Why I’m the Smartest Man in the World

Posted on September 13, 2008 by

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Heather stopped by to pick me up after work yesterday. She had her passport handy, so that I could make a photocopy of it (as is usually recommended to travellers) for her upcoming adventure. While she got busy loading her cool new MP3 player (thanks all who advised, especially Canon — good to be reminded that the iPods don’t play MP3’s) with all sorts of music and literature for the flight across the ocean, I attended to the copying of the passport.

Since the front desk guy, Charles, was on a support call, I went to make the copy myself. But, uh oh, the copier display says there’s a paper jam. Its cool, full-color digital display indicates that I need to open panels, move rollers, and remove the paper. I’m feeling brave, so I give it a try.

Now I’m groping about the guts of the copier, and I don’t find any paper, jammed or otherwise. So I shut everything back the way it started (a success in itself) and slink off to find another copier — a fruitless search that results in my return to the front desk.

Charles is still on the phone, so I look at the copier again, not that I can really expect anything to have changed. (I mean, it’s like looking in the fridge for something to snack on when you know that your previous three searches only turned up a few yeast packets and some sprouting garlic cloves.) But, lo! the display has changed. Apparently my fiddling around convinced the machine that I cared, so it now pointed to a paper jam in a different sector.

I opened and closed a couple more panels, again with no jammed paper having been discovered, and the display obliges by displaying some new touch-screen buttons to press. I close my eyes, select a few at random, and the passport prints successfully! I fixed the non-existent paper jam, got my wife’s passport copied, and all without Charles’s help. And that’s why I’m the smartest man in the world.

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