Ainslie Paton romance author

A Conversation with Mum about Stopping the Internet

A chill wind blows through the dim recesses of my mind when Mum says, I need a new computer.  It verily turns my innards liquid.

The only mature adult response is to stall with a vengeance at a pro level.  This, I am good for.

I don’t think she needs a new computer or that it’s possible for me to emerge unscathed from any need to upgrade her to new software.

I will go where no sensible daughter goes.  With no skill, no guide, and no hope, I will attempt to fix her IT.

Mum:  I’ve turned it on for you.  But I don’t want you to touch any of those things.

Me:      What are those things?  Random clippings of things on the desktop.

Mum:  I don’t know, but you’re not to touch them.

Me:      So tell me what’s wrong with the computer.

Mum:  It’s very slow and it sends me messages saying it has to reload, reload, reload.  Always reloading.

Me:      Reload what?

Mum:  I don’t know.  It never reloads.  The Nerds couldn’t fix it.

Me:      What did you tell the Nerds was wrong with it?

Mum:  It won’t go up and down with the arrow or the mouse.  And it gets stuck and it makes things different.

Me:      No idea.  Okay.  What’s different?

Mum:  The net.

Me:      Aren’t you all tech savvy then.

Mum:  Don’t be smart.

Me:      I will need to be smart if I have to do what the Nerds couldn’t.

Mum:  What are you doing?

Me:      Poking about.  I’m deleting random bits and bobs of stuff she doesn’t need.

Mum:  Don’t do that.  You might make it worse.

Me:      I might make it better.  I am such a liar.

Mum:  You won’t.

Me:      When you say it won’t go up and down, what do you mean?

Mum:  When I’m on the garden page it just gets stuck.

Me:      So when you’re on the gardening website, the screen freezes.

Mum:  Yes.  It won’t go up or down when I press the arrow.

Me:      Okay.  I gamble everything on swapping her from IE to Chrome.

Mum:  What are you doing?

Me:      Changing the way you get to the internet

Mum:  How will that help?

Me:      The way you’ve been doing it is old.

Mum:  Like me.  Can’t I just keep doing it the same way.

Me:      If you want the same outcome.

Mum:  I should just get a new computer.

Me:      Let’s try this first.  Because I might not live through a whole new computer.

I set her up with Chrome, bookmarking her favourite sites and we have a couple of dummy run -throughs so she can find things.

Mum:  That does work better, it’s not freezing and you can go up and down, but it’s still not right.

Me:      What’s not right?

Mum:  It changes.

Me:      What do you mean?

Mum:  Well, look.  We go to this page and it’s all flowers and then if we wait a minute it will be pots and wheelbarrows—all different.  Make it stop doing that.

Me:      Um.  You mean, on the website, how the content changes?

Mum:  The words and the pictures change.  It never looks the same and when I go back the same stuff isn’t there.

Me:      Um.  Right. So the garden site is scrolling different content.

Mum:  Make it stop. Put something on there that makes it stop.

Me:      Ah, it doesn’t work like that.

Mum:  Why not?

Me:      Websites aren’t static any more.

Mum:  What does that mean.  Because I lost the original power cord, but we found this one and it does the trick.

Me:      No, static as in still.

Mum:  Are you telling me websites constantly change the stuff they have on them. When did this start happening?

Me:      A while. You know how on news sites you get different stories appear.

Mum:  Well yes, but the things I want aren’t news sites.

Me:      They change the content to keep you interested.

Mum:  Well, I’m not interested in that. Make it go back to the other way.

Me:      I can’t make it go back. Websites used to be static and now they’re dynamic. They used to have fixed content but now they can change it more often.

Mum:  And you can’t fix that?

Me:      No.

Mum:  Then I need to get a new computer like I said.

Me:      No, it will be the same on a new computer.

Mum:  How can that be?

Me:      It’s the way the internet works.

Mum:  But how will anyone ever find anything if it’s always changing?

Me:      Hmm.  Did you tell the Nerds all this?

Mum:  No, I told them my connection to the world was broken. She points to the hard drive.

Me:      I see.  This feels like a profound moment.

Mum:  If you can’t fix that, maybe you can fix this printer.

Me:      What’s wrong with the printer?

Mum:  It’s not printing.

Me:      Thank you for that self-evident fact.

Mum:  Don’t be a little smart face.

Me:      It would be hard for it to print given it’s in the other room and not plugged in.

Mum:  What do you mean plugged in?

Me:      Plugged in to the power.

Mum:  Oh, it’s WiFi.

Me:      It still needs electricity.

Mum:  No, this one works on WiFi.

Me:      Yes, but that’s only the connection between the printer and the computer.

Mum:  But it’s WiFi.

Me:      You can just keep saying WiFi if you like.

Mum:  WiFi.

Me:      It still needs a power cord.  Where did this printer come from?

Mum:  Willi gave it to me. It’s WiFi.

Me:      Okay, so did she give you the power cord.

Mum:  I didn’t think I needed it.

Me:      You need it.

Mum:  Willi is going to think I’m an idiot. I told her I knew about WiFi and she could throw the cord away.

Me:      Oh. It’s actually a standard socket. I might have one of those I can give you.

Mum:  This has been completely unsatisfactory.

Me:      Wait a minute. I fixed your browser. You can access websites properly now and all you need is a power cord and I can set up the printer. You don’t need a new computer or a new printer.

Mum:  But all that is just shuffling the deck chairs. You didn’t fix the net, which is what I really want. I don’t want all the changing things.

Me:      If I could fix the net, believe me, you could have your very own section of it that never changed.

Mum:  Could I?

Me:      It would be like the dark net only for mums, run entirely power free, where nothing ever changed, Nerds could fix everything without a clear idea of the problem, and daughters never needed to risk their sanity.

Mum:  Sounds good to me, but you forgot one thing.

Me:      Of course I did.

Mum:  No reload, reload, reload and WiFi.

One Response to “A Conversation with Mum about Stopping the Internet

Hello, what are you thinking?

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