When I was a much younger man, I was given a typing test – on a electric typewriter no less that incorporated a fairly standard phrase at the time:
“the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’s back”
Now before I start waxing all profound about ancient artifacts ( “What’s a typewriter?”), I presume that the same test is given to folks using data entry by keyboard. Reminiscing of the sort of technological development from clay tablets to the Millennial Generation’s preference for touchscreen (phone messaging) exceeds the boredom meter of most. I digress.
I was never proficient typing either in high school, as a Sailor, an adult college student, or today. That is, I do not have to look at the keys, hunting and pecking, but I certainly do not type remotely close in speed to my spouse. But I was required to have some ability as an electronic technician in the service as I repaired and calibrated electro-mechanical type – teletype machines. Often it would be one of the hammers that had a sticking gear or a failed spring so “lazy” might be “la y” instead.
However, what stirs this memory today is my dog Comet. While both Comet and Dexter are accustomed to my routine at home, they also have their own priorities. And Comet has a pretty insistent character. When I sit at my writing desk, and am in the throes of the creative process, a black nose pokes my hand repeatedly as I type. “Stop it, Comet.” “Stop it, Comet!” “Comet! quit it!”
I start to swivel my chair to put my back to him. He comes at me from the other side.
As you can imagine, this dance continues for a couple minutes. “STOP!” Swivel-dance. Poke. Swivel-dance. And so it goes.
“Let’s get a dog biscuit! C’mon guys!” After going out of the room to get the dogs biscuits I try to refocus and write anew.
And then I just cave. “Let’s get a walkie, Okay?!”
So I don’t think any quick fox will ever jump over a lazy Comet. I am certain these days a random string of “qwerty” or perhaps “!QAZ@WSC” is all that a dog-owner’s typing test should be expected to cover. Staccato bursts, between pauses for walks, giving biscuits, and collapsing into bed, exhausted.