Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Kaligraphic Printer

Devilish printer of fortunes and misfortunes
  (+8, -3)
(+8, -3)
  [vote for,

Stefan and his old friend Gustaf were on holiday in a remote Indian region.

Against Sefan's better judgement, Gustaf had cajoled him into entering the dark interior of a Hindu Mystic's tent, who plied the dubious trade of a teller of fortunes.

The sight that greeted them on entering filled them with a mixture of wonder, excitement and dread.

Amidst the swirling trails on incense, strange symbols could be seen crawling over every surface, their rich, dark colours barely illuminated by the gloomy light of rows of flickering electric candles.

The centre of the room was dominated by an apparatus that looked like the offspring of a marriage between an ancient remington typewriter, a valve radio, and the back of a 1950s television with its rear cover removed. "Let's get out of here" hissed Stefan, but before they could move another inch, their exit was blocked by the presence of a figure silhouetted against the light creeping in from the half open tent flap.

Her face portrayed a countenance that alternated between cunning and ageless wisdom, simultaneously welcoming and disdainful in equal measures. Stefan and Gustaf exchanged nervous glances of anticipation, whilst they sat down at the table, placing their hands on the small mats, as instructed. A bundle of crumbling wires lead away from the mats into the heart of the apparatus. The mystic took each of their left hands in turn into her own and began to drone out an incantation, her voice taking on a deep resonance that betrayed her slender frame. Her hands then moved over to the keyboard, the rings on her fingers rattling in harmony with the ancient clacking of the keys.

The results of what followed can only be described, but never seen. As Stefan and Gustaf gazed in wide-eyed wonder, a diminutive figurine representing the God Kali, that was perched nearby, sprang into mechanical life.

It was now obvious that this figure was connected to the rest of the apparatus and was in fact its printer. Each of its many arms terminated in a hand that gripped a pen. As the parchment scrolled past the figure, the arms became a choreographed blur, each one pausing occasionally to dip its nib into one of the many bottles of ink that were lined up adjacently. Its internal mechanism was a wonder of perfectly synchronised tiny spinning cogs, worm drives, pulsating levers, and motors. A faint machine oil smell leaked into the atmosphere. When the printing was complete the figure swivelled up its arms and seemed to actually stare out gravely with its vacant brass eyes at Gustaf and Stefan, whilst its mechanism slowly returned to rest.

The mystic presented our two travellers with their fortunes, now richly inscribed on separate parchments, and hidden under sealed protective covers. “These can never be shown to anyone, not even each other” The mystic’s silvery voice resonated in their ears as they returned home, the afterimage of the Kaligraphic printer’s warning gaze continuing to fill them with an enduring dread.

xenzag, Aug 17 2006

Kali http://www.indhisto...indu-gods-kali.html
The dread of Kali [xenzag, Aug 17 2006]

The one Eyed Yellow God.... http://www.monologu...e_of_Yellow_God.htm
... of Kathmandu [xenzag, Aug 17 2006]


       the autoboner was quick off the mark this time... come out and fight like the dirty rat you know you are!
xenzag, Aug 17 2006

       I'm unable to read this. Does it mean anything? Can you maybe summarize it?
ldischler, Aug 17 2006

       it seems to be a holographic typewriter or fortune teller   

       I didn't vote.
xandram, Aug 17 2006

       It's a pun. Calligraphy is fancy handwriting, and Kali is the bloodthirsty goddess who is now angry at [xenzag].   

       Nicely written, though. Fishbone withheld.
baconbrain, Aug 17 2006

       //I'm unable to read this// [ids] sending round my hamster to read it for you.   

       [bc] The idea is not a pun, but the named description of it is. Can't be bothered going through this old semantic argument though - so I give up - don't think I am really such good fit here after all. Will hang around until my first year is up, which is in about a week's time.   

       Will continue with perycombover for those who are interested. It's been a sincere sensation. (The Player)
xenzag, Aug 18 2006

       Maybe that's it--you're about three weeks ahead of everyone else.
ldischler, Aug 18 2006

       I think it's a fabulous idea and a great bit of writing [+].   

       It'd be a sad loss to the HB if you left [xenzag].   

       Don't get disheartened - in one year, you've produced more ideas than all the other annoters here put together (...yes, I checked)   

       We all occasionally come up with ideas that seem brilliant to us, but go down like a...a...well, you know.   

       So, don't give up.
Frankx, Aug 18 2006

       //I think it's a fabulous idea //
Maybe, but what is it?
ldischler, Aug 18 2006

       The penultimate paragraph has it. A multi-armed ink brush plotter in the shape of a statue of Kali.
jutta, Aug 18 2006

       Okay. I actually like the image. But it's always discouraging to have to wade into a long story with no promise that there's anything in there. Even here, there's not much to discuss.
ldischler, Aug 18 2006

       do you by any chance work for the product description writing crew at woot. [xenxag]?   

       i like the image though.
tcarson, Aug 18 2006

       What is this with *quitting*? I love most of your ideas.   

       I have questioned myself, do I wait to post until I have a brilliant idea, or should I post knowing it's just a so-so idea. I try to fall in between, because, really those brilliant ones don't come around all that often. Not as often as the stupid ones, for me anyway. If you want folks to beg you to stay--   

       OK- Please don't go. What esle would you do with all those zany pictures?
xandram, Aug 19 2006

       Surya could go, but I enjoy the Vayu convey Soma your ideas and Vishnu vouldn't.   

       What [2 fries] said, but in English. I like your work, I like your ideas, I love your illustrations. I like this idea, too. I just assumed that it was driven by the pun. My apologies. Please stick around.
baconbrain, Aug 19 2006

       Sounds good to me, because I certainly don't have enough left arms to write Sanskrit.
lurch, Aug 20 2006

       Thank you for all your kind comments, the wisdom of which thereupon you will now have time to reflect. "It's hard to get rid of a bad thing"
xenzag, Aug 21 2006


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