You know an era has passed when the devices that used to torture you suddenly become valuable icons.

For example, typewriters are much in the literary news these days, what with Cormac McCarthy’s old Olivetti fetching a cool quarter million dollars (interesting note: instead of going digital, McCarthy continues to write on a typewriter).

Now Harlan Ellison – a science fiction legend and subject of this brilliant “Pay the Writer” video (featured several times on the Underground) – is also selling his original typewriter.

Naturally, I began to wonder what – after I became famous – I could sell to my legions of fans for an obscenely high price.

Sadly, absolutely nothing leaps to mind; my original typewriter is long gone, my 128K Mac lasted about as long as anything which ran on a Macintosh power supply (not long), and I refuse to save my broken-down office chair simply because the imprint of my butt might someday be valuable.

Then there’s the little matter of fame, which I haven’t accumulated and won’t, so you might say I’ve solved the problem, and in the most direct way possible.

Still, if you harbor any hope of one day seeing yourself on the cover of The Rolling Stone, start squirreling away your eccentric/period writer’s gear now, though what that might be in the digital era isn’t entirely clear.

Keep becoming famous, Tom Chandler.

p.s. – If you missed my earlier post about a stunning collection of antique typewriters, give it a look. They’re beautiful.