My dad called around two in the morning.

“Whats going on old man?”

“I made a mistake with this damn computer, now its printing a thousand pages of this damn crap.”

“A thousand?”

He sounded emotional. He was out of breath and groaning and slamming his fist against his desk.

“I pressed the wrong button or something. Is there any way I can stop this damn thing?”

“Sure,” I said.


“Dad, relax.”

“Can you just help me.”

“One moment.”

I got out of bed and sat at my desk, hoping it would make me feel more professional about the whole thing.

“Hello!” my dad called out. “You still there? Anyone there?”

“I’m here.”

I tried to explain to him how I would do it. He got very upset about this.

“No, Justin, I just want to know how to stop it.”

“That’s what I am trying to do.”

“Will you listen to me. It just keeps printing and printing.”

“Well, go to file and…”

“I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Dad you need to calm down,” I said.

“I am calm.”

“You are the least calm.”

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“Dad, what is the worst that can happen?”

“I don’t know. I just truly don’t know.”

“Sure you do.”

“I just need this to stop.”

“How bout just turning it off.”

“It doesn’t have an off button.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t think it has one.”

“Sure it does.”

“Justin, damn it, it has no off button.”

“Does it have a red button?”

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“What do you mean ‘maybe’?”

“I don’t know.”

“Find the button and press it.”

“Now whats happening?” my dad said.

“Everything okay?”

“I don’t know. I just don’t know any more.”

“What don’t you know?”

“It’s just not working. I don’t know what to do?”

“How bout just unplugging the thing?”

“It wont unplug.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. I give up.”

For a moment, I considered my dad had some crazed horror movie printer that had no off button, maybe no buttons at all. And the things only purpose in life was to torture old men by eating all their paper.

“Okay, its working now,” my dad said.

“It is?”

“I think so.”

“Good. I’m glad.”

“I’m really sorry about this.”

“Its okay.”

“I just feel like there must be some easier way to do this.”

“So how else are things?” I asked.

“Pretty good. Been watching this new show. It has that lady in it.”

“Which lady.”

“You know that lady you like.”

“I like a lot of ladies dad.”

“You know the lady.”

“No, I don’t.”

We talked for a while. We discussed sitcoms from our past and the ones we were watching currently.

“Oh shit,” my dad said.

“What’s wrong?” I asked

“I think I broke it again?”

“You did?”

“No wait,” he said. “False alarm.”