Mayhem at the Press – a hero’s story

By Winn Apple   |   Published April, 2013

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds…”

It is the very sentiment that inspired Herodotus’ to write these words – which are inscribed on the James Farley Post Office in New York City – words which brings to mind a tale of heroic proportions – one filled with horrendous storms, plummeting power lines, a book bindery up in flames and the little printing press that could.

What began as an eleventh hour order for a 200 page smythe sewn, bound book –commemorating the 70th anniversary of a notable engineer / architectural firm – quickly morphed into nail biting race to the finish line.

The project, normally requiring a full ten weeks to fulfill, Bacchus Press agreed to complete in three weeks. Ah, but the client ran an additional five days late. Yikes!

With prepress complete, the printers’ proof was ready and the designer was on her way to sign off as the pressmen stood by, waiting for the start gun to fire.

The project was chugging right along with no time to spare.

Hallelujah, the paper arrived and the truck was pulling in, in preparation to unload. Sounding off its safety beep as a warning to oblivious pedestrians, the delivery truck began backing in. Apparently, the high voltage utility pole wasn’t paying proper attention and failed to step out of the way.

CRASH! The truck plowed into the hefty pole while moving at a swift clip, successfully causing the wooden beast to tilt.

Like a bungee cord, electrical lines carrying 10,000 volts temporarily sagged then snapped back, pulling with them the adjacent utility pole. This tug of war ended in severed lines, thrashing and spitting like viperous snakes as they fell to the ground – zapping empty cars and hurling threats at fleeing onlookers.

As though an underground gargantuan creature had been released with proportions so massive even ole nessie would shudder, the ground trembled and quaked with a deafening rumble.

Bacchus Press was down for the count, as were all the neighbors for two blocks in every direction! The computers went black, the presses screeched to a halt as the street exploded and sparked.

The owner stood slack jawed, gaping out the window, watching as electrical lines slammed down atop his car and the delivery truck – releasing venomous sparks and snaps. With no way to warn the truck driver to stay in his vehicle, he could only cringe and hope the young man would know better – which he most fortunately did!

“Ring, ring”, the cell phone went off. The designer was trying to get through but the roads were blocked. Being the Mad Max that she was, she parked and trekked through the treacherous Thunderdome – successfully making it to our door and giving us the green light to proceed.

Not only was there no power to run the job, but the pressmen rolled up their sleeves and embarked on an eight hour task of manually cranking the presses to clean – if not, the rollers would be destroyed.

24 hours lost; the power returned, the paper was finally unloaded from the delivery truck and prepress began the daunting task of creating the 500 plates required to print the jinxed book.

With the presses loaded and running at top speed, our pressmen worked around the clock.

There was no time no time left to ship; a truck was rented, the printed pages loaded and off they scurried through the dark night eight hundred miles to our bindery in Arizona. With deposit paid and time reserved, there was no room for delay. The bindery had courageously committed to completing the impressive task of binding 700 books in three days – mere mortals require three weeks. Our affiliate binder is clearly from the planet Kal-El.

With pages printed and delivered safe and sound, everyone released a sweet sigh of relief…right? No!

The usual calls were made, checking on the status of road weary pages. “Hm, that’s odd. No one is answering the phone at the bindery.”

The first day comes and goes with no word to be had. The bindery is radio silent! 48 hours to go and the client is worried but Bacchus Press kept its cool.

The lonely sound of crickets soon disrupted by the sound of the phone -it’s the bindery atlast!

“A what ripped the roof off?”

“A tornado – a tornado ripped our roof off!”

At this point, one might imagine that god himself…or herself, had taken real issue with this smythe sewn, hardbound commemorative book and the chance of even a single copy of this demon print arriving at the scheduled GALA event celebrating this momentous occasion was bleak.

Against all odds and formidable forces, the powers of Bacchus unite and the book was printed, bound and rush delivered on time.

It is this level of service, impeccable even by the ancient Persian Empire standards, which inspires our clients to return again and again, knowing that their print job, big or small, will be delivered on time and looking oh so very excellent.

Do not underestimate Bacchus Press. Go ahead, take your best shot.

You order…we deliver!

Until next time, keep it Green.

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About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, or on her soon to release website, – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.



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2 responses to “Mayhem at the Press – a hero’s story

  1. Holy moly! Who knew printing and binding could be so adventurous!

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