Oh Brother

Trying to print a draft of my sermon at home Saturday night, I made a heartbreaking realization: when I’d replaced the toner cartridge two days earlier, I’d not only disposed of the old cartridge, but also the drum that houses it and fits it into the printer. I can’t explain it. I’ve replaced the toner in this machine a dozen times in the five years we’ve had it.

It was Monday morning before I could work on a solution. I chatted online with Victor from Brother about my HL 2270DW. He sent me a link to purchase a new drum for $110. Ouch.

Suddenly it occurred to me that the old drum might be retrievable. Trash hasn’t been collected since I threw it out. I went out to the dumpster in the alley, and my heart sank upon remembering that this was move day for our downstairs neighbors, so the dumpster was stuffed full and piled high not only with trash bags but also with debris they were discarding in their move.

That drum is gone.

Maybe it’s simply time for a new printer. I quickly read over Wirecutter’s recommendations, and Meredith and I settle on one. I make the order with a flurry of apologies, because the new printer costs three times what a drum replacement costs. It’s barely 9:00 am and I’ve already blown our budget.

Later, pulling into the garage shortly after noon, I notice the rubbish pile on top of the dumpster has grown, and that there is now a black boxy Brother printer sitting on top of it. “Did Meredith already throw our old printer out?” I wonder. No, this is not our printer. It’s covered in dust. But it is unmistakably a HL 2270DW. I pull open the front cover to expose a fully stocked and in tact drum. It pops right out.

I Practically run upstairs, grinning all the way, and announce to Meredith my find. We both hold our breath as I fit the toner into the drum and then slide the tandem into the printer. It clicks and we exhale. My sermon manuscript is still queued from Saturday night, so the machine whirs to life and the pages slide right out. Perfect.

In a few minutes the order for the new printer is cancelled and my budgetary guilt is relieved.

My neighbor’s response to my text informing him that I’d lifted the drum from his trashed printer is the best part. “What’s even weirder is that was under our bed when the movers got it and we didn’t even know it was there.”


3 thoughts on “Oh Brother

  1. Very weird, yet encouraging at the same time. As I go through a lot of searching and knocking of my own, this is a great example that sometimes just slowing down enough to observe what’s there may reveal the “Goldilocks” answer — “just right.” Thanks. (P.S. I wasn’t too worried, because I knew that sermon got printed out all right. But still, what a good, weird story!)

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