Yesterday I read a cartoon in the newspaper that reminded me of my mentor/buddy, Diann Hunt, and needing a break from writing, I went to the store to pick out a funny card to send with the cartoon.

I browsed the card section, enjoying a good chuckle-until I turned one over. Have you priced cards lately? $3.50! For a piece of paper with a joke on it? Not that Diann isn’t worth $3.50, but come on. For $3.50, it should come in chocolate.

I could do better for half the price; I’m a writer. Right? I marched out of the store and drove straight to Office Depot. In the computer section, I chose greeting card software for $29.99 and a 15-pack of Avery premium cards and envelopes for $11.99. I’d create a customized card for my friend and have the supplies to create all my card needs for years. I was on a roll.

At home, I loaded the software, chose a funny greeting, tweaked it for Di, and loaded the card stock in the printer. Then I hit print. The software said to print a test page. Our printer isn’t in my office; I share it with my husband, and it’s in his office.

Across the house.

I walked to the printer, added a sheet of plain paper for the test, went back to my office, and clicked “OK.” Then I walked back across the house to the printer to check the test page.

I noted the direction of the arrow indicating how to put it back in for the second side, slipped it back in correctly ready to print the card, went back across the house to my office, and clicked “OK print.”

I then went back to the printer to see my card. But instead, it’s printed page two of the test. On my good card stock.

Sigh. I reloaded two sheets of regular paper on top of the card stock to repeat the exercise, walked back to my office, hit print again. Back at the printer (I’m beginning to wear a path in the carpet), instead of another test page, it’s printed my card-on regular paper.

Gritting my teeth and thinking that a three-dollar-and-fifty-cent card was looking better by the minute (and debating if I should get myself a portable airprint printer for these kinds of experiments), I reloaded the card stock, stomped back to my office, and clicked print. The card printed. On the right paper.

YES! I put the sheet back into the printer in the direction according to the test arrow, ran back to my office, and clicked “print card inside.”

Back at the printer, I removed my wonderful, customized card. I folded it and read it. The front was perfect. I opened it.

The inside was printed upside down.

I mailed it anyway. Stupid card cost me $35.94. Diann had better like it.

Image courtesy of bplanet /


Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. Sr. editor of Novel Rocket, she’s a playwright, humor columnist, 3-time Genesis finalist, a mom and grandmother. She resides in Suwanee, GA, with her husband and two very large dogs. Connect with Ane at her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.