Sometimes I do my writing in coffee shops, which you might think is pretentious. Nope. It’s not—compared to this guy:
Also, not compared to the two people I saw today banging away on their Underwoods. Typewriters. Loud—bang-bang-banging, typewriters. Ping! Typewriters are so pretentious. You’re sitting there banging away on your typewriter like you just watched “Finding Forrester” and were so moved by the scene when the long-lost-genius-author tells the young destitute-but-prodigious-youth to “Punch the keys for Godsake!” and the “You’re the man now, dog!” line that made you want to be that man—now, dog.
Those two typewriting twits were a spectacle, and they knew it. But actually, they didn’t really know it. They seemed completely oblivious, which was weird because I can’t imagine typing on a typewriter in a public place and not feel like I’m being watched—except at Burning Man.
Students in the library used to complain about my “typing too loudly.” If you’re going to call writing on a laptop, “typing,” you should call writing on a typewriter, “hammering” or “battering” or “destroying.” It really does ruin the atmosphere. I would love to have seen their reactions had I written my “Anthropology of Violence” paper on an old Underwood.
With or without a shirt.