July 5, 2013 by T. Gregory Argall
We have an old-school, hand-crank, Luddite-powered paper shredder.
It’ll even shred credit cards, compact disks, and other manufactured soul-traps of the modern world. We got it cheap at the AmishEnron Bankruptcy Yard Sale and Barn Raising about ten years ago. (The food was great and the hats were wide-brimmed.)
They also had one made of wood. The craftsmanship was beautiful but it weighed about two hundred pounds, so we bought the one we could actually carry.
On the top, adjacent to the shredder-maw, there is a series of small pictures, listing various items that one should not insert into the shredder: a necktie, a paperclip, your hand, a woman’s head.
All very sensible. Safety is so important, especially considering that there is no emergency shut-off button. The warning labels are there so that rather than wasting valuable seconds and/or minutes searching for a large red button that doesn’t exist, you can simply not stick your hand in the shredder in the first place.
Although, boy oh boy, is it tempting…
“But, wait,” I hear you cry, as you wrestle your way into the reflective mesh vest of the Volunteer Safety Warden. “Why is there no large red emergency shut-off button?”
Consider the logistics… If you have one hand turning the crank and the other hand jammed into the shredder, you won’t have a hand available to hit the shut-off button. No, if you’ve come this far your only option is to just keep cranking and get used to only counting to five.
On a positive note, this will cut your mitten budget in half.