It's all rather worrying, my mother has treated herself to sky+. When I went round to hers the other day she was busily scanning the programmes that she'd recorded on her new fangled thingy and breezily extolled the virtue of being able to group record. Group record? I'm convinced she's made the term up just to look like she knows what she's doing. She even forgot to broach her favourite topic - The World, general failings of. So I knew something was afoot.
The thing is, isn't it some kind of unwritten rule that every generation successively outstrips the previous where knowledge of technology is concerned? Ever since I was very young I or one of my siblings has had to programme the video (golly how archaic that sounds), set clock alarms/oven timers/jellies, and generally oversee the use of anything requiring a plug/degree in technical engineering. My mother can make a mean casserole (it carries a flick knife) but put her in front of a toaster and she makes like one of her jellies (ie melts, you'd get it if you'd ever been to one of my birthday parties). So this reversal of roles was one that frightened me a little. A lot actually, hasn't she read the rule book? It's practically one of the ten commandments - thou shalt not technologically outstrip your offspring. In fact it was one until they bumped it off for thou shalt not covet thy neighbour, something to do with bringing in a crowd pleasing element (it worked as well, on first hearing it the disciples started a Mexican wave, the first recorded in history). It's a very important rule, it makes your children feel important, useful even, until they are old enough to produce grandchildren and prove their worth.
So there she was, happy as anything watching repeats of Coronation Street, brandishing the remote like a particularly dexterous gun toting cowboy, totally ignoring my obvious distress. How can she work it? Which part of her brain did she accidentally switch on? Where's mine? I'm already at a point with my three year old where I have to ask her to explain the technological world to me. Sweetheart would you show mummy how to reboot the Nintendo DS? Ah I see now, thank you, now, tell mummy what exactly a Nintendo DS is. So I'm playing my part to the fullest and following the rules as I'm meant to, but my mother had turned it all upside down. Or so I thought. Midway through a particularly gripping Midsomer Murder her new brain bit failed and she accidentally deleted everything she had managed to record, never to be found again. Even I couldn't find it and I'm her offspring. I knew that she knew she was beaten when she eyed my squarely and launched her second favourite topic of conversation - The World - how it can be saved by me alone. She then called in my three year old who had us up and running again in no time, adding as she worked that it would be best if we didn't fiddle with it in future.
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