Friday, July 24, 2020

“If you have to write”

[Stranger on the Third Floor (dir. Boris Ingster, 1940). Click for an angrier view.]

Albert Meng (Charles Halton) is angry. The landlady (Jane Keckley) is angry too. It’s a rooming house, not an office building, and Mr. Meng is a good tenant. Why, he’s been living here for nearly fourteen years, and he’s always paid his rent promptly. And now Mr. Ward (John McGuire) is typing at all hours, making it impossible for Mr. Meng to sleep. “Stop using that thing!” says the landlady. And Mr. Meng:

[“If you have to write, write with a pencil!” That’s what he says, honest. Click for a louder view.]

In my student days, I too typed on a manual typewriter at all hours. Didn’t everyone?

Related reading
All OCA pencil posts (Pinboard)

[Charles Halton is probably best known as the bank examiner in It’s a Wonderful Life.]

comments: 8

Fresca said...

So you!

Michael Leddy said...

I still have the Olympia typewriter though. What a racket! (Noise, not scam.)

Fresca said...

I watched part of the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society"––awful tripe--I'd rather watch Hallmark, which feels more honest, I mean, not pretending it's Important History--but anyway, in one scene, the writer comes home to her London boarding house and the landlady warns her not to start writing, "It's after 10 p.m." and goes off muttering about the noise.

I'd never thought of the annoyance of typewriter noise, and now here are two mentions in a few days.

I remember how exciting it was to have access to an electric typewriter--some even self-correcting!

Michael Leddy said...

Strange! If I hear the noise of a manual typewriter when I’m out for a walk this morning, I will know something is going on.

I once tried an IBM Selectric and found it terrifying. I have warmer memories of a Panasonic electronic typewriter with a correction tape. It also had a little LCD window for editing text — rudimentary word-processing.

Fresca said...

Could it be Mark Z again?

Michael Leddy said...

Probably typing up notes from his recent observations. No one will suspect it’s him if he uses a typewriter.

Fresca said...

Hm. I truly wonder if Mark Z has ever used a typewriter in his life...

Michael Leddy said...

See? Your comment proves my point.

Plus, he loves downstate Illinois in the summer. Mmm, humid.