Mother has two friends, a couple she and late Step Father met in a large shopping centre in the outer south east that may have been parodied by the tv show Kath and Kim. They became friends and met every Friday night at the same cafe in the same shopping centre for a number of years. Step Father died and so that no longer happened but Mother has remained friends with them. Let me call the friends Nige and Mag, as that is close to their names. Nige has mild dementia but his metal work business that began supplying letter boxes to apartment buildings is going gang busters and he is making a lot of money. He is now doing specialised metal work. They live in the best house is one of the worst streets in an unpronounceable and unspellable place called Eumemmerring (believe me, I cut and pasted that). The manufacturing is now done from home with a well set up back yard factory. Her son, his step son, helps in the business. Nige makes the money and Mag spends it. They have just had their kitchen rebuilt for the third time in a bit over five years. A new car is bought every couple of years and this time it is a new Mercedes. "Nige, take it back. I don't like it. It is too complicated", the cry went out. Everything is controlled using a screen, rather like a tablet computer. Whether it will be returned or not, who knows. Mother was supposed to have been taken out in the new Mercedes last week, but the car smelt of petrol when sitting in Nige and Mag's driveway. They called the dealer and he said, don't touch it. A truck arrived and the new Mercedes disappeared. Oh, the ignominy.
Last week Manny was visiting from Malaysia. His friend the retired priest with dementia is now in quite good secure accommodation in Footscray. While he has been to see the retired priest, he has a new friend here in Melbourne. We caught up with Manny for dinner at the Elsternwick Hotel, along with our ex NT politician/policeman friend and his Fijian Indian partner and with ex NT's brother and wife and a gay workmate of his brother. Our ex NT friend could be described as a grumpy old misogynistic curmudgeon at times, but he is also a high achiever. His sister in law takes no notice and jollies him along, sends him up, calls him pet names. While I say he is misogynistic, once he gets to know a woman, he seems to get rather attached to them and is happy to be sent up by them at times. Of course every woman we know is smart and intelligent. No bimbos in our life.
Anyway, his brother bought his boss's wife's three year old Mercedes for his wife. She really is a hoot and proudly showed us the new car in their carpark. Is it nice to drive L, I asked. I haven't yet, she replied. I tried but it is too complicated, but doesn't it look great?
Is there a theme happening? When we bought our new car, it took quite a bit of time and brain power to work out the screen to control things. I still don't have it entirely mastered, joystick, voice control, touch screen but at least our heating and cooling controls are still manually operated.
R in the course of his volunteer work occasionally drives a Honda Odyssey. He really likes the car but on a cold morning recently he turned the car on and the cooling was blasting out. It took some considerable playing time with a screen to switch it off.
Are these things just becoming too complicated to instantly know how they work?
PS, after 460,000 kms, Tradie Brother has decided to buy a new work car. I spoke to him tonight about Mother's Day arrangements. When he walks his dog, his chicken named Thelma (sorry Hels) goes with him, prancing and pecking along the street to the local park.