Deborah Ross: Printers are born on Planet Evil

If you ask me...

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If you ask me, the latest terrorist plot involving printer cartridges comes as no surprise to those who have always known that all print cartridges are evil, just as all printers are evil. Evil, evil, evil, evil. Printers and their cartridges are born on Planet Evil, suckled on Planet Evil and attend school on Planet Evil so, by the time they come to us, they only know how to be one way – and that way is evil.

"I have never known anything more evil in my life," says one woman whose printer never works properly, no matter how many times she presses the little, flashing "resume" button, as instructed. "Evil and a torment," she added. "Sometimes, I want to bash my own teeth out with a hammer, just for the pleasure of bleeding all over it."

According to the poll I would have conducted if only I had the energy – give us a break; I'm behind on my Christmas novelty book as it is – no one has ever, ever coexisted happily with a printer, or felt good about remortgaging their house so they can afford to purchase a replacement ink cartridge. As one of the people we didn't poll might have asked: "What is the ink made from? Plutonium? Beluga caviar? The wings of almost extinct butterflies, harvested by virgins once every 70 years?"

And as another might have said: "Let me see if I've got this right: they sell you a crappy printer that never works properly for £19.99 because they know that, once tied in, you'll have to spend £40 a throw on the ink cartridges. I'm not surprised these cartridges are in with the terrorists."

Indeed, when the printer flashes "replace toner" – which it does when it's not flashing "paper jam" – where did you think that toner cartridge had gone? Marbella? Sea World, Florida? No, to a training camp in Yemen. Printers, printer cartridges, anything to do with printers: evil, evil, evil.

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