Describe an electronic device in the future that you won’t know how to operate.

I opened the toaster oven sized box with the extremely festive purple ribbon. My granddaughter had obviously gone to an awful lot of trouble. It was silly how pleased that purple ribbon made me, but it did. That she took the time to choose the ribbon and make the impressive bow herself; it meant something. 

Inside the box was a rectangular object, silver and shiny, with discreet black buttons along the top. A clock radio, I thought; how lovely. I lifted it out of the box, surprised at how weightless it was. I soon discovered it was not a clock radio; there was no face on the front, no numbers of any kind. Just more of the shiny, smooth silver. “I hope you like it Nanny,” Caroline said, with a hopeful note in her voice. I smiled in what I hoped was an encouraging manner, but I truly had no idea what it was.

I pressed one of the buttons and a booming voice filled the room. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead!”

“That’s Shakespeare!” I exclaimed, a grin spreading over my face. “That’s Kenneth Branagh!”

“Yes, Nanny, your favorite. This little box contains the complete works of Shakespeare, read by many different actors, plus all the Shakespearean films ever made. Watch!” I watched fascinated as she took the silver box from me and seemed to aim it at the wall. She pressed the buttons in some secret sequence (I must get her to write the method down before she leaves) and a tiny lens emerged from the middle of the box. All at once Lawrence Olivier appeared, in Richard III. Then under the confident ministrations of Caroline Kenneth Branagh and Derek Jacobi flitted across the  screen. “You can bring up the menu here, and choose the movies here; or you can switch to audio and choose the plays or sonnets here.”

She turned to me with such a joyful and hopeful look on her face. “Oh my dear you have to write the steps down for me so I can use it. But thank you, oh thank you!” It had been several years since I had opened a book; my eyesight was not what it once was. But now I saw myself listening to the bard or watching his merry actors for many evenings to come.

Next week: A storm destroys your uncle’s shed and kills his six-year-old son. Describe the color of the sky right before the storm hit.