Writer meets processor

THIS is it. The moment I finally join the 21st century. This is my first word-processor essay. I'd have written this a lot sooner, but for the longest time I resisted the whole idea because of a basic misunderstanding. I thought the big craze was writing with a food processor. The first time I tried writing with a food processor I ended up with this horrendous mash of lead, wood, and paper. It reminded me of the first time I tried to make bread. Next I tried writing on the food processor, but you wouldn't believe how cramped that gets, especially when you're left-handed like I am. I almost became right-handed when I leaned too hard while erasing and accidently set the blades on pur'ee. Happily I never liked that sweater much anyway.

I gave up on the whole idea, figuring it was a fad, much like the pet rock. Friends would tell me how many files their processors could store. I'd tell them I still couldn't make a really good cold soup with it. They thought I was weird; I thought they were deluded or worse, trying to perpetrate this massive practical joke.

Finally one friend suggested I take lessons. I asked him what he thought of Craig Claiborne. He asked me if he worked for Apple. I said I thought they went out of business when the Beatles broke up. Again we exchanged bewildered if compassionate stares.

My friend then said he'd show me how to use a word processor if I'd show him where to put the soup attachment.

Whirr Processor?, I asked. Is that a brand like Moulinex?

``Not Whirr Processor,'' he said. ``Word processor!''

What's a word processor? I asked. And it was the answer to that question that got me back to my basic blender and away from my acoustic typewriter for good.

I know what you're thinking. There's no way she really mistook a food processor for a word processor. Don't be so sure. For years I thought the second commandment said ``Thou shalt not make unto thee any gravy images.'' If you think writing with a food processor is hard, you should try making anything out of gravy. It's even hard to make gravy out of gravy.

I also have a friend who once mistook her sister for a streetcar. She's never been able to fully explain this to me as she's always laughing too hard to make sense. But she swears it's the truth. And who, we must ask, am I, a woman who mistook blades for bytes, to doubt her?

Which gets me back in a roundabout way to my food processor mix-up. I should have been suspicious when they told me to set it up in the kitchen. I mean there is no way to write even a shopping list in a kitchen. One is either waxing or gnawing, cleaning or chewing. It's most distracting, not to mention noisy. It all reminds me of a poem Beatrice Lillie used to recite. She called it ``A Clear Case of Mistaken Identity.'' It goes like this: I was standing on a corner just as quiet as can be when a great big ugly man came up and tied a horse to me.

I'm grateful to say that hasn't happened to me. Yet.

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