Watching the Ink Dry

Because of an office date stamper, I have the most colorful hands in New York City.

I am a natural klutz, and I have been one all my life.  If a clumsy move is possible, I’ll find it and execute it with aplomb.  I can do clumsy maneuvers that most people can’t even think of.  There are a number of things I should never be trusted with, including hammers, pull-top cans, paper, stepladders, furniture and date stamper ink.

These have survived for thousands of years because I never touched them.
To make a long story short, the impressions left by our date stamper at work were starting to look sick, and I had to hit the thing pretty hard to get it to print clearly.  My wrist and I were getting tired.  I stopped, got out my little bottles of blue and red ink and went to work.

First, I had to figure out how to get the stamp pad out of the stamper.  This involved pushing the gadget together and locking it, then removing the pad.  I was fine with squeezing the thing together, but it refused to lock for me.  I swear I could hear it laughing.  It took several frustrating tries, but I finally got the freaking thing to stay put and I got the ink pad out.  The next step was to open the little ink bottles and drip enough ink onto the pad to make everything come out nice and clear without being forced to batter the desk to death with the stamper.

I won’t go into all the gory details.  I’ll just say that I ended up with ink not only on the ink pad but also on my desk blotter, a page of blank labels and my hands.  It takes several hand washings to get that stuff off, so I had semi-permanent blue and red tattoos on both hands for the rest of the day.  I looked like I worked in a flag factory.

Oh, but there’s more!

Apparently, I didn’t know the difference between dripping and pouring, because I got too much ink on the pad.

Everyone knows that ink dries faster if you stare at it.  So that’s what I did.  I held my head in my hand and stared down at the pad, willing the ink to dry.  A co-worker saw me and asked me if I was okay.  “Oh yes,” I assured her.  “I’m just watching some ink dry.”

And I wonder why people look at me funny.

Eventually, I got tired of this, blotted off the excess ink with a kleenex and put it back into the stamper – upside down.  I figured this out when it printed even worse than before.  Again, I shoved the stamper together and managed to lock it.  I had to dig to pull out the pad, because it was in upside down, but I got it out and put it back in right.

The ink was still wet, which meant that the date came out looking a little like Rorschach ink blots.  I stamped the date on some scratch paper until it started to come out looking better.

What is the moral of this story?  If you put a klutz in charge of a date stamper, you end up with ink blots and colored fingers.  What did you expect, something philosophical and intelligent?


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