Sunday, April 4, 2010


No, not the man who comes around every weekend to our apartment building to sell apples*. I'm talking about the charming, strange-looking fellow who works at the Apple store at our friendly neighbourhood mall.

We were there a couple of weeks back to make a purchase at our favorite boutique, a trendy, on-the-cusp-of-the-latest fashions clothing store from Scandinavia by the name of Gap (correct pronunciation is jop). They sell a type of boxer short there that drives Victoria wild when she imagines them on a guy she saw on General Hospital. Anyhoozle, we made our purchase and were returning to our car when I felt a gravitational pull exert its effect on my gal from the direction of the Apple store.

A short timeout for some back story here. At one point in time Victoria and I had, by my standards anyway, a pretty healthy relationship. I cooked, she ate. I cleaned, she re-messed. She itched, I scratched. You're getting the picture, I trust. True symbiosis. Co-dependence at its finest, similar to the kind of relationships dictatorships have with their  spiritually crushed, yet desperately needy populations in certain Central African republics. Victoria needed me, you see, and the feeling of being wanted for my services allowed me a degree of enfeebled self-worth.

That all came crashing down the day she bought her Iphone.

Now- most of you, dear readers, could probably make a solid guess at what my opinions are concerning people's consumeristic obsession with the latest, useless technological toys that overwhelm dinner conversations across this great continent. Let's leave that aside for the moment. I was prepared to participate this time. To share in her joy over her newest acquisition which would, undoubtedly, make her (and by proxy me) a more spiritually whole and, more importantly, cooler person. Maybe if I could master the art of operating this little wizard-in-your-pocket Victoria might let me sleep indoors on the odd night. It certainly couldn't hurt.

The first sign of trouble came when I absent-mindedly went to touch it as Victoria stared at the screen, hypnotised, having just taken the thing out of its box back at our apartment. My fingers were two centimetres from its shiny chrome casing when Victoria's head whipped around and I heard a snarl emanate from her frothy lips that could only have come from the deepest recesses of her primal innards. Her eyes flashed in territorial rage, and for a moment I was back on the African savannah, a small innocent rodent attempting to steal an egg from the eagle's nest. Victoria had disappeared- all humanity shredded as she protected her prized bundle. This was the lizard brain in all its terrifying glory.

I did what all smart males do when threatened by their mate. I retreated, blinking back heavy tears. The pecking order had been established: the Iphone would receive the food, shelter and loving attention. I would get the crumbs.

Then, a couple of months back, we were watching our favorite show/aphrodisiac, So You Think You Can Dance, when a commercial for the IPad came on. Victoria watched, transfixed and the next day she told me she had to go out for a while. Out of curiosity I asked her where she was headed and the response shot back:

"None of your bees wax."

Now, dear readers, all of you must know that when bees wax is mentioned in a relationship, danger is imminent. I decided to follow my love. Our very union was under threat, and I knew where she was going.

We arrived at the mall. Her erratic driving, viewed from three cars back, told me she was in the grip of a familiar ecstasy. She pulled into a parking spot and dove out of the car, on the run. I followed close behind and watched her head into the Apple store. What followed was ten minutes of furious conversation with a skinny, pallid young Apple employee whose dripping lust for my girlfriend flashed to me, on the other side of the promenade, in neon lights. His acne seemed to be flaring a deep, sexualised red and Victoria was playing him for all he was worth.

She left soon after and I followed her home. Time passed, life returned to normal.

Until yesterday. The day the Ipad finally became available to the public. You may have seen the news reports, showing hordes of people waiting in line for hours, shrieking excitedly as they left the store with this digital demon in their possession. I had assumed in the days leading up to the big event that it would only be a matter of time until I also saw Victoria on the television, elbowing old ladies out of the way to push in line.

Except that I didn't. Early yesterday morning, before the shops had even opened, I awoke to hear Victoria having a hushed conversation with someone at the door. It was a man's voice, albeit high, squeaky, almost pre-pubescent. The door closed and she waltzed into the bedroom, brand new IPad in hand. Something was amiss. Victoria had her hands back on the strings and was yanking with all her might.

As I write this post, a pair of Gap boxer shorts lie by my side. Readers, they are not clean and worse, they are not mine. I read Victoria's journal today while she was out. Is that wrong? People, we live in an amoral world. Victoria has made her sullied bed. I copied this phrase down from the fluffy pink journal found in the back of her shoe drawer:

"As Lenny heaved and grunted above me, I adopted a phrase used by British colonial wives, far from home and forced to have intimate relations with their new husbands: 'close your eyes and think of England'. Except in this case I thought of you, dear Machine, light of my life..."

The woman had gone mad. She had indeed shtupped Lenny and now had her prize.

How do I proceed? Clearly adults have come to worship toys to an extent far beyond anything a child could be capable of and it is people like me that become the victims of this idolatry. Left behind. Neglected.

Let this be a lesson, dear readers. The moral of this story is clear.

Get a job at an Apple store.

*I WISH someone would come to my door selling apples. Wouldn't that be great??

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