"How many times are you going to ask me this?" Brad barked in a curt, irritated voice as he barged his way into the dorm.
"How many times are you going to refuse?" countered Kevin at his heels, matching his quick walking pace.
"It's not rocket science, Kevin, I just don't like technology, get it into your skull" Brad said dismissively as he picked up the typewriter case from beside the bed.
"For your information, rocket science happens to BE Technology, Brad" Kevin said, mentally scoring a point for himself.
"You know what I meant" Brad said, not rising to give Kevin the surly glance his remark demanded, "I just don't like or use technology and that's the end of it".
Kevin paced up and down the room length in frustration. It wasn't enough Brad was a heretic, he also had no shame in admitting his backward thinking and unwholesome ways. Even now he was getting ready to feed black sheets of paper into a typewriter and manually type up yet another report on an unforgiving medium with no backspace key, backlit screen or subdirectory full of mp3's to listen to while work was in progress.
"Look, technology's given us tons of great things" Kevin begun.
"Such as what" Brad rebuffed in such a blunt way it was clear he wasn't even asking it as a question, but merely tolerating Kevin's presence.
"Such as, I don't know Brad, EVERYTHING?" Kevin exclaimed. "Safety pins, electricity, pens, microwaves, the little red string on the Band-aid.. do I need to go on?"
"I wish you wouldn't" Brad said, and started typing the report. 'Chak' said one key. 'Chak' replied another. 'Chak chak, chak chak chak?' a bunch of keys queried. 'Chak chak chak chak, chak chak. Chak, chak chak - chak CHAK' came the reply. 'Ding' interjected the bell, and the carriage returned to its original position.
"Look, use my computer. Please" Kevin said.
"I'm not using that thing, Kevin. Can't you find something else to be militant about? Go bug someone else".
Kevin's fur stood on end at the cacophony of typewriter keys performing 'Law Essay in D Minor'. "Aaaarrrrggg.. I *hate* that sound!" he finally exclaimed through gritting his teeth.
"Hey, you play your stereo louder than this most the time" Brad said.
"It's not the sound *itself*, that I can take. It's the underlying tone, the 'I'm so backward and prehistoric and I won't use technology' that.. arrgg! Please stop it, Brad, just.. use.. the ..computer. It's faster. You can print it out with subheadings and footnotes and-" Kevin begun, only to be hustled out of the room.
"It's a shame Y2K didn't do more damage than it did, Kevin" Brad called through the door as he locked it, "you would almost be tolerable, as a person. Almost".
Brad then rolled up his sleeves and returned to typing up the essay.
3 Weeks Later
"What a jackass" Brad complained bitterly, throwing his bag onto the bunk.
"Who?" Kevin asked, pausing the videogame he was playing.
"My tutor for Legal Ethics" Brad said, "you wouldn't know him".
"Well, I'll just keep ym eye open for jackasses and then I'll know him" Kevin said, setting the control pad down. "Why, what did he do? And since when has there been such a thing as 'Legal Ethics'? I doubt you're allowed to use the two words together in the same sentence.."
Brad ignored the jibe. "He gave me an A minus on my paper, all because I misspelled 'affidavit' on page 2. The actual report's fine, perfect even, but because a single WORD is wrong, I'm suddenly cut off by half a grade. He knew what I meant. Where's the justice in that?"
Kevin took the report and flicked through it, pausing on the second page at the wrongly typed word circled in red and flagged by several uncommented exclamation marks.
"Well" Kevin begun, handing the report back, "far be it from me to instruct a law student on the concept of justice, Brad, but this is yet another example of me being right and you wrong"
"What are you talking about?" Brad asked crabbily.
"If you'd used my computer to type this up, as I told, nay, begged you to do, Brad, you would have gotten a perfect mark on the report, all due to one of the more recent hallmarks of technology, and by that I, of course, mean the spell-checker, which could have spotted and amended that costly mistake".
Brad burned with a desire to hide Kevin's limp and lifeless body down some disused well on a dark, moonless night. He knew Kevin was right, but worse still, Kevin knew Kevin was right, which meant Brad would be hearing about this for at least the next several weeks.
Kevin, however, kept his entire thoughts on the subject to one remark, which he made as he left the room to get lunch in the cafeteria.
"Brad" he advised, "the rogue typo is saved with good inventions".
// first posted 01-25-2002 06:20 PM PT