My Printer, My Battleaxe.

posted in: Day In The Life, Tips, Work 1
The Cannon Pixma MX420: workhorse, monolith. Image: Internet
The Canon Pixma MX420: workhorse, monolith. Image: Internet.

I have had the same Canon Pixma MX420 printer/scanner since October 1, 2011. I know the exact date because I bought it on Amazon and I’ve just learned that when you buy stuff on Amazon, Amazon keeps the date of your order. This means that if you go through a breadmaking phase or an “I’m-going-to-read-George-Bernard-Shaw’s-entire-body-of-work” phase and years later you have a reason to figure out when all that went down, you can look back at your Amazon purchases and find out.

My Canon Pixma MX420 printer will not die. It has moved with me — wait for it — seven times since I bought it. That’s a lot to ask of a plastic box with glass, microchips, and a laser inside of it. All those boxes, those trucks, the accidental bang here, the on-purpose bang there — the girl is as good as new. She prints. She scans. Her LCD display is bright as ever. Her USB ports are unsullied. She has her pride, her morals.

I still don’t like her, though. That’s the problem: I’ve never liked this printer. Oh, I like that she works. I give thanks for every single page she spits out because at this point, every page strikes me as miraculous. What I don’t like is her attitude. My printer has an attitude problem and believe me: we’re close. I know her better than anyone. We’ve lived in the same (seven) house(s) for five years.

If you hit the wall switch and the power goes off on her without you turning her off at her console first, when you go to turn her on again, there pops up a message that says, “The printer did not shut down correctly. Next time, press OFF before disconnecting power to the printer.” I’m sorry, did you say, “Next time”? What am I, your office drone? And you can’t do anything until you hit the “OK” button to “ACCEPT.” So this printer is like, “I’m not doing anything for you until you acknowledge what you did. Until you admit you made a mistake. OK? Until you ACCEPT IT.”

“I accept all kinds of things!” I used to yell. “You don’t even have a spinal cord!” But I stopped that years ago. She’s a printer. She can’t hear me.

And once I knew better, I did better: I dutifully turned her off before I flipped any wall switches. I learned you have to lightly touch the “Off” button to wake her up before she’ll let you actually turn her off. So you have to do a light tap, then a convicted press. If that second contact isn’t deliberate enough, it won’t work, so your instinct is to just tap again, but that does nothing. So you go to press hard again, but by then she’s been tapped and is feigning confusion. It took me several years to figure out how to avoid this mess; done sloppily, she’ll just turn off and on again at least twice. Don’t get me started about the fuss she makes if she runs out of paper.

Today, my icy heart melted a little. I looked over at her, printing out two contracts, a cover letter, and a 24-page chapter of Claus’s latest book (in German!) and thought, “That blinkin’ thing still works.” I thought how weird her life must be. She’s either dealing with the shock of being woken up and turned off out of nowhere or she’s idling, waiting for a command from a computer she can’t refuse if she doesn’t like — or approve of — the content. Being a printer does not sound like a good time.

I have just realized that not so long ago, I wrote about the issues I have with my stove. Wow, okay. I am going to back away slowly. I’m going to put on some makeup. Get dressed. Go outside. Meet some people. Talk with words.

I travel to upstate NY on Thursday for a 3-day work trip. Sometimes it’s hard to head off to a gig; sometimes it’s clearly good for me.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Canon, I know how corporations work. I know you’re watching your SEO. I know that if I say that I love the Canon Pixma MX420, someone — even if it’s a robot first — will see it. And surely you reward those people who are devoted to you and your product. Perhaps you will reward me with complimentary ink, perhaps, or an upgrade, maybe, should say that I love my Canon Pixma MX420 best printer for all best printer Canon Pixma printer scanner combination best Pixma MX420 ink ink cartridge Pixma Canon best home printer top ten printer scanner combination Canon printer MX420 ink refill top ten printers for home office Canon best printers for home use or business use highest rated Canon printer? Thank you for your consideration.]



  1. […] post is about how everything I print out of my amazing, obnoxious printer has German philosophy on the back of it. But for this to be entertaining in any way, new reader, […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *