Real life

Real life

1 April 2017

9:00 AM

1 April 2017

9:00 AM

Of all the many indignities I have suffered at the hands of my iPhone, the humiliation that sickens me the most is that it has rendered me ungrammatical.

This monstrous device. This vile, evil, vindictive, obstructive, disingenuous, fiendish machine. I hate it. I loathe it more than I had thought it possible to loathe an inanimate object.

For example, I just sent a message to the builder boyfriend saying: ‘Casserole on the oven, can you hear it?’

The BB will come in later, look on the hob for a casserole and, finding none, open himself a tin of soup. He will not look in the oven. And he will not be able to hear the casserole. I’m guessing he won’t even attempt to hear it.

Why should he? Even white van man knows you can’t hear a casserole, hard though that may be for the Remain camp to believe.

And so I will come home tonight and find the oven cold and the casserole cold inside it. And the BB, defiant in his work clothes to spite me, slumped in a mood on the sofa with an empty bowl of ‘Ena Baxter’s’ soup on the arm. (He will insist on eating soup ‘made by Ena Baxter’. I keep telling him that Ena Baxter died two years ago, aged 90, but he won’t have it. He feels warm inside when he thinks of a little old lady designing broths for him.)


I have had a lot of suggestions from friends. Or, as my iPhone would say, ‘I gave a Lotto suggestions form fiends.’

My friends tell me I must try harder. Turn off spellcheck. Turn the phone round so the screen is bigger. Learn to poke with greater accuracy. ‘Is this what made Britain great?’ they chide. If at first you don’t succeed, poke, poke, poke again!

But why should I make the mother of all efforts to tap some tiny letters? Why should I fight a Herculean battle to make spellcheck go away? It’s an infernal cheek that this unnatural, egregious, diabolical device fights its human masters so audaciously. It would take too long to make it do what I want and I have a feeling it never would do anyway. It holds out the promise that if I prod it enough times — type, go back, type, go back — it will at some point come out with the sentence I want. You know what? No, it won’t. That’s never going to happen. You’re a fool if you think it is.

After a few tries, peering at the screen with aching eyes to find the errors, I simply plump for the least worst mistakes.

Devotees of the iPhone have told me I must shout into it, using the voice dictation service. But it doesn’t seem reasonable to be standing in a queue at the supermarket and, in answer to a text from the BB asking why I haven’t returned his calls all day, to shout into thin air like a lunatic that I took the dog for a walk and ended up jumping into the River Mole after her to pull her out.

To be realistic, the people in the queue might have looked at me standing there wringing wet and caked in mud from head to foot and concluded as much, but that’s not the point.

Also, can I just say, the urgent need to text at speed has been increased somewhat by EE’s refusal to give me enough reception to sustain a call coming in.

I can make calls, but I can’t receive them. This may be to do with EE, or the iPhone, or an unholy alliance of the iPhone and EE, but as the iPhone is technically owned by EE on a contract I wouldn’t know unless EE agreed to take it back.

I heard a rumour once that an iPhone won’t allow a call unless you’ve got perfect reception, which, as far as I can tell, EE don’t happen to offer most of the time. But they’re not going to admit that, are they?

So I carry on typing my rubbish texts, desperately trying to communicate and failing, in an age that is meant to be the golden era of communications.

‘450 cows on my Trip Advisor review!’ I text the BB, wondering whether he will ever get the hang of this. Will he work out that I meant 450 views, or will he assume that 450 cows have written in to say they are outraged by my lack of appreciation for the beef served us the other weekend at a Michelin-starred restaurant, which they deem a signal insult levelled against a member of the bovine community?

‘Very good!’ comes the reply he texts back on his iPhone. ‘The place was so up its own armhole it deserves a bed renew.’

Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator Australia for less – just $20 for 10 issues


Show comments
Close