If you've ever worked in an office or anywhere with a photocopier, you understand the frustration at using the machine. It never works when you want it to, it never makes clear copies, and the toner is somehow always low. When I was in high school, for three years I opted out of study hall to be an office helper and submitted myself to the wrath of our copymachine every day. It was beyond frustrating, but apparently, that wretched machine can actually offer a few laughs now and again..
This hilarious video from The New York Times chronicles a real life drama over photo copies. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio back in 2010, the recorder's office had the brilliant idea to start charging $2 for every page someone needed photocopied. Naturally, this outrage caused some citizens to sue the state for what they saw as exorbitant fees. The video is a dramatization of actual transcripts from the court case, produced by Brett Weiner.
The video starts off with a man being questioned, presumably one of the folks suing the state, by the defense lawyer about if his office had said photocopy machine. The man then proceeds to ask, “what is a photocopy machine?” Now in any other context, I would think the guy was asking some sort of existential question about how photocopiers are really a metaphor for the monotony of life, but I think this guy was just being a smart ass.
The lawyer literally can't believe that this man can not answer the simple question of if his office has a photocopier. He keeps on going to, denying any knowledge of photocopiers. The prosecuting attorney, representing the man, keeps trying to circumvent the situation by saying the man was just trying to be specific in how he answered the question, and that there are different kinds of photocopy machines. The state's attorney proceeds to painstakingly go to extreme lengths to describe a photocopy machine to the man. He eventually cracks the guy, who finally says they call photo copymachines “xerox,” machines. I can imagine the real life lawyer about flipping his lid when the guy finally answered.
So after many depositions, and more than 600 pages of documents, the case actually never went to court. That sounds like an awful lot of photocopied sheets that were used by people attempting to make this trial happen. More specifically, it sounds like a giant waste of time.