Ginny Davis: In the laptop of the gods
PUBLISHED: 01:16 22 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:02 20 February 2013
Ginny Davis rejects her "Ancient Mariner" and takes to the cyber surf with a new dood.
I didnt think, when I set out as one-woman band, about the fact that the term suggests mastery of more than one skill. Ah, but you women can multi-task. announce male friends, happy to sit back and be relieved of the burden of doing so themselves. Women are crowned as the home equivalent of the modern heptathlete, able to high jump and hurdle their way past every obstacle that modern family life throws in their path. And whilst one doesnt sniff at crowns, I confess that some tasks come easier than others.
Computer skills are not my forte. Nevertheless, I embrace modern technology open-mindedly and a month or so back I was so affected by my technician Tobys zeal for the speed and agility of his laptop that I decided to buy one like it to replace the ancient mariner with whose assistance (I use the term loosely) I currently surf the net. My ancient mariner is actually only six years old. But ancient is a relative term and computers, like dogs, age faster than the rest of us.
Toby had explained that his laptop was a different breed from my own a Lassie to my St Bernard: light, nippy and intuitive, so I reckoned Id master it in no time and said as much to the assistant in the shop. He looked doubtful and offered to sell me individual lessons for a year. A year? If its so straightforward, why would I want lessons for a year? Ill take a months worth. He explained that if I wanted individual lessons I had to sign up for a year. I dismissed the offer as a cute sales tactic and, encouraged by the news that my laptop boasted the brand new Operating System, left to get to grips with my spanking new surf dood.
The next day I faltered in the supermarket at the sight of a costly Beginners Guide to my laptop. Having spent the previous evening discovering that we did not share the same intuition, I couldnt resist a set of clear instructions on a printed page to enable me to stand me upright on the incoming tide of technological advance. There was no hiding the fact that I had never before made such a nerdish purchase. Unexpected item in the bagging area. announced the self check-out. Too right. I answered and forgot to take home the receipt.
Page One explained that this Guide applied to an old Operating System which my new one had usurped. The overpriced manual was therefore useless to geeks like me in possession of state-of-the-art software.
As I rummaged for the receipt I remembered that I had left it behind and cursed the fact that the book lacked a Best Before You Buy the New Operating System sticker.
Left to our own devices my laptop and I are making our acquaintance slowly. I have discovered one thing: she is clearly female - multi-tasking and intuition being very much her things. Interesting that. What gender was the ancient mariner, do we think?
Ginny Davis is a writer and performer specialising in comedic one-woman shows on the subject of contemporary family life. www.ginnydavis.com