Sunday, August 27, 2006


The click-click of the typewriters filled the air. The sound permeated everything. Any conversation was almost drown out by it. It had almost become a background noise.

This was the sound of monkeys, banging away at the keys, stretching off into the distance.

They were here for a reason. The were the Universe's creative team. A series of random jumbles typed across random pages, occasionally forming an idea.

The shift-change horn screamed out, and the clacking ceased. Monkeys stood up and trudged out. It was an organized effort, for the second shift needed to be at their stations in five minutes.Fresh faces greeted their first shift counterparts with grin and a wave, or an occasional howdy-do.

Phil reached his typewriting station with a cup of joe and a fresh pack of cigarettes. He never said hello to it's previous occupant. George was a bit of a slob. He was also a bit of a bastard, but that was another issue.

Sighing, Phil hoisted himself up on the little stool. He brushed the old Styrofoam cups into the trash and spent a few minutes picking the Bits of banana and donut out the keys. It was his usual ritual before starting to work.

A few of the typewriters began to emit their clicks and clacks as monkeys began to get to work. This was the best part of the shift, for Phil. One could still pick out the sounds of the line-end bell. In a few more minutes, it would be just part of the cacophony. For the moment, it was almost music.

Lighting a cigarette, Phil got to work. He began to pound away at the keys, one after the other, in a random fashion. E's most frequently, followed closely by A's, with a large variety of consonants and spaces for good measure. Every now and then he would hit the line return.

e adeEfh ydafedaaj atger had l dasehjfdh lha dfadeslhjf'
adflhj hdlashjd fasdhdsah JHF LEDhleh dAShl fheahjhjhj Heafae aea

Garbage filled page after page. Occasionally he hit a upon a word. More often than not, it was the or at, but sometimes something that felt like solid word, like existential or perturbation would land on the page. Bits of random inspiration, fired off into the Universe.

Phil typed on, until he had a finished his cup of coffee and a few cigarettes. He pulled the latest page of the typewriter. Looking it over with satisfaction, he crumpled it up and through it in the waste paper basket. A little lemur came by and picked up the basket, replacing it with a new one. Lemurs, not being nearly on the same scale as the monkeys, were responsible for less serious tasks than inspiring the creative minds of the Universe.

Lighting up a fresh cigarette, and taking a long drag, Phil took a moment to collect his thoughts.

"Interesting," he yelled to his neighbor.


"Well, we sit and bang away all day, typing for nothing."

"It's a good job, pays the bills, eh," his neighbor said, not even looking up from his own work. He just continued to pound away with his feet, with the tail darting in to reset the carriage. His hands were busy pouring his coffee out of a thermos into a little matching cup.

"It's not like we get any credit. The Universe's bloody ghost writers."

"Hrmm," a sound that usual meant "Shut your hole and get back to it, then."

Phil sat back, happy with the daily ritual of complaining about his job. He threaded a new sheet of paper. His hands began pounding the keys again.

SAsd ceana ceaDSeeasde na sjeaneae a;dfADFA A;DFJKJ FCSDCES
ASDF SCENE 1. Elsinore. A Platform before the castle. FRANCISCO at
his post. Enter to him BERNARDO. BERNARDO Who's there? FRANCISCO Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

There was some good stuff coming out here. He could feel it. When ever something really good would start to flow from his finger tips (or toes, perhaps even his tail for that matter, depending on his posture) he had a tingling sensation in the back of his neck.

BERNARDO Long live the king! FRANCISCO Bernardo? BERNARDO He.
FRANCISCO You come most carefully upon your hour.

It came on faster now, flooding the page with this strange staccato of short bursts of words, spaces and carriage returns. He had no idea what any of it meant, but there it was, practically glowing on the page.

He reached the bottom of the page quickly. He tore the page from the typewriter and held for a moment. He gazed over the words, trying to figure out what it was about that page that felt like a beginning to something really great.

He crumpled the page and tossed it into the receptacle. Only so much time was allowed for pauses such as this. So much inspiration, so little time. Phil hit the keys once more.

O, farewell, honest soldiadf;jk fdafe fajkd;fdjaf;dj dfj;ad
adf fewesce fcafa adafdshameafaeftalkaf dfad adsekja

Then it was lost, as quickly as it had come. There was no longer that electric jolt that passed through him. The letters felt like complete randomness again.

Ah well, Phil thought, perhaps it nothing.

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