A Discussion with Mum about – well it was hard to tell
Me: Did you say 12?
Mum: Yes, I’m in 12. How do I get out?
Me: Where are you? (I can’t even imagine. Is 12 a place? Why the hell can’t she get out?) Where’s Dad?
Mum: Oh he wouldn’t know anything.
Me: Where is he?
Mum: Inside somewhere.
Me: Inside 12 with you?
Mum: No, he’s probably watching TV.
Me: Where are you?
Mum In 12.
Me: How did you get in there?
Mum: I hit it.
Me: Hit it?
Mum: I didn’t really hit it.
Me: Where are you?
Mum: In 12 on the top row.
Me: (Silent. I truly have no idea where she is)
Mum: Yes. It won’t turn on.
Me: (Exhale. I don’t have to simultaneously dial rescue services and tell them my mother is trapped in 12 but I don’t know where that is and I possibly need a hostage negotiator to get that information out of her). Okay, that’s progress.
Mum: Well not really. It won’t turn on. That’s why I called.
Me: Have you tried turning it on?
Mum: Yes. It won’t do anything.
Me: Um so what happened when you hit F12?
Mum: I’m stuck.
Me: Stuck with it not turning on.
Me: So why did you hit F12 and not any other key?
Mum: That’s how I see the world.
Me: You don’t mean your outlook on life do you?
Mum: What are you talking about?
Me: Let’s start again. You’re computer won’t turn on.
Me: It’s plugged in.
Mum: Of course it’s plugged in. I wouldn’t be able to see the world.
Me: So you can see the world?
Mum: I just said that.
Me: Sorry, but your computer won’t turn on.
Me: So why did you hit F12?
Mum: You see the world that way.
Me: You lost me on the world.
Mum: I lost you when you answered the phone.
Me: Very funny.
Mum: You know the world and the other things on the list above it.
Me: On the list?
Mum: On top of the world.
Me: (It dawns. She means the start button) Hang on – the computer is off – the screen is black?
Me: So the computer is on?
Mum: Well no, it won’t do anything.
Me: So wait. You turned it on and the screen lit up.
Me: (Could I have the hostage negotiator please because now I’m stuck in some numerical place and I can’t find my way out). And then what?
Mum: There’s an arrow.
Me: An arrow.
Mum: You know the arrow? It won’t move.
Me: Do you mean the cursor?
Mum: The arrow on the screen. I can see it but it won’t move.
Me: You tried moving it with your mouse?
Mum: Can a mouse die?
Me: Does yours have a cord or batteries – batteries yes?
Mum: I don’t think so.
Me: Does it have a cord?
Me: Then it has batteries.
Mum: Well I’ve never put batteries in it.
Me: That’d be why it’s not working.
Mum: Oh. So I should put batteries in it.
Me: Yeah. Probably two AAs or AAAs.
Mum: How do I do that?
Me: It opens up underneath.
Mum: I still need to know how to get out?
Mum: Of 12.
Me: Right 12. Try using your arrow keys.
Mum: The arrow won’t move. And I don’t know if I have spare batteries.
Me: That arrow is somewhere in the middle of the screen right.
Mum: Yes – stuck.
Me: That’s the cursor. Look at your keyboard and you’ll see you have four keys with little arrows.
Mum: My keyboard. (Said oh so vaguely).
Me: (Laughing) Yes, the thing with the letters on it.
Mum: (Laughing) Oh that. Yes of course.
Me: So try using your arrow key to scroll down the list to the start button.
Mum: The what?
Me: The start button.
Mum: Oh where the world is.
Me: If you say so.
Mum: Yes, I can do that.
Mum: Don’t go. Also my Kindle is mucking up.
Me: I’m afraid your time is up. You’ll need to phone back when our tech support personnel are all busy.
Mum: Don’t be smart.
Me: How is it mucking up?
Mum: It won’t turn on.
Me: I know what the problem is.
Mu: Oh good.
Mum: Is there an F12 on the Kindle? I didn’t know that.
Me: No, no, no. I was joking. What’s happening?
Mum: It won’t turn on all the time. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t.
Me: (Sigh. We’ve had this particular discussion a lot). Is it really off? Blank. No picture at all.
Mum: No Jane Austen and all her friends show up.
Me: Okay, so it’s turned on.
Mum: But I can’t always get words, so it’s not really on.
Me: What do you do?
Mum: You know the slidey thing. Well that. Sometimes I hold it. I tap it, flick it, bump it, you know, anything.
Me: Probably not. If you hold it, the Kindle will turn off.
Mum: It goes on off on off on off, on off.
Me: How does it go?
Mum: On off, on off, on off. Did you just make me say that again?
Mum: It flickers. Jane and not Jane, Jane and not Jane. I’m not saying that again.
Me: It’s very unhappy.
Mum: So why is that?
Me: I could say because you treat it a bit hard.
Mum: I don’t.
Me: Which is why I won’t say that.
Mum: Well, what then?
Me: I have no idea.
Mum: It’s a bit loose.
Mum: You don’t have any clue do you?
Me: I do. But – no, not really.
Mum: Alright then, I’ll just bother you another time about this.
Me: I’ll look forward to it.
Mum: Yes, hopefully it will be in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and I’ll wake you up.
Me: Why would you want to do that?
Mum: Teach you to be mean to your mother.
Me: I see your world now and I raise you an F12.
Mum: How did I get a kid so smart she can’t do anything simple?