I call my dad on Sunday morning and apprise him of my plans for the day. He’s doing okay. He drove my mum to the airport and, on the way back, had fish and chips – I take this as a good sign (as the day before he wasn’t eating anything) and bite my tongue about him supposed to be on a diet. I’m off to Beckton to see a friend and won’t be home until the evening. Beckton is at the deepest darkest end of the DLR and twinned with Tartarus, I explain. “Are you going to market today?” he asks. “No, we’re going to Beckton to play TA’s game with the German Goths in Beckton,” I say.
I return home to find two missed calls on my mobile. My father has been calling. Its late, but in a blind panic I call home.
Me: Are you okay?
Dad: Oh, hello.
Me: I missed your calls.
Dad: Were you at market?
Me: No, we went to Beckton.
Dad: Oh, yes.
Me: What’s wrong?
Dad: Um, I wanted to e-mail my friend a poem and I remember mum saying it had to be a JPEG or it would be too big.
Me: It’s a scan?
Me: What file type?
Dad: I think it was a psd. Wait a minute I’ll go in the loft [to the computer] and look.
Me: Are you sure? I didn’t think you had Photoshop? Is it a pdf – does the file have a red triangle with curly corners?
Me: Okay. Have you checked the file size?
[Five minutes pass while we establish that it *is* a psd file and it’s tiny.]
Me: Does your friend have Photoshop?
Dad: I wouldn’t think so, no.
[Ten minutes later we have managed to save the poem as a GIF]
Me: Right. Now all you have to do is attach the new file to your e-mail.
Dad: How do I do that?
Eventually I get off the phone. I ask TA in a tired voice, “Why the hell didn’t he just type the bloody thing?”