Press P to Piss About With The Printer

Mum’s managed to give me a nice technological riddle to solve, for which I am – of course – eternally grateful.

It’s been ongoing for a while now, and I have been over to mum’s twice with the sole purpose of sorting it out once and for all and neither time have I actually got around to doing anything. I mean, I had a dabble today but no more than I have in the past and am still none the wiser.

Somehow, somewhere along the line the two printers that are set up in “the office” at my mum’s have stopped printing when asked, unless the colour of the text on a document is changed to, say, blue. They won’t scan and print anything either, but they will happily print out a test page without any effort.

So yeah, that’s a thing.

While I was having a dabble with them today mum was hovering as though she was ready to provide some sort of input as to what was happening or wasn’t happening. Not that she could even see what was going on as the printers were on the left of where she was standing anyway and, therefore, invisible. But she feels solely responsible for this because the last time she used them is when they ceased to function – although she has firmly ascribed this to the fact that she must have put the paper in upside-down or something.

So she’s not much help.

I’m going to have to employ dad’s patented trick, I think. It’s worked for me before with a variety of electronic things – in fact just today it seemed to cause mum’s tumble drier which did tumble but didn’t dry to begin drying things again. Basically you convince the piece of equipment that if it doesn’t buck its ideas up, it’s going to be replaced or destroyed. I mean, destroyed puts more of the fear of god into things than just replacement. If you say replaced then your printer, say, thinks it’s just going to live out a portion of its life in the attic, forgotten for years, until you eventually get around to taking it to that special container at the tip where unwanted things live.

It’s the only thing I can think of doing. I appreciate it’s a little bit Basil Fawlty with a stick thrashing his car because it won’t work, but I’m just about ready to try anything. There is no logical explanation for any of it. You might think that the blank ink is buggered, which is why they will only print in colour, but a test sheet shows beautiful black ink. And for it to stop working across two printers at the same time?

I’m putting it down to witchcraft. The unkinder amongst us would ascribe all of this sort of stuff to the spirit of my grandma who is working to make everything just that little bit harder to sort out than it necessarily needs to be – whether it’s the fact that she changed her name on a whim sometime in the 1930s, or haunting the crap out of some printers so they won’t work her influence is everywhere.

Or it could be that bloody doll, come back from whatever fate we assigned to it… it’s just waiting for me to put my fingers into the workings of the printer before disaster strikes…