"What are you putting on there now?!" My mother's friend eyed me with suspicion. She had originally called me over to fix a problem with her router. That took whole seconds, but in the gushing thanks that followed, she had mentioned how slowly her computer loaded websites. I had a solution.
"It's my favorite program ever." I reassured her. "It removes all of those cache files, dodgy registry keys and cookies that are eating away at your CPU capacity."
She blinked. "In English please?"
I considered it. I needed an analogy with which she might identify. "You know if you were to use the cooker without cleaning it, you'd eventually end up with a load of gunk down the back?" I watched her expression. She was staring at me. "Carry on and it'll clog up the grills, leaving you with lots of smoke, a bad smell and a cooker you can no longer use."
"So," my mother's friend glared, "you're saying I'm a sloppy housekeeper?"
"Maybe just on the computer." I replied, conscious that I was standing in a scrupulously clean home. "Let's see."
I ran CCleaner. It's a program that I try to get onto every single computer that I'm called to fix. I have geek friends who carry it around on memory sticks attached to their keyring. It's the first port of call for the majority of PC savvy people I know, when faced with a sluggish machine. I dread to think how many times I've personally run it during the past few years.
To this day, that computer holds the record of being the most gunk clogged system I have ever encountered. It's the standard by which I reassure everyone else. If it had been a cooker, it would have long since passed the smoke stage.
By the time I left, she was all grins. She hadn't known that websites could appear instantaneously. I'd showed her how to use CCleaner and, as a houseproud woman, she was going to run it every day. She's not had to call me back since. Her computer, she informs me whenever she sees me, is running like a dream.