The Panic Caused By Old Things

Last week our oldest came home from school in a panic. The panic was caused by technology and it was partly our fault.

The week before our oldest asked us if she could take our “new” video camera to school to record brass band practice. (Note: New, for us, means “made in 21st century”.) We, of course, said no. We weren’t going to let her take the camera to school, especially for something that wasn’t important.

She, being a teenager, thought that asking us several times in slightly different ways would make us change our mind. Oddly, it didn’t. Instead, we compromised by sending our old video camera, complete with our last unused cassette to school with her. She Who Must Be Obeyed gave her a quick overview of its use and off to school she and the camera went.

Then, around lunch time, our oldest came rushing into the house in a panic. She did rapid fire explanation that sounded something like the “feinahattoistuhyutuuhysonocamwewoerastosot.” To which I replied, “Why are you home from practice?” Eventually I realized there was something wrong with the camera, but our oldest was in such a panic she just kept repeating what she’d said before. I checked the camera and everything seemed fine.

Our oldest, however, being a teenager and therefore assuming I must be an idiot, ignored me and took She Who Must Be Obeyed’s point and shoot camera. An hour or so later, our oldest came rushing back with an explanation similar to the one before. This time, for some reason, there was no sound on the playback. My response was “Why are you home from practice?”

Eventually, our oldest went to practice and stayed there. When she came home the third, and only official time, I passed her off to She Who Must Be Obeyed who, after some time, finally diagnosed the problem: Our oldest has only ever handled a digital video camera. She didn’t know you had to rewind the tape on an analogue camera before you could watch the recording.

With that solved, we got to watch the recording. That left us with two problems: 1) We couldn’t transfer it to computer for her and 2) we still don’t understand why the point and shoot didn’t record sound.

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