The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

NEWSFLASH: I Haven’t Pre-Written A Blog Post For Today …
April 7, 2010, 6:12 am
Filed under: Comment

I know … I know … that’s amazing … but in a choice between eating chocolate or writing total and utter bollocks, chocolate wins.

That’s it … there’s nothing I can really add so how about I talk to you about this:

That … ladies and gentlemen … is my calculator.

Not just any calculator … but the same one I have had since 1980.


Half you bastards weren’t even born back then … but what’s even more astounding [as well as explain why I’m not very good at maths] is that it’s still on the same battery.

I know – that sounds amazing doesn’t it – but it’s true … I have a battery that is older than the sperm that created you.

And here’s the thing, I love it.

Let me clarify … I love the calculator, not the sperm that created you. [Sorry]

What’s funny is that when I got it, my school chums took the piss saying it was the size of a BBC Computer [think ‘Apple Mac’ but for UK schools in the 80’s] and now when people see it, they laugh because it’s an antique … but I don’t care … it’s a friend that has seen me through all manner of situations and circumstances.

It’s helped me work out how much it would cost to buy all the things I want from the Argos catalogue.

It’s occasionally helped me in maths exams [though I once got 2% so that’s questionable]

It’s worked out how much take home pay I’ll have.

It’s helped me remember people’s phone numbers.

It’s worked out the cost of mortgages.

It’s added up my expenses.

It’s subtracted my credit card bill from my budget.

It’s helped me pass the time by playing the “who can be the first to get the E symbol on the screen” games.

It’s helped me work out %’s from tax to higher purchase.

It’s told me how much things have cost in foriegn lands.

It’s told me how overdrawn I am.

It’s made me laugh when I typed 55378008

I like that it’s big and ugly … I like that it’s got the most boring colour scheme known to man … I like how it feels … I like that it’s complex and has buttons that I’ve never ever used … and whilst the IKEA lamp ad would say I am a misguided sentimentalist, the fact is it’s been there through my most pivotal of days … from school exams and first job through to the purchase of my first house and car through to leaving England and saying goodbye to my Dad … so getting rid of it wouldn’t be getting rid of an out-of-date calculator, it would be me turning my back on something that helps me feel linked to my past, my heritage, my home.

To paraphrase the Mad Men scene … it’s not a calculator, it’s a time machine … and I love it because to me it’s not worn out, it’s worn in.

40 Comments so far
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i think i liked it more when you wrote about fucking advertising or even planning.

ive never liked that briefcase of a calculator. its been there for as long as ive known you, staring at me, taunting me, trying to get me to blink first. i fucking hate that piece of 80s beige texas instruments shit but i got my own back when i took it over to mountain view and let all the young turks take the piss out of it and its owner. no one messes with me, not even calculators.

for a fucker who has robots and all other manner of pointless tech shit, your love of that calculator is baffling even after youve just claimed its your guardian fucking angel or something but i guess its wank like this that makes you special even if its the sort of special that normally has people wearing jackets with no fucking sleeves.

i like the ‘worn in, not worn out’ phrase explains why youre such a sentimental shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

if this isnt prewritten does it mean youre up?

just typed 55378008 into the phone. still a classic.

Comment by andy@cynic

isnt your piece of beige shit solar powered?

Comment by andy@cynic

Can it calculate how much time I wasted reading this post?

Comment by John

My calculator says you haven’t wasted any of your time on my blog.

Happy to have helped.

Comment by Rob

Yes I am awake … if memory serves me the Google guys were fascinated by it (though maybe for negative reasons) and no, it’s not solar powered – I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the draw but even I, with my bad eyesight and low brain power, think I would have noticed that.

(though I’ll check again the moment I get into the office, ha)

Comment by Rob

so you got up early to write a post about your fucking calculator?

thats the most tragic fucking thing ive ever heard.

bb king might be able to get away with naming and singing about his fucking guitar but even he would say if you have the urge to talk about a 1980s fucking beige calculator you should keep your trap shut.

youre one of a kind campbell and thank fuck for that.

calling you now so dont pretend youre not in or asleep.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh what a great start to the day …

PS: Regarding your last comment, I sort of had come to that conclusion myself.

PPS: I’m impressed you even know who BB King is, let alone that he named his guitar. Twenty years and you finally surprise me, haha.

Comment by Rob

being bored to suicide listening to campbell on the phone.

who said men cant multitask but talking to campbell hardly needs concentration so ive proved fuck all.

Comment by andy@cynic

Listening to me? You’re the one who hasn’t drawn breath so I’m the one who can claim to be bored. This is like an episode of Peep Show where this blog says what we’re really thinking while we talk pleasantries on the phone.

Comment by Rob

i think campbell is such a twat and im so bored listening to him.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob

youre better when you sleep in.
youre certainly more fucking interesting.

Comment by andy@cynic

This has been very amusing to read.

I find myself agreeing with Andy that it’s strange you wake up early and decide to write about your calculator rather than take in the sunrise or have a cup of coffee, but what you’ve written is warm, humouress and gentle so the experience wasn’t unpleasant and it’s made me think about my relationships with inanimate objects that have seemingly been around me forever.

Haven’t found one that induces such emotions in me as your calculator does in you yet. LOL.

Comment by Pete

thats because youre not such a sad bastard planner as campbell.

be grateful for small fucking mercies pete.

Comment by andy@cynic

That should make you feel better Pete, you’re not as sad as me … a masterclass in inspiration there. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

Actually it does. LOL.

Comment by Pete

Loyalty like an Italian. (sorry Mum)

Comment by Rob

sucked in campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

Battery manufacturers were pretty stupid back then creating batteries that last 30 years +

Comment by rafik

I think they just expected the calculator to be used more than once every 6 months Rafik.

I am searching my brain to see if I did ever replace the battery because let’s face it – 30 years feels like a World Record – but even if I did, it would only of been once and that would be at least 15 years ago, so eitherway, it shows why my financial nous is rather poor … ha!

Comment by Rob

Classic comments here lol. I agree with Andy, love the line “it’s not worn out, it’s worn in.” but then again, Rob you know I’m a soppy bastard so of course i would 😉

Comment by Age

You make me look like Arnie … 🙂

Comment by Rob


Comment by Age

Have you no friends, Dear Man? The abuse you take here!! The most amusing line in your post was “I have a battery that is older than the sperm that created you.” God Bless Texas Instrument. May you enjoy another 30 years. (I’ll be 84 then.)

Comment by adchick

84 …


But you’ll be a hot 84 whereas I’ll resemble a cashnew nut. Or be dead. Eitherway, it sounds awfully like a Lose:Lose situation for me … especially as my calculator won’t look a day over 18, albeit an unfashionable 18.

Comment by Rob

I am willing to bet you did prewrite this. See that table that calculator is placed on is a classic office type table, u know the cheap grey ones bought in bulk. So whether or not the actual act of typing out the post occurd this morning don’t matter, you had the blog already in ur mind. cause no way your wife, Jill Campbell, would let you buy that colour table.

So either you did prewrite ( and just got caught) did not prewrite but preshot te pic at the office ( over Easter, which is just sad).

At least, that is what I got out of this post.

Comment by Niko

Sorry Mr Wannabe CSI… but I did write this post today, it’s just the photo is old.

[No, I don’t know why I would take it either!]

Your powers of deduction are OK but could do with fine-tuning, because whilst your comment about not having a cheap grey desk at home is correct, the real ‘insight’ is why I was able to write a blog post early on a weekday in the firstplace … and the answer would be because the wife is in bloody Mongolia [don’t ask!] so having been woken up by the cat having some sort of Incredible Hulk fit, I had nothing better to do but trawl through my Flickr account in a bid to find something to write about – which, sadly for all of you, I did – with that thing being my beloveed calculator.

7/10 Niko … can do better.

Comment by Rob

7/10.. where were you when i got the advice from teachers that books was not me, but perhaps welding was..

Though looking around at my “career” now.. Should of listened 😉

Comment by Niko

I missed a ‘0’ after the ’10’.

Comment by Rob

Can everyone please stop saying LOL, this is not an episode of bloody skins.
And I still have a t-shirt from 1988. It still fits, but I have to admit, after being worn in, it’s beginning to wear out.


Comment by northern

Are you listening Pete? Northern is challenging you to a scrap.

Comment by Rob

Without wishing to be (too) mean, reading “I like that it’s big and ugly … I like that it’s got the most boring colour scheme known to man” reminded me how dog owners often see themselves/their personalities in their pets. I wonder if it is the same for calculators?!

Comment by Simon Kendrick

Thanks Simon … thanks a fucking lot. Why don’t you just say you want to be Andy’s bitch and be done with it.

And what’s your calculator? Is it big in a desperate bid to compensate for something?

Gosh, you really hit a nerve there … but attacking my calculator is like attacking my family.

Jesus, how sad can I get???

Comment by Rob

Sadly, I am bereft. Open office means staplers and calculators rarely stay on my desk for more than a day. While tempting, I don’t really have it in me to draw an incriminating mark on them.

So I just use my phone (as a calculator, not a stapler).

I could try and be nice by saying your calculator represents old school chic and timeless class. But I could also say it represents an antique from a forgotten era. Hmm.

Comment by Simon Kendrick

Whatever Andy is paying you, I’ll double it.

Comment by Rob

no payment, we do it for kicks.

got to go, a lightbulb ive had since birth has just died and i need to cry fucking eyes out.

Comment by andy@cynic

How many planners does it take to replace a lightbulb?

Comment by John

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