The Green Hornet unlimbers!

Weapon of Choice: The Green Hornet, 1983 IBM Personal Typewriter ("Personal Selectric") Model 851

Weapon of Choice: The Green Hornet, 1983 IBM Personal Typewriter (“Personal Selectric”) Model 851

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Dr. Benway: You’d better help this friend of yours get off the yellow stuff. It’ll kill him.
Bill Lee: How do I get him to kick?
Dr. Benway: Kick?
Bill Lee: H-How do I get him off it?
Dr. Benway: Oh. Mix it with this. Gradually increase the percentage of black without telling your friend…  and he’ll lose his taste for the bug powder soon enough.
Bill Lee: What is it? What does it do?
Dr. Benway: Oh, it’s all natural. It’s made from, uh… aquatic Brazilian centipede or some such outlandish thing. It shuts down the brain’s response to the bug powder. That’s all. The powder becomes irrelevant to the addict… and the addict then ceases to be addicted.
Bill Lee: Side effects?
Dr. Benway: Nothing that will surprise the addict.

Updated: April 11, 2024 — 12:25 pm


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  1. Ah – the Green Hornet! I was recently at your 2013 Hornet post when I was trying to unravel the mysteries of my Praxis’ return clutch. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I kind of miss the Praxis 48. I might have to find solace in a Selectric.

    The Hornet seems like a reasonably-sized Selectric – one that wouldn’t invite any side-eye if I tried to sneak one into the house.

    And congratulations on your successful monkey defeat – I am sure that was not easy even with the Alternate Nicotine Delivery System.

    1. I highly recommend one of the little Selectrics, either an 851 like this (they are not exceedingly rare, I have seen or encountered 2 or 3 others since Key Snap found this one for me) or a nice, early 721 or 711. The advantage is the size and cuteness, but a full-size Correcting Selectric II will have more features like dual-pitch capability and absurdly common ribbons (well, the 711 has easy-to get ribbons too). Just be sure to reject ones with motor problems or busted gears.

      Re: Praxis 48 – I think many of us have eyed the Praxis 48 and its weirdly attractive design, but you’re the only one that comes to mind who has actually taken one on and prevailed. That glorious story is on the back burner now, and it’s time for you to tackle the Maserati of typewriters! :D

  2. Sometimes a little chemical assist can be a good thing…

    Beautiful custom instrument you have there, Reverend.

    Agent T.W. Lee sends…

  3. Just this side of goofy? ‘Light Italic’ My favorite IBM font, light hearted and frivolous, but nicely readable.

  4. “Naked Lunch” Bill Lee’s spiral into the ‘Zone’ and any typewriting machine addict’s most needed movie…

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