TED WILSON REVIEWS THE WORLD: A CALCULATOR
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing a calculator.
Walgreens is having a sale on calculators. I didn’t need one because I see math problems as an opportunity to engage nearby pedestrians or call up a friend. Math is a social activity, not something to be done in isolation. However, I’m never one to pass up a good sale!
It was the last calculator left on the shelf so I snatched it up quickly. I could tell other customers were envious of me as I passed by. This was sure to be an awesome calculator.
When the clerk said I owed $7.46 I was confused. The original price was $9.99 before the 12% discount. Sales tax is 6.25%. I asked to double check the clerk’s math on my new calculator and suggested we could do it together, but he told me I couldn’t open the package until I paid for it. And also that he didn’t want to do any math with me. I agreed to pay the $7.46 and took the calculator home.
The sticker on the package explained the calculator was powered by the sun. I liked the idea that the sun could power my calculator but it is an admittedly inconvenient gimmick. I had to stay up all night waiting for the sun to rise.
Once the calculator was up and running I was excited to try it out. I couldn’t think of any math problems I didn’t already know the answer to, so I asked around the neighborhood to see if anyone needed any solved.
Marty, a guy standing around outside the library asked me how many miles it was to Walmart. I knew where the Walmart was but there was no way to enter this query into my calculator. Marty, who says he has several calculators at home also couldn’t figure it out. My calculator was useless and it was a bright, sunny day.
I figured perhaps I could try a simple arithmetic to test the calculator’s capabilities. When I tried the calculate pi, the calculator stopped at only eight places after the decimal point. I know for a fact that’s wrong. There are humans who can do way more than eight. And they can do it at nighttime! What a piece of crap this calculator turned out to be.
I brought the calculator back to Walgreens for a refund but was told clearance items are not available for a refund. So I took the calculator outside, placed it into the street, and waited for a car to drive over it. When a car finally came, the driver stopped the car, got out, picked up the calculator and left with it. That driver is going to be really disappointed.
BEST FEATURE: 58008 typed out spells “boobs” when turned upside down.
WORST FEATURE: Literally everything else about it.
Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing Bob Marley.