Have Laptop, Can't Type

I WAS so fed up with the dearly beloved asking me to look up things on the internet - exciting things like the price of a pack of 1,000 hinges from some site with a name like Bodgit and Runn - that I bought him a laptop for his birthday.

Big mistake.

Have you ever watched anyone who has never used a keyboard before trying to type? I have been typing for 30 years. I can touch-type. Smoke comes from my keyboard when I type. I can type behind my back while drinking a glass of water and whistling Doncha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me.

For the dearly beloved, it's a whole new ball game. He has a scrappy piece of paper in his hand that he has torn out of the Spindle Moulders R Us magazine. I explain that he can either type in the address in the address bar or he can put the name of the firm in the Google search. It's a firm with a very long name but a short website address so he opts for the address bar.

I delete back as far as the www. and leave it to him to put in the rest. He peers around the keyboard, index finger hovering. At last he finds the S. Now he's looking for a P. I can go for a pee, wash my hands and make myself a cup of tea before he has found it. And so it goes on. Letter. Long pause. Letter. Longer pause. Letter. I go to visit my mother who lives six miles away. We go shopping and stop for lunch. I take her for a two-week holiday in Spain. I get home to find he's reached the M of moulder.

I know I mustn't do it for him or he will never get used to the keyboard but I have to restrain myself from taking over. I'm full of impatience and thank God that I never became a teacher as I once intended. I'd be the one plastered all over the tabloids because I had finally cracked and had gagged and blindfolded all the children and tied them to chairs while I sat at the front of the class with my feet on my desk singing nursery rhymes with a pile of text books burning in the wastepaper bin beside me.

A few weeks later and the pauses between the letters were getting shorter. I could go away for two minutes without being yelled at: "Where the f*** is the G?" He even started to use his laptop while I was at work but I'd get home to find him moaning because magazine adverts had promised much but their websites had delivered little. He uttered these complaints in the tone of voice that implied it was somehow all my fault for buying him a laptop in the first place. The complaints stopped when I threatened to shove the laptop up his Rs.

I breathed a sigh of relief as he began to get the hang of it and started to surf the net, if not like a pro at least like a child with a bodyboard at the end of the school holidays.

My relief has been short-lived. Yesterday he discovered eBay. No. Dear God. No.

If you don't hear from me for a while it's because I have been trying to find room for all those hinges, brackets, screws, nails, power tools, industrial woodworking machinery and pallets of board that are likely to be turning up on my doorstep any day soon.

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  1. Been chuckling away here and then I got to ebay! You are right to fear it. Rarely a day goes by that a little parcel of some useful widgets does not arrive, sometimes great big parcels. He has already got to the stage where he can't work in the workshop because you can barely get inside. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  2. It's a terrible thing when people first discover the Internet and their supposed power over it (once they know how to type). But remember, the newly converted are always the worst and the shininess of it will wear off in about 6 months and the he'll be like all of us and only addicted about half of his waking hours. I guess he has a credit card, doesn't he? You may want to keep an eye on the bills.

  3. Ho ho, I laughed out loud at this post.

    Ebay enthusiasm might wane; if it doesn't, then maybe you should sabotage that laptop....

  4. Hilarious post!
    I think you should replace his B with a duplicate letter.

  5. Great post. Yes, I remember the days when I would smoke, drink filter coffee and type out about six letters. All at the same time. Something a non-typist cannot understand. What bliss that was.

    don't stay away too long xxx

  6. I'm right with you on the frustrations of watching non-typists attempting to type.
    My husband is master of the one handed, single fingered, hunt and peck method.
    I cannot bear to look and have to leave the room because I've learned that muttering "FFS, I'll do it for you" and pushing him off the chair does not go down well.

  7. Mine still has an unholy fear that his bank details, and therefore entire account contents, will disappear into a black hole if he shops online. I encourage this belief energetically.

    In fact, fortune smiled on me not so long ago, and someone did actually use my account to treat themselves. I didn't tell him I'd used a non-secure site.

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  9. I so resented having to learn to type and just love it now. Bro (a journalist) still does that deliberately irritating 2 finger thing but is yet to master "Doncha ..." Amateur.

  10. I feel your pain. I introduced by hubby to the computer and then ebay and now I cannot balance the checkbook. I have to remind him he has an e bay budget. For a man that cannot use an atm machine he sure took to the computer. Hang in there.

  11. this post is hilarious.
    and too bad that ebay is only four letters. he'll be able to go there often.

  12. Im new to your writings, but your delightful post and these funny comments have made me giggle when it was much needed.
    I thank you all, I shall keep reading