Ainslie Paton romance author

A Conversation with Mum about Wiggly Things

It’s early afternoon and I’m working. Phone rings.

Mum:     I need to fax. Can you help me fax?

Me:        What, now?

Mum:     It’s urgent.

Me:        That’s a problem.

Mum:     You won’t help me.

Me:        You don’t have a fax.

Mum:     Yes, I do.  We just bought one, you were there, remember. Are you getting silly?

Me:        It’s a printer not a fax.

Mum:     Well, I know that, but doesn’t it do other things. Like fax.

Me:        It scans.

Mum:     That’s what I meant.  I just said fax, but I meant scan.

Me:        I am getting silly.  You want to scan a document?

Mum:     You told me I’d never need to. You were wrong.

Me:        What do you need to scan?

Mum:     This insurance claim from the rain. I have to sign it and return it.

Me:        Post.

Mum:     Oh too slow.  Show me how to fax.

Me:        Scan.

Mum:     I use the wiggly thing in the box.

Me:        Um.

Mum:     It’s red and a box with a wiggly thing in it.  So I press that.

Me:        Um.

Mum:     Do I press it?

Me:        That could be the ejection button for all I know.

Mum:     It’s a box and it’s red and it has a wiggly thing in it.

Me:        Laughing. Tell me again.

Mum:     It’s a box and—stop it.

Me:        Don’t press that.  I don’t know what it is.

Mum:     But it has wiggly things.

Me:        The mind boggles.

Mum:     And I know it’s not my wi-fi.

Me:        Wi-fi gone the way of your fax.

Mum:     What does that mean?

Me:        You don’t have either.  Do you know what the wiggly things mean?

Mum:     No, that’s why I have you.  But I think it means scan.

Me:        Don’t press it.

Mum:     Too late.

Me:        I hear a background sound.  What happened?

Mum:     That was your father putting the kettle on.

Me:        Well now you know what the wiggly thing does.

Mum:     I wish. So where’s my scan then?  I just pressed the wiggly thing again.

Me:        I don’t think the wiggly thing is the thing you need.

Mum:     What do I do?

Me:        Is there a grandchild due there anytime soon?

Mum:     No.

Me:        Post it.

Mum:     This is a perfect good scanner and I want to use it.

Me:        I had a perfectly good afternoon and you want to use it too.

Mum:     That’s what kids are for.

Me:        Apparently.  Put the document you want to scan on the printer glass face down.  Did you sign it already?

Mum:     I know you think I’m stupid.  Which way is face down?

Me:        Ah…

Mum:     Kidding.

Me:        Can you open your printer?

Mum:     It already has paper in it.

Me:        No, the printer software on the computer.

Mum:     Laughing. How do I do that?

Me:        See the button that’s the world (It’s what she calls the Start button).  Go there and in the box type printer.

Mum:     I have to type.  Outrageous.

Me:        You should see a tab that says Devices and Printers.

Mum:     I can’t see scan.

Me:        Look for Devices and Printer.

Mum:     But I want scan.

Me:        And I want world peace.

Mum:     Okay, I went in there.

Me:        What do you see?

Mum:     Nothing good.  I think if I press the box with the wiggly thing …

Me:        Mum.

Mum:     Maybe it’s broken.

Me:        Can we leave the wiggly thing out of this.

Mum:     You’re making me do this the hard way.

Me:        Are you sure there’s no grandkid due there?

Mum:     Yes.

Me:        Tell me what you see.  I talk her through settings till we get to scanner options.  Hit scan.

Mum:     The wiggly thing is still red.

Me:        Mum.

Mum:     Shouldn’t it be green.

Me:        We agreed to ignore that.

Mum:     I pressed it anyway.

Me:        What happened?

Mum:     Nothing.

Me:        Lucky. Press the scan button.

Mum:     If there’s a scan button why didn’t you get me to do that first?  The only button is the on button.

Me:        On the computer.

Mum:     Oh.

Me:        Click on scan to file.

Mum:     But I want to email it.

Me:        Is your email open?

Mum:     No. Wait, there’s someone at the door.

Me:        I wait. Because what the hell else am I gonna do at this point.

Mum:     I’m back. I pressed something and it did something.  But I don’t know where it went.  Oh hang on, it’s in the scanned documents file. I can see it.

Me:        Congratulations, that was your first scan.

Mum:     Now what do I do?

Me:        Attach it to the email.

Mum:     Yes, I know how to do that.

Me:        Okay, I’ve got to go.

Mum:     No don’t go, I can’t find the paperclip.

Me:        To attach the file?

Mum:     Yes, that thing, it’s gone.

Me:        Gone.

Mum:     It was here.  But now it’s not.

Me:        I’d sailed into smooth waters and now I’m facing a new tsunami.  You’re looking at your email, right?

Mum:     Yes, but I can’t put the scan there.  But Grace can.

Me:        Grace, as in the grandkid who wasn’t coming this afternoon.

Mum:     Yes, but she’s here.

Me:        Excellent.

Mum:     Yes, she is.  She’s attached it.

Me:        I’m going now.

Mum:     Yes, you’re redundant.

Me:        You know how to say the nicest things.

Mum:     And you need to brush up on your wiggly things.

Hello, what are you thinking?

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