Both Zedability and Frère Rubik said they might know of one in the library, so I called around a little bit. BYU Info—bless you, campus operators—told the Media Center in the library used to check out typewriters to students, but that they no longer offered that service. When I called the Media Center, they informed me they did still have a typewriter students could use within the center itself. The typewriter is electronic, not manual—I hope it will still give you the look and feel you want. The Media Center desk warned me the typewriter had a note on it saying the Chamber of Secrets has been opened the rhythm on the typewriter is a little off, so I'd suggest using some paper you don't really care for at first until you get the hang of what that means.
Watching old sci-fi movies has thoroughly convinced me using old, dusty malfunctioning technology with cryptic handwritten warnings usually leads to some kind of horrible wormhole opening up and sucking the protagonist and their entourage into some mind-tearing parallel universe where either all the supporting characters/nameless goons get killed off by stuff with tentacles (as these goons are whisked yelling away into darkness they are contractually obligated to harmlessly fire a machine gun into all directions), or, far worse—the protagonist is permanently transported into a terrifying dimension where ice cream doesn't exist, or perhaps taken to a magical land where all soda is the carbonated flavor and consistency of macaroni and cheese.
Wishing none of these outcomes upon you, I thought it prudent to make one more call on campus to a place I'd only ever seen by flashlight, four years ago: the University Press Building.
Past Ardilla walked carefully through the rows of gleaming machinery. Almost deafening by day, the curious contraptions now lay silent and still in the warehouse's cavernous gloom. What was this place? The keys attached to his waist jingled as he stepped over a discarded box. Industrial rolls of shrink wrap piled on a towering shelf shone green under his flashlight's wandering beam. Old publications lay in half-opened boxes scattered around the end of the largest machine, which stretched nearly the entire length of the warehouse. Though the empty expanse of the room threatened to swallowed the sound of his footsteps, Past Ardilla could make out a distant tapping.
"Okay, you can stop now," he said. There was no reply. He was apparently alone.
"You're still doing it," he said. But to whomever was he speaking?
"I'm speaking to you, man," he said to no one in particular, since we've already established the room was quite devoid of people and—did I mention?—rather mysterious.
"**Sigh...** Past Ardilla let out a long and frustrated sigh —who knows why—as he began to speak anew.
"You. I'm speaking to you."
Me? I'm just narrating this.
"Yes! That's the problem. You think that just because you did once visit the University Press Building at night, you can make up a whole story about it.
I wasn't making it up. You're there right now, in 2012. I can tell the story if I want. It's pretty cool. There were some machines and shrink wrap. Industrial-sized rolls of shrink wrap.
"The size of the shrink wrap rolls is irrelevant, and just because a story is true doesn't make it interesting."
Wrapping purloined automobiles in locally foraged off-brand Saran is interesting.
"Do you recall me purloining or packaging any cars here?"
"Okay, so why the stalling? Are you writing whatever words come to your head in the misplaced hope someone will dare you to concoct—how did you put it—'soda the carbonated flavor and consistency of macaroni and cheese?' "
Not really, but now that you mention it...
Wait, just hear me out. Now the Mac n' Cheeto has been invented—
"The people of the future didn't actually—Heaven have mercy."
—as I was saying, now those have been invented they need some company and this is the logical next step. Besides, I think I know how to make it.
"You're getting so excited considering whether you could you won't stop to consider if you should."
What? Oh... I see what you're getting at. An excellent idea, Past Ardilla. When I make the Mac n' Soda, I'll be sure to add little dinosaur garnishes.
"Unbelievable. Look, have you forgotten you've got a question to answer? Have you forgotten our reader?"
No, I didn't forget our reader. I'm just bummed.
When this is done, they're going to leave.
"Well, yah, if they're even still here. I'd hardly blame them for leaving, I'd do it myself were I not stuck in 2012. So what's the sitch? Pray tell, we haven't got all night."
It's a little embarassing.
"Spare me your yapping, whelp. Have I taught you nothing?"
If I recall correctly, wasn't Summer 2012 the semester you managed to fail all—
"Don't make this about me. Spit it out."
Whatever, Past Ardilla. There's nothing you can do to stop me. I can take as long as I want.
"As long as you want? As long as you WANT?" His patience worn thin, Past Ardilla's expression became one much like a toddler faced with the task of consuming an entire kiddie pool of chocolate pudding: furious determination."That's IT!" he said as he tossed his flashlight to the ground. Defying time, space, and at least three literary conventions (including a particularly bad Margaret Atwood Appreciation Society conference) he clambered through servers and systems. His resolve flagged momentarily as he fought off numerous offers to 'upgrade to Windows 10,' but at last he reached Summer 2016 where he suspected that sniveling Present Ardilla was almost certainly still lollygagging. Yes, there he was. The oaf had stopped writing answers altogether and was watching videos of well-dressed otters.
"YOU!" Past Ardilla shouted and—reaching from the screen—gripped Present Ardilla by the left nostril, who quickly emanated a pitiful screech.
Eiaigheeeeee! Let go! What do you want?
"Why are you making this answer drag on? Spit. It. Out." Present Ardilla looked miserable as he tried to break free of Past Ardilla's expert nostril-hold. Whimpering, he at last began to talk rapidly in mumbling, near incoherent sentences.
Okay, like Past Ardilla I'm sorry for taking so long it's just that this reader here seemed really cool and I thought it was so classy that they actually wanted to write someone a letter with a typewriter and I was a little sad and jealous I wasn't typewriter pen-pal buddies with this person and I think it would be cool to correspond with someone like that—
Past Ardilla interrupted him for a moment "Sorry bro, but I'm pretty darn sure this person has already specified they have someone they fancy to whom any and all sweet old-school correspondence is already destined."
—right I get that but maybe if I like made this answer longer they'd for some inexplicable reason decide they'd also send me some cool correspondence let's ask them now hey reader guess what I have this great idea would you like to send me a
An untidy wad of crumpled-up paper unceremoniously shoved into his mouth abruptly muffled his words, for Past Ardilla had had enough. While he hardly doubted Present Ardilla's sincerity, he was sadly certain of his lunacy. And right now there was a reader who'd patiently been waiting more than 100 hours to get a response, and they were going to get it. "Legilimens!" he said firmly as he conducted a quick search of Present Ardilla's mind. It didn't take long to find the information, the only other info there being the beginnings of a petition suggesting otters be officially named the world's sharpest animal dressers. Just as he prepared to share the secret of the typewriter, Present Ardilla managed to spew out his paper gag.
Okay, okay, Past Ardilla, if someone's going to tell them it's going to be me.
Dear reader: The University Press Building on University Parkway (just south of the MTC) does in fact have a typewriter (with no rhythm problems) you can use in their Graphic Design department, which I'm told is easiest to access on the east side of the building. Room 218, I think. Once you find them, simply walk in and request politely at the front desk to use the typewriter they maintain in a back room for special projects. They said calling ahead to use it wasn't necessary since it isn't used a whole lot. I don't know if it's a manual or electric typewriter, but either should give you the look you want. I wish you well in your really classy-sounding romantic endeavors and further add that if for some reason things don't pan out and you'd prefer to correspond with someone else, perhaps even—
"The answer, man," growled Past Ardilla dangerously.
—uh, orphans in Kyrgyzstan like you should totally go for it. As a side note, I've always fancied myself an orphan at heart from a former Soviet bloc country—
—but anyways yeah good luck and stuff, that sounds like fun.
said Past Ardilla as he slowly relinquished his hold on the Present (and Present Ardilla's left nostril, fading back into a cute but mistaken assumption in 2012 that this was the semester Pas Ardilla would finally pass College Algebra.
Ha ha, what?
--Past and Present Ardillas Feroz with a guest appearance by late-night delirium