My mother always professed herself unable to deal with any sort of technology. “Not if it’s got more than two working parts, darling,” she would say. She confided once that this started as a self-defence mechanism. When she and my father were first married, they ran a hotel and, when short of staff, took over whatever job needed to be done. She said that she would do anything except work behind the bar, and he had done everything short of chambermaiding. She made sure that she wouldn’t be expected to work machinery, however, by pretending not to understand it and, in time, became actually unable to cope with it at all.
I generally quite like getting on and having a go at such things – even with teenagers in the house I was first to learn how to programme the video, for instance – but pumping up a bicycle tyre has defeated me again. I used to have difficulty with car tyres, but finally mastered the machines at a petrol station through necessity. However, today I set out to do my shopping and decided, by the time I got to the end of the drive, that the tyre was a bit soft. Getting off and prodding it confirmed that, so I went back home and got out the foot-operated pump.
Ten minutes later, all I had achieved was letting all the air out. The only consolation was that, when the Sage got home, he was unable to work it either.
I feel such a fool. Last time I had the same problem, I tried to look it up on the internet, but it was too basic. It’s so simple that there are no instructions. Indeed, when Phil showed me, I was able to do it easily, but there’s evidently something vital I’ve forgotten. I’ll have to take the bike over in the car when I next go to Weeza’s and get him to do it for me. I have got a hand-operated pump of course, though I’m not sure where it is right now because, although I can attach it all right, my puny little arms can’t actually put enough air into it to inflate it from scratch.
Seems that I may have to put one foot in front of the other for the next few days. I don’t mind walking, if I have to, but I can’t be doing with carrying a whole lot of shopping about. Either I drive or we go hungry.