Thank goodness for an end to The Lost Weekend. It's not often that technology overcomes me, but I hold my hands up and concede victory to Bill Gates this time. The problem starts on Saturday morning. I ring the object of my affections and purr down the phone, "What are you planning on doing today?"
He is strangely coy. "Er, well (cough). The printer, scanner and fax have just been delivered. I really need them to be up and running by Monday otherwise I can't work. I was just going to sort them out."
"It's 10.30 in the morning. Surely you'd be free for lunch at one?" I reply in a menacing tone.
"Should be," he says nervously.
One o'clock arrives. He has a problem with one of the drives, but luckily he's found a programme called First Aid, which sorts it out. He thinks. I am completely baffled. I am beginning to conceive a great hatred for this computer.
Then he gets out a book in the middle of a wine bar called Nuts and Bolts: Everything you need to clean up your system. I'm appalled. This man is not a techno-nerd. He just cannot bear to let a computer to get the better of him. It is the latest primeval struggle of man over machine. Machine will win, without a shadow of doubt. And I haven't got a chance.
"Let's go to the cinema," I suggest. But the scanner still needs to be fixed. "I'll go and see a girlfriend of mine. I might be hours," I threaten. He looks palpably relieved. "Thank you for being so understanding. I just need to sort this out." Grrr!
Four hours later, feeling he could have built the bloody machine from scratch, I ring. Relief, the scanner's fine, but there are a few elementary problems with the fax. A long pause is punctuated by me hitting my head against the wall. As a treat, he suggests a quiet night in front of the fire, with a bottle of wine and the fax manual. I watch Brideshead Revisited in a sulk, dreaming of the computer-free 1920s. Even Anthony Andrews' dipsomania is preferable to this.
Sunday dawns and I go to the gym while the fax is being fixed. Then I go to the supermarket while it is being installed. Then I do the washing- up while it is connected to the computer. Then I hover in a fury while he rings the helpline.
"Maybe I should have just read the instructions first," he says in a tone of wonderment.
"You didn't read the instructions?" I say in disbelief.
"Well, no, of course not. I thought it would be obvious."
Gosh, I'm looking forward to seeing some girls tonight!Reuse content