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Not Ink

I hate printers.

New printers are often cheap, cheaper than buying just a replacement toner cartridge. Perhaps this explains why I have come to amass a closet full of now dry and defunct devices.

Such is the origin of the joy, nay- giddy zeal, I felt when I saw the promotion wherein the sting of getting robbed by the cost of the first ink purchase was mildly eased by a 50% discount on the second. It was a momentous occasion, one worthy of celebration.  

My rejoicing came to an abrupt halt, however, when I was told that toner is not ink. The confounded look of disbelief prompted further explanation from my cashier, whose patience and verbose poetry of clarification hit me like a brick.  

“The discount is for ink. This is toner.”

At 9:17 on a Tuesday morning, I was being challenged on the nature of ink. And I lost.


I later discovered that ink is defined as the liquid or paste with which an object may be written, drawn or printed upon. Toner, by contrast, is wax or plastic powder that gets mixed with some other stuff in order to melt enough to adhere to paper.  


This onerous specificity of language astounded me, in in this world where “shit” is a commonly accepted term for just about any noun.


Any other time, I am adrift in boundless generality.


But not with toner.

No, my friends. That shit isn’t ink.

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