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.
Mum: Oh too slow. Show me how to fax.
Mum: I use the wiggly thing in the box.
Mum: It’s red and a box with a wiggly thing in it. So I press that.
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?
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: 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 …
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?
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.
Mum: Shouldn’t it be green.
Me: We agreed to ignore that.
Mum: I pressed it anyway.
Me: What happened?
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.
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.
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.
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.