The printer hates me. The printer has always hated me, despite it being me who bought it, me who unboxed it, me who plugged it in and gave it its first life. This is bad enough, but the printer has now actually moved beyond hating me and, like an embarrassed teenager, refuses to recognise me altogether.
It started with my laptop. The printer went into hiding from my laptop, and was completely undiscoverable. I have plenty of smug tecchies as friends. One by one they filed into my house, mansplaining printers to me. “It’ll be the drivers,” said one of them, smugly. “I just need to reinstall the drivers and it’ll be up and running in no time at all… oh. That’s odd. I’ve never seen that before. Hmm. I think your printer is broken.”
“It’s working from TheBloke (TM)’s laptop fine,” I countered. “And I have no problems at all printing from my phone, but it’s a faff to create a file on my PC, send it to Dropbox, open it on my phone and print it from there.”
Smug Tecchy 2 entered. “Yah, yah, I’ve seen this before. You just need to change your WPS code, and it’ll be good as new. Oh. This is unusual. I think you might need to call HP.”
Then, disaster struck. The printer decided that it would no longer recognise my phone either. This now means TheBloke (TM) is in charge of all of our family printing. Normally this is not an issue – a letter here and there, or some insurance documents to be printed – not a problem. But readers, I have recently started an evening class. I have decided to try my hand at Creative Writing, which involves homework each week.
I bloody love homework. It was never cool to say when I was at school, but when sixth form peers would look forward to an evening out clubbing at the end of a school week, a Friday evening with a juicy English essay, a meaty French translation and a tricksy History test to revise for all stretching before me was my idea of heaven.
So each week, I savour writing my 600 words for the week. I do a first draft usually the day after the lesson, revising it slightly over the next two or three days, and then – ideally – printing it 24 hours before the class. Of course, I can no longer print it myself. TheBloke (TM) needs to do that for me.
Eagerly, I email him my creative endeavours, ready to read out and be judged by my peers.
My document printed, I read through the first paragraph one final time:
“The sunlight was too dilute that January morning, like the lemon squash BOOBS her grandma used to make. Sarah stepped out into the street, the cold air BOOBS tightening the skin around her face. Keeping her head angled down, out of the cold, she looked down at her hated shoes. Her mother had chosen them for her in Clarks. Sarah had wanted the ones with the lights in the soles when you jumped. Her BOOBS mother had wanted to buy “something sensible that will last the winter”.”
If you look very carefully, you can spot the edits my husband made. He is a dick.
Oddly though, the rest of my creative writing group loved it.