I was with an elderly friend in the mobile 'phone shop yesterday. Her children have decided she should have a 'phone "for safety purposes". They would really prefer that she never went out. They do not want her to move into an elderly citizens residence of any sort because that would mean selling the house. That is 'theirs'. Mother cannot be permitted to sell what they regard as their inheritance. They are not paying for the mobile 'phone either. None of them live here. She rarely sees them. Her son lives on another planet. It is about 6km from here. Her two daughters do live on planet Earth, or did when her grandchildren needed a baby sitter.
So, we are standing there in the shop. The pleasant young man is trying to explain that all mobile 'phones are easy to use, so easy to use. Anyone can use a mobile 'phone! You can take photographs, you can access the internet, you can send text messages, receive them and yes, you can even make an old fashioned telephone call - or get one. All of this is, of course, expensive but hey, this is the 21st C and 'everyone else has a mobile 'phone'. He goes on and one. He pushes buttons faster and faster and faster. He shows us a photograph of ourselves standing there. He wipes it and takes another. He talks about plans and purchasing outright and how useful it will be.
"Young man, I just want something that will allow me to make a call in an emergency. That is all I want."
"You can't have that. They don't make them like that. They all have cameras and this and that and something else." He twitters on. Eventually, sensing he is losing a potential sale he turns to me and says, "You use your 'phone all the time, don't you?"
"I don't have one," I tell him.