A friend of our aunt’s came to town and we all went out to lunch. It was quite a lovely affair until…
Someone, I think it was my wife, asked, “How is your son?”
Suddenly the dreaded iPhone came out and we were subjected to a startling app that I can only assume is named something like Slideshow Torment 2.0. “Oh, he’s doing fine. Here are some pictures…”
Remember when slideshow parties were all the rage? Me either, but apparently there was a time when people would lure guests into their home under the guise of a dinner or cocktail party then the slideshow projector would kill all the joy as the guests were forced to endure pictures of the family vacation, pets, babies, and tourist shots in exotic locales.
Now, thanks to modern technology, we can have that same level of excitement anytime and anywhere. It’s sublime perfection for a society on the go. Now we have slideshow to go.
I can barely tolerate this sort of thing even under the best of circumstances. But when it is from a person I don’t know, like an old friend of my aunt’s, and she is regaling us with stories and pictures about people I don’t know and have never met, my patience wears thin very quickly.
I’ve always struggled to maintain interest when people start telling stories about people I don’t know. “You know Mary, right? She works with someone named Jill who used to live across the street from Bob. That dude was crazy. He was always pulling some stunt like the time he…”
“Excuse me. Who is Mary again?”
These stories about a friend of a friend of friend drive me nuts. I don’t have time to hear stories about people I’ve never met. Aaaaiiiieeeee!
So there we were, in a nice restaurant, held hostage by a two-pronged attack. My aunt’s friend was dominating all conversation and we were compelled to look at endless exciting photographs of her son each time the infernal iPhone was passed around the table. “Here he is in front of his new home. Isn’t it lovely?” Ugh. A little part of me just died. “And here he is in his swimsuit. Isn’t he handsome?” Losing strength, must try to hold on…
What could have been a lovely occasion with conversation between seldom seen friends – old and new – and a delightful lunch was killed. That iPhone is now wanted for murder.
My reaction these days when an iPhone gets pulled out is visceral and immediate. It is an overwhelming feeling of sinking in desperation to a very bad place. I used to have some mild interest in the technology but that’s all gone now. I’ve seen what an iPhone can do.
Cell phones are already plenty annoying enough. Now the iPhone (and others of its ilk) comes along and takes the torment to a whole new level. Home movies are next, I’m sure.
How am I going to make it in a society where people frothingly and willingly believe that their cell phone is one of the very best parts of their meaningless existence?
Please enjoy the musical pairing that has been selected by our chef for this post: