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Why I'm Convinced My Printer is Possessed

A Story of Toner, Terror, and an Unprecedented Technological Tussle.

By Nathan ChenPublished 11 months ago 5 min read
Why I'm Convinced My Printer is Possessed
Photo by Joe Shields on Unsplash

The moment I swiped my card at the electronic store, I was living my best life. After years of lugging my laptop to the public library and tolerating their prehistoric printing facilities, I'd finally acquired my own printer. Little did I know, I was signing up for a comedic horror story featuring demonic circuits, possessed ink cartridges, and more paper jams than a bureaucrat's worst nightmare. Here's why I'm convinced my printer is possessed.

Like any tech-savvy, avocado-toast-loving, recycle-enthusiast, I'd done my due diligence. My new printer was state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, and promised to print more pages per minute than I could reasonably need. It was the printer of my dreams - that is, until the dreams turned into nightmares.

It all started innocuously enough. My new gadget and I were in the honeymoon phase. It sat on my desk like a shiny black beast of productivity, purring quietly as it spewed out immaculate prints of my CV. Life was perfect. That was until the incident.

One cool Tuesday evening, nestled between my third cup of coffee and a stack of paperwork, I sent a document to the printer. A mundane task, yes, but what followed was anything but. I distinctly remember hitting 'print' on the laptop, but the printer came to life like a circus clown with an amphetamine problem.

Without warning, it started to print out pages of jumbled text. Pages and pages of nonsensical characters and symbols, like an alien's interpretation of the human language or a programmer's code on a wild Friday night. I unplugged it in a hurry, but the printer, now resembling a possessed entity from a B-grade horror flick, carried on printing. Was it running on phantom power? Did it have an illicit connection to the Upside Down? I didn't know. All I knew was that I was officially freaked out.

For a moment, I thought I'd become the unwilling protagonist in a weird techno-horror novel. When I finally regained my senses, I called customer service, only to spend an hour convincing them I wasn't pranking them. With an eerie calm, they advised me to "turn it off and turn it on again." Genius.

So, armed with this groundbreaking advice, I approached my printer with a mix of fear, annoyance, and reluctant amusement. Miraculously, the printer stopped printing when I turned it back on. The issue seemed resolved, or so I thought.

Fast forward a few days. It's the middle of the night, and I'm catching up on some late-night binge-watching. Suddenly, I hear a low whirring sound from my study. It's my printer! Now, unless it's self-aware and developed a hankering for "Stranger Things," it had no business being active.

I entered the room, half-expecting to find my printer levitating in a pool of soft white light or perhaps conversing in binary with my router. To my surprise, it was just sitting there, but the display was blinking in a pattern that eerily resembled Morse code.

By Mahrous Houses on Unsplash

That's right, my printer was trying to communicate like a haunted ship lost at sea, sending out distress signals into the lonely night. Was it now a reincarnation of a World War II radio operator? Maybe it was trying to tell me that it was out of cyan. Who knows?

Then came the day when I noticed the printer making small mechanical jerks and spasms as if it were possessed. It didn't print anything, just danced around in a bizarre mechanical ballet, each moment choreographed to the tune of a strange, ethereal rhythm. The poltergeist had made its intentions clear - it wasn't going anywhere.

Every new day brought fresh horrors. Sometimes, it would refuse to print anything until I clicked print exactly three times. Other days, it would print everything twice, just for kicks. Once, it refused to work until I played Beethoven's Symphony №9. Now, don't get me wrong, I have a deep appreciation for Beethoven, but being forced to play it by a possessed printer isn't quite my idea of a cultural exchange.

Days turned into weeks, and the printer's antics started to take a toll on me. My sleep was frequently interrupted by unexpected bouts of printing. My recycling bin overflowed with erroneous print-outs, each one a testament to the printer's nightly escapades. And there was the issue of the disappearing ink. No matter how many cartridges I loaded, it seemed like the printer was always thirsty for more. I started to worry if it was a printer or a black hole in disguise, sucking up all the ink in the vicinity.

Just when I thought I'd reached the peak of printer-induced insanity, the thing started to print pictures of cats. That's right. Cats. Hundreds of them. Now, I'm a dog person, so the only plausible explanation was that the printer was simply messing with me. You know, throwing the techno equivalent of a pie in my face. And boy, did it succeed.

I called customer service again, and this time they suggested a firmware update. "Firmware update," I mused. This was getting interesting. Was this the exorcism my printer so desperately needed?

With bated breath, I hit the 'update' button. I half-expected a holographic priest to emerge from the printer, bible in hand, chanting away the evil spirits. Unfortunately, all I got was a progress bar that crawled slower than a sloth on sedatives. After what seemed like an eternity, the update was complete, and the printer was ready to face the world again.

I clicked print. A hush fell over the room as I waited, heart pounding, for the result. Lo and behold, the document printed without a glitch. No random texts, no Morse code, no cats. Just my dull paperwork, looking remarkably ordinary. Had the exorcism worked? Only time would tell.

For a few blissful days, the printer and I coexisted peacefully. But alas, the peace was shattered when I woke up one morning to find a detailed printout of my internet browsing history from the previous night on my desk. My harmless guilty pleasures - from "Weird Al" Yankovic songs to '90s sitcom bloopers - were laid bare in ink.

The printer was back, and it was personal.

In the end, I gave up. I conceded defeat and accepted my life with a possessed printer. Every day, I wonder what new surprise it has in store. Every night, I brace myself for its ghostly escapades. After all, it's not just a printer anymore. It's my techno-poltergeist, my paper-churning phantom, my inkjet apparition. It's a constant source of frustration, fear, and yes, an endless supply of entertainment.

And that, my friends, is why I'm convinced my printer is possessed. It's not just a machine; it's a tale. A twisted, funny, utterly bizarre tale that keeps me on my toes and ensures my life is never dull. So, here's to living with a haunted printer. May your print jobs be swift, your paper jams few, and your life as entertaining as mine.


About the Creator

Nathan Chen

I'm Nathan Chen, a queer Asian writer advocating for LGBTQ+ issues, Asian representation, millennial lifestyle, work life & mental health. Let's explore life's complexities together!

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