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Nobody Wants My Piece of Crap Calculator

I unpacked my briefcase at a closing, just like always.  First, the file comes out, then black pens for myself and my clients, followed by correction tape, and finally, my calculator.

“May I grab that for a sec?” says the seller.  I agree, and when he’s done, he remarks, “If you don’t mind my saying so, that is a crappy calculator. Guess times are hard even for lawyers!”

Yes, times are hard, but I shared with him the real story of my chintzy calculator.  Now it is your turn, readers!

Back in 1983 (I recall because I was pregnant with my daughter, a vital part of the story), I went to a closing at a large mortgage factory with the fancy-smancy calculator/adding machine that my Dad had bought me a few years earlier. It did all that a portable model could do back in the dark ages of electronics, and I really liked it.

At the conclusion of the closing, I bid goodbye to all. Faced with an hour’s trip back to the office and a baby on my bladder, I asked the closing attorney if I could leave my stuff in the room and not schlep it to the restroom. He said OK, and I left for a few minutes.

Upon my return, the file and briefcase remained, but the super-duper calculator was gone! I alerted the receptionist, who called back the attorney, but after he walked around the many closing rooms and cubicles inquiring after my machine, I understood I was out of luck.

Driving back to the office along the Long Island Expressway, I had reason to stop again.  I visited a nearby eatery’s facilities and went to pick up some items in the drug store across the parking lot.  By the register were solar calculators for $3.99 that did nothing but add, subtract, multiply, and divide. On the rebound from my mega-model, I impulsively bought the inferior merchandise.

That cheap 28-year-old calculator has no tape and performs no mathematical wizardry.  Its vinyl cover has grown shoddy over the years, but the solar panels still grab the light and get the numbers right.  Whenever I have occasion to leave it, I have zero fear this shoddy device will be pinched again.

However, if some creep does pilfer it, I certainly got my money’s worth out of that calculator!



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