My friend who-shall-be-known-as Daisy keeps sending me words for an app called Words With Friends. Now that I have a Kindle Wotsit I’m sitting target for apps. Words With Friends is more or less Scrabble, and as I suspected I am just as hopeless at the teensy-weensy electronic version as I used to be at the large cardboard-and-plastic version. ‘You’re good with words,’ people say, ‘so you’ll be good at Scrabble’. Alas, I’m impatient, and hopeless at strategy; I can’t resist a long, showy-offy, low-scoring word when a three-letter triple-word-thingummyjig would have been wiser.
When I was at Junior School teachers used to say ‘You’re tall – we’ll put you in for the 100 yards on Sports Day’. Since when does being tall mean you can run without banging your knees together and falling over your feet? Since when does being tall mean you give a rat’s patootie whether you stagger across some arbitrary white line first or last?
I was hoping Daisy might enlighten me as to another game app-thingy called Dark Echo which I foolishly downloaded in order to practice app-downloading, and because it was free. How I wish I hadn’t. I just don’t understand. I mean, you’re in the dark, right? And there’s these little white clickety footsteps, right? And they clatter along, scarily, like a pair of foolish high-heels in a midnight underpass, giving off these little lines, which presumably represent echoes, only visible. And that’s supposed to help you find your way out, if the monsters don’t get you first. I haven’t met a monster yet. If you click on the little white feet it sends out a whole starburst of little lines, which seems to equate with noise, although it’s no noisier than the little white clickety feet themselves, and it is this hypothetical, visual noise that may attract a monster. I think.
I did find my way out, once, but I don’t know how. It was an accident. And when I was out it was just as dark as when I was in, so what’s the point of being out? My little white footsteps go backwards and forwards, creepily retracing their steps, marking time at invisible walls, backing off, retracing the steps before the steps before, and I don’t know why. Is there some proper way to play Dark Echo? Why are there no instructions?
You can tell I’m tired, probably. Perforce, I’ve been doing housework all day – with breaks for this new electronic Scrabble-thingy – since it’s the first of my two Open Houses on Saturday. To get the house looking anything like presentable I shall be doing housework all day tomorrow, too. It’s done my hip in. You know you’re getting old when you start to realise you have hips – and knees – at all – because they hurt. The cats have temporarily lost the raggle-taggle saggy old beds they used to be able to flop into all over the house, and dirt-boxes have been strictly rationed. Net curtains are festooned everywhere to dry. Tomorrow they’ll have to go back up. I shall have to remember not to whip the bedroom curtains open to greet the dawn, in case I amaze the down-hill neighbours.
‘I am playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order.’ Eric Morecambe 1926 – 1984, English comedian.