When you only do one thing, you do it well.
Need to send a contract to a client? I will fax it. Want to submit a proposal to a client? I will fax it. Want to send a birthday party invitation to a client? I will fax it.
I Will Fax Anything specializes in the sending and receiving of faxes… and that’s it.
Want to surf the Internet? Find a library. Looking for a ream of paper? Go to Staples. Want to loiter? Go home. I am not your friend.
Last week a man came into the Oak Forest I Will Fax Anything and asked for a small pepperoni pizza and a side of Crazy Bread. I don’t sell pizza. I only charge people for faxing things. (This particular I Will Fax Anything used to be a Little Caesars. I have not had the capital to remove the signage, so the man was not as confused as he may sound).
What did I do?
Within five minutes a nearby pizzeria had received a facsimile bearing the man’s order. “Best 32¢ [cover sheet plus one page containing the order] that I ever spent,” the man likely said at some point to someone.
Or take this incident not two hours old: a woman came into my other Oak Forest I Will Fax Anything location and asked to use the photocopier. I am a laconic man. I don’t speak unless I have to. So I waved my arm slowly around the room as if to say, “See you a copier, woman?”
She paused, turned for the door, and then, pulling on the handle despite a sign that says PUSH (man’s eternal folly in that one gesture), she turned back to me and said, “Can I…? You’ll think this is funny…”
I stared back as if to say, “I find nothing funny.”
She trailed off, blushed, pushed bangs of gold away from her brow, revealed eyes of sky blue. Her lips quivered in anticipation of words that would not come. Her ample breasts heaved like great swells on the ocean of woman.
I did not help her finish the thought. I prefer to let people develop their own ideas. The words then form slowly, with care, like pages coming through a fax machine.
Finally, she asked, “Could I fax from one machine… to another… and make a copy that way?”
Say seven people arrive at once at an I Will Fax Anything. Must a number of them wait—like fools—until the rush is over? No. Each I Will Fax Anything has eight fax machines.
Men, to use the word generously, have asked me why I don’t buy some computers, a scanner, and a speedy internet connection so people can send emails and PDFs. “The world has changed,” they say. “Change with it.”
Say I do. Where will it stop? Shall I don new clothes, divorce my wife, shatter a glass crucifix against a crystal American flag, and spit on my bust of Martin Van Buren? When the wind blows, shall I blow with it like a desiccated, fallen leaf?
I can go on and on about the 1300% yearly R.O.I. that I guarantee each investor. I can point to my burr grinder, my heated pool, and my stretch Cadillac Escalade (aka, “The Stretchcalade”) while purring in your ear like the Devil in Matthew 4 that “All this and more could be yours, if you but follow me…”
But I won’t. I instead appeal to your patriotism.
For almost eight years, America was The Nation of Faxers. Is it merely a coincidence that since abandoning the fax for the email we have found America mired in two foreign wars, a Great Recession, and an endless string of sexting scandals?
It is not. As the Little Magician himself said, “With respect to the northeastern boundary of the United States, no official correspondence between this Government and that of Great Britain has passed since that communicated to Congress toward the close of their last session.”
One would have to be blind not to see in this quote a great metaphor. Truly, the 8th President is calling down through the generations to say we should put all our capital into fax-only service centers.
A beep cries out in the wilderness. It is the Fax Machine of Opportunity seeking a response from your Fax Machine of Sense. Is their paper in your tray? If so, fax me back at the number at the top of this page.
Dennis O’Toole, Facsimilator