Some people say I’m the spitting image of Zach Braff. I’ve got a certain Garden State charm, but I don’t see the resemblance. Nevertheless, I get stopped. I get asked. I am forced to deny. Still, as far as mistaken identities go, this is not so bad. Who wouldn’t want to resemble a triple-threat Hollywood star? It may not be Brad Pitt, but at least I’m not being asked to prove to the wait staff at Chili’s that I’m not, in fact, McLovin. Photo from Fox Searchlight.
At any rate, whenever someone mentions Zach Braff, I sheepishly look around and wonder, do you mean me? He’s become a kind of separated-at-birth twin for me. Where he doesn’t feel the connection, I embarrassingly keep mental notes on the star, rooting for continued success, and applauding his excellent taste in all things (the music, the roles, the ladies).
So it was one winter afternoon last year that I came across one of my wife’s InStyle magazines only to notice near the back a piece on gear stars can’t do without. You know, those gadgets and gizmos that the stars’ publicists crank out as filler for page 380-something. The entry for my doppelganger was a low-tech gizmo and it caught my attention. I must say, it’s been nagging at me since.
A few weeks ago I bought a Royal typewriter on craigslist for $US50. It’s an antique. It’s a collectible. But like many things made in the era of longevity and preserved by people who care, it’s in perfect working condition.
I bought it because Mr. Braff mentioned in his part of that InStyle section that he likes to type thank-you letters on a typewriter. That he keeps one around specifically for that reason.
I know how he feels. My handwriting is a new level of illegible. 128-bit encryption has nothing on my chicken-scratch. So it is I often find myself writing notes in ALL CAPS because it’s the only way I can be understood. But in a thank-you letter, shouting in all caps is not the effect I’m looking for. Yet, if I want to really show my personality, I just write in my normal scrawl and hope for the best. It’s the thought that counts, right?
Well, now and forever, I’m putting my new-to-me Royal to use. It’s a beautiful machine. And for $US25 I found enough typewriter ribbon online to last years. With my custom letterpress thank you cards, my notes will be as personal and analogue as you can get without actually putting pen to paper.
So, Zach, my brotha, if you’re out there, I just want to say thanks. You solved my letter-writing problem. And if you need a stand-in for your next feature, I’m yours.
Guest writer Kelly Abbott‘s weekly post Ungeek to Live highlights all the ways you get can stuff done without (gasp!) a computer.