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The Fine Print

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Joy Holland

John, I am surprised that a man of your sensitivity, intelligence and most of all, your experience in packing books, cannot appreciate the importance of "flat, really flat gummed tape." We may have been spoiled by tape guns and scotch tape, but I for one I can easily imagine the irritation that must be caused by those curling edges of wet gummed tape. In future I hope you, as I do, will fully appreciate the importance of flatness in tape and take a moment out of your busy day to reflect on the gift of calm convenience it has added to your life.

John Ptak

Amen, Joy! I've already offered up some carbonized bits of that reinforced wet packing adhesive that the USPS demands for insured overseas parcels. I hate it so. SO you think I'd be more appreciative of the really flat gummed tape guys because I could never really ever get the wet reinforced adhesive *flat*. I don't know what I was thinking, but that happens. Maybe its happening now? I dunno. What I really liked was the dark pretty blue that these guys used in their publication...


Yes, it is a good color, and just look at all those guys in suits and Brylcreem--oh no, wait a minute, only one of them has enough hair for that. I love your description of their offices--you can just tell that was how it was. "Take a letter, Miss Moss..."

John Ptak

(Mansfield?) I wonder if it (the office complex in general) as quiet or noisy? I bet kinda quiet, or more quiet than we would expect. Phones of course but not as many as later; no carpeting I bet so a lot of heal clatter from wispy waifs blwoing their way down the halls with Urgent Papers; but no music. Some typewriters and with not much on the walls they were pretty clangy; Burroughs adding machines thundering away. A palce of business, the sound of business being done, a kind of reverence. Or not. I wonder if there are any recordings of general office sounds from this time? General sounds like this--like the sound inside a cab or the Battery at 10 am and so on--probably all lost to inifinity.


You know what else there would have been--cigarette smoke, lots of it.

John Ptak

Yes, lots of swirling lazy smoke. And those great, large, thik overoatds for the winter--those deep dark blue ones for the men. Offices in the past in movies don't look so bad/scary compared to the offices that are prmosied in movies for the future, I think ("Brazil").

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