© 2003 Jamie Zawinski
How to be a dumbass, by Jamie Zawinski, age 12:
- buy a paper shredder;
- pay cash;
- discover that it is worthless crap;
- realize that the very first thing you shredded was the receipt.
Yeah, I could go back to the store and spend half an hour
fighting with them over it, but I have just
now discovered that I would gladly pay the price of the shredder merely
to not need to have that fight with someone.
That's the end of my story, such as it is, but it inspired some
other folks to send me their own shredder stories, which I will share
with you here:
- sungo wrote:
Last time i bought a shredder, i got one of those big
"body disposal" wood chipper kinda shredders. Yeah, I shredded the
receipt too. But i needed to prove that it actually could process
large quantities of paper AND staples. So I shredded the manual.
With this shredder, I discovered if you held the manual still, the
shredder would lift itself off the floor and
climb the manual in its hungry attempt to
EAT my HAND.
I like shredders a lot. my current job outsources it shredding
to make sure it gets done properly. Is it a sign that you work for
THE MAN when you can't be trusted to shred sensitive
documents by yourself?
When I was working for the gub'ment in a former life we had to
shred about 100lbs of books a month. Way too much for any office
shredder I've ever seen. Onsite there was a small building about the
size of a studio apartment that housed only a shredder. The
official name was
"The Destruction Facility."
The machine was a permanent fixture, bolted to the floor and
weighing easily a few thousand pounds. It had a main shredding
chamber that was fed by a 10' long conveyor belt like you see in the
supermarket. The chamber had a central axle which contained a
spindle of 2' long metal... claws? That would get going fast enough
that they'd just tear apart anything that came their way and keep
churning it around until it was small
enough to fit through the filter and pass through the ducts that
went up through the ceiling and fed out to a dumpster behind the
One person had to hang out by the dumpster as the end product,
which was the size of fine dryer lint, came out of the chute and hose
it down so that the wind didn't blow it away.
Inside the building you had to wear flightline-quality
ear protection. Way too loud to talk in
there when the machine was going.
The best part was how much you could feed into the machine. We
threw 100+ page soft-bound manuals in there as fast as we could lay
them on the conveyor belt without stacking them and the machine
never even coughed. You could seriously get rid of bodies ala Fargo
with this thing -- or so I'd speculate.