Mathematical Mayhem at Number 9!

Claculator A disaster has struck the daughter.  Pencil case has been 'misplaced', I prefer to call it stolen, nicked, pilfered, lifted – need I go on?  (I suppose I have done already, sorry!)

Not a calamity of the first order you may well be secretly thinking, unless, of course, your have your AS level maths exam tomorrow and no equipment.  At my very best in 'emergencies' I felt something 'kick start' inside.   Recognise it as my 'I won't be beaten' mode and begin an inventory of missing goods . . . 

Now then, we're talking full range of pens, crayons, gel pens in all colours, various grades of pencil, fountain pen, compass, protractor, scientific calculator, erasers in fact, enough kit to start a small school.  Mentally list essential exam-critical items.  Trusty friend, the calculator seems to be the only real problem.  Decide to 'let my fingers do the walking' and ring round all stationers in the county.  Problem rears it's ugly and unwelcome head.  The Casio FX85MF has been replaced with FX85ES which has a completely different display and changes to the functions and which everyone now stocks.  Find shopkeeper who says she has the exact model except it's battery powered only, not battery/solar.  Heck, as long as it switches on, do I care?  (Caution: Check thought processes as starting to sound like daughter).  It is a small shop so probably holds old stock.  Inwardly smile at my problem solving capacity.

Should state, I don't have Swine Flu but Man Flu which is way more serious.  Wanted to take to myMan flu bed.  Some hope.  Drag myself to car.  Know we are in a period of rampant climatic change but didn't know we now have a monsoon season.  Slump into car, drenched and sneezing.  Come on girl, you've faced worse than this!  Get a grip and DRIVE – little point in sitting ON the drive!  OK, all systems are go!  Make the 12 mile dash to stationers.  

Park near target shop.  Realise it's now 'Pay and Display' and there's no Dayglo God around to help (see earlier post).  Scrape together buttons, bottle caps and dust encrusted coinage and purchase ticket.  Still chucking it down.  Decide I'm on a mission so should stop mentally moaning.  Heart sinks as I enter shop to be greeted by exceedingly elderly lady with extremely large bosom and no supporting undergarment in a flimsy lilac man-made fibre top shuffling between the racks.  I say 'shuffling' because there was little room for any other movement it seemed to me.  The impact of gravity on the physical form was shockingly apparent and I tried to avert my gaze without being seen so to do.The thin fabric seemed a chilly choice for a rainy, windy day.

"I rang earlier about the calculator ", I cheerily said.  My saviour disappeared into the recesses of the shop and returned clutching – THE WRONG CALCULATOR!!  I hoped I didn't transmit my exasperation Old lady as I said, "But that's an ES not an MS".  Resisted the urge to be abusive as she said "I know, it's taken over from the MS".  I took several deep breaths as I charmingly said "I explained on the telephone that it must be the MS model and you said you had one."  "No, I haven't got one of those, just one of these."  Now, gravity may have done it's worst but time had been kind to this lady's gentle face.  The eyes smiled and, despite my initial misgivings on presentation and frustration at being lured in on false pretences, I warmed to her kindly demeanour and found myself buying the calculator as the prospect of a sale seemed so important.  Well, a calculator you half know how to use is better than no calculator, isn't it?  I realised I was kidding myself but it was worth it just to see the way the inanimate object was lovingly wrapped. 

An AS exam is not the best time to road test a new calculator (avec additional buttons and fraction format displays).  I note from the packaging it deals with 'Surds'; I'll rest easy in my bed tonight safe in that knowledge.  (Note to self: Research 'Surd'.  Didn't have those when I put chalk to slate.)  It's getting a bit technical for me now, so I'll leave it there.  I understand one bonds with the trusty friend, knowing exactly where the various bits and pieces are without really looking.  Back to the drawing board but at least the sun has come out when I leave the shop.  Feel sure I'm steaming as I dry off.  Just hope that 'steaming clothes and dripping nose' is the 'in' look this season.

 080410-114953Drive home far too fast but I'm now against the clock.  Revert to Plan B – the Internet – previously dismissed because of delivery times.  Locate calculator specific site.  Ring and speak to owner (wonder if he's in his kitchen or garage, sounds a one-man-band).  Hallelujah.  I sense I'm in the cyber presence of a calculator 'anorak'.  There is a God.  This manCalculator man knows everything about mathematical apparatus since the abacus!  He tells me that the FX82MS is the same design and has the same functions as the FX85MS (am I boring you?) but is battery only and not battery and solar powered.  Have a rising sense of deja vu.  The exam's at 2pm tomorrow afternoon - how soon can he get an 82MS to me?  Guaranteed by 12 noon, Anorak Man tells me.  Deal done.  I sense him increase in stature as I heap thanks upon him and tell him he's preserved the prospect of a Grade A!

Right then, off to Staples for remainder of missing stuff.  Must remember the transparent pencil case required so unlawful items can be spotted by the invigilator.  Ah, there's nothing better than a problem solved, for a moment there, I almost forgot I had Man Flu!  I wonder if I should have a Lemsip before I go? 

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