As a card-carrying member of The Typosphere …


… well okay, it’s an expired Australian Writers Guild Membership Card, but see how the card is signed by Zapata1. That my friends is what’s known as subliminal messaging.


Sadly, the AWG stepped away from the typewriter. This is the card I received the following year …


The pen may be mightier than the sword, but a pen nib hardly fires the imagination in the way that a typewriter does.

It was enough to make me let my membership lapse, which I eventually did. Not that I was a “proper” member, you understand. No, I was just an associate member. Someone who the AWG encouragingly refers to (in order to encourage the continued payment of an annual subscription fee) as an “emerging writer”.

I failed to emerge and have instead become the literary equivalent of an ingrowing toenail. But I ain’t bitter. As Woody Allen said, paraphrasing Groucho Marx:

“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member!”

1In the 1952 movie “Viva Zapata” starring Marlon Brandon and Anthony Quinn, Zapata is located in his mountain hideout by the newspaperman Fernando Aguirre (Joseph Wiseman), a political agitator who claims his typewriter is the sword of the people. In the end Fernando is depicted as a type of Judas, even to the extent of having an adjutant named Jesus kiss Zapata.

Not everyone’s cut-out to be a team player. Xerox_Horvath

(Typed on my 1985 Xerox 6002, Primus 10 typeface.)