don’t want to talk my journal,” Mom said. “I want to write it. What would I do with a talked journal?”

“But that’s just the point,” David said. “It transforms your speech into written text.”

“And does it do it with my handwriting?” Mom asked.

“Well, no,” David hesitantly replied.

“Then I don’t want it,” Mom said.

No amount of coaxing could encourage her to try it, so David finally set it down and joined in a rousing game of marshmallow war.

Meanwhile, Mom turned back to write in her journal. “Shoot!” she said, “I forgot to get myself a pen.”

“No problem,” I replied. “I’ll get one for you.”

I had just gotten up when she informed me she had found one. She tried to write in her journal for a while and then exclaimed, “This useless pen must be totally out of ink. I might as well take it inside and throw it away.”

About that time, the game ended, and everyone moved into the house to watch a movie. David walked over and picked up his computer, but then, as he looked all around, we could all tell something was wrong.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“I’ve lost my stylus,” he replied.

We all looked for it, but it had disappeared. Suddenly my wife remembered Mom cussing the pen. Instantly, everyone knew where the stylus had gone.

David rushed into the house with the rest of us close behind. When he asked Mom about the stylus, she shook her head. “I haven’t seen any — whatever you call it.”

“Did you find a pen?” David asked.

“Only this worthless one that is out of ink,” she said, pulling the stylus from her pocket. “I brought it in to throw it away.”

“Ahhh!” David exclaimed. “That’s my stylus. You can’t throw it away.”

Mom frowned and said, “That’s sure a lot of fuss over a pen that doesn’t even write.”

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