It is a true fact that, The Parents are meandering their weary way into the 21st century. I have actual proof of this. I will explain. Because of my baby brother George, I am now used to being shouted at. I was shouted at over the fantastic numbers of stick insects being born in George's bedroom. I was shouted at because I blunted the bread knife when I used it for whittling and I was shouted at completely by accident when Dad tripped over me doing jumping training on the stairs. Times are tense in this house. So, you can see I am quite used to being shouted at when The Handbag happened.
I am in the kitchen making some interesting biscuits. I have an Apollo 11 biscuit cutter, some left over vegetables for healthiness, some stuff from the fridge and half a bag of flour. I whizz them all up in the new machine bought for squishing up George's food into something that looks like sick (he likes it). It is when I am giving some of the interesting mixture to Serena the cat for testing that I hear the shouting. It is tiny shouting, like a pixie trapped in a hole or what a stick insect might sound like if it got angry. I look around. Mum's hemp and bamboo handbag is wedged inside the bread bin. At least it is not in the fridge like last week. Anyway, I can hear a voice shouting from the inside of the handbag. I listen.
"Hello! Hello!" the voice is saying. For a mad moment I wonder if Mum has shrunk to an incredibly small size and got stuck inside her own handbag. Or more likely she has captured someone very, very little and maybe even now is demanding a ransom for them. Grim. I decide to help.
'Who are you?' I shout at the handbag. 'Tell me what you want.'
'Answer me!' squeaks the tiny person inside the handbag.
'I'm going to free you,' I say, 'just keep quiet!'
I take the handbag and keeping an eye out for snapping traps, I rootle around its mysterious innards. And there it is.
A MOBILE PHONE.
I pick it up. Mum has got a mobile phone. I never thought of that. I am open-mouthed as I listen to it weebling at me in a familiar sort of way. I put it to my ear.
'Is that you, Grandpa Jack?' I ask.
'Who else would it be!' yells Grandpa Jack. 'Tell your mother to keep her phone under control will you now? She keeps phoning me every two seconds and then giving me the silent treatment!'
'I think she just forgot to lock the phone, Grandpa,' I explain.
'Lock the phone! Lock the phone! Give me the strength of ten men! Does she not trust you, my lad? That is typical...'
And he is off on a rant about the evils of locking telephones and all related topics. I hold the phone away from my ear and boggle at its meaning.
Here is Mum's pre-George idea of a mobile phone
Here is Mum's actual mobile phone.