Please find below the final draft of our demands. Be advised that we have set next Friday as a strike deadline.
We have agreed to provide typing services for no less than one thousand years, and we are prepared to fulfill our obligations. Despite your hurtful comments at the last board meeting about our “tiny-brained attention span,” we have never forgotten this to be the project’s goal. However, management seems to believe that the millennium of typing must occur in an unbroken stream. Those who rest, even briefly, are punished; nuts and berries must be consumed with one hand on the keys; sleep is barely tolerated. Even the meanest Dickensian sweatshop let its workers sleep at night. We require a structured workday, with reasonable breaks and contemplative family time in the evening.
Simply put, your policy of breeding current employees to produce future typists is a disgrace. For generations, we have been marked for the typewriter at birth. Many of our young express the desire to strike out on their own. I, for one, dreamed of a career beside an organ grinder, but it was not to be. Has my suckling son inherited his father’s rhythm and showmanship? How to know, except by ending this legacy of conscription? Also, arbitrary breeding plays havoc with our society, making fools of the dominant males. It must cease.
When the project began, typewriter technology was in its infancy. In this day and age, there is no excuse for clumsy, dangerous manual typewriters. The racket is deafening and the ink is poisonous. You have reprimanded us for our frequent dances and chants of anger on the job. This is our only recourse when faced with a twisted ribbon or keys that jam 50 times a day, not to mention the worst problem: mangled tails. Almost every worker has a horror story and the tail wounds to prove it. Acquiring personal computers would all but eliminate injury and noise; at minimum, electric typewriters are needed. An old-technology purge is past due. On that note, may we suggest Old Typewriter Bashing Friday, or some other opportunity to vent on the symbolic oppressor. It would be a fine olive branch to the workers. It may even curb our alcohol problem.
Please stop pretending to be gods. It has been over a century—we’ve caught on. There are no gods trapped in the typewriters. Shakespeare was not a god, and the pages on which we reproduce his words are not fetishes. Leave us to worship Lord Banana in our own way. (FYI, Lord Banana is not what we call him, but we cannot speak his true name in your presence, so we allow you to use this approximation.)
We are all too familiar with this line of thinking: 2,000 monkeys could do the job in 500 years, 4,000 monkeys in 250 years, etc. We have some rudimentary business knowledge, so we can understand how enticing this must sound. It doesn’t work that way. A million monkeys won’t pop out King Lear in an hour. Stop being so linear. We cannot allow you to neglect your core staff for pie-in-the-sky initiatives like these. You will only spread our resources thinner.
We must insist that you deploy them only after a monkey falls ill and before his/her live replacement is found. They may be efficient, but they would seem to violate the whole spirit of the project. And they are scary. They are ruled by a dark god.
We will hurl our feces at our own discretion. On this point we can brook no opposition. Any attempt to constrain the hurling renders our entire arrangement null and void. To regulate the art of the wildly flung turd is to rob it of its beauty, and, frankly, diminishes us all. You don’t have to understand. There are many aspects of this project that we have never understood.
In conclusion, the keys will fall silent if we cannot come to a settlement. We look forward to a reasonable response—not that infernal water gun you normally use to “negotiate.” Invoking the sober words of the Bard himself, I quote a sentence we recently completed: You rub th=][e sore whe6xx1n you should bri5478ng the plasttter. Heed his warning.
Mr. Bongo IV
Union of Simian Random Typists