Saffy and I recently treated ourselves to a Blackberry each. I’m still not sure why exactly we did it, but like the tattoos we got ourselves some years back, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
“Amanda can’t seem to live without her’s,” Saffy reasoned as we stood in the SingTel shop. “And it might be fun to be able to surf the net while I’m sitting on the MRT. Well, I use the word ‘sit’ very loosely. Today, I missed the first three trains because it was so crowded I couldn’t get on, and when I finally managed to squeeze myself onto the fourth train, I was pressed up against this uncle who I swear to God was giving me a filthy look and then just as we were pulling into Dhoby Ghaut, he shifted around and…”
By this time, I’d wandered off to the next window to look at another Blackberry model. When Saffy starts talking, it’s best to just step away if you want to emerge from the conversation with your sanity intact. Thank goodness a sales assistant popped up at the right moment.
“Yah, hello, can I help?”
“Oh, yes, you can!” I said gratefully. “I want to get a Blackberry.”
“We!” Saffy said, sidling up from behind. “We want to get a Blackberry! Your name is Jackman Ho?” she added, glancing at his name tag. “That’s an unusual name. So does that mean you ja–”
“Which model would you suggest?” I interrupted quickly. I literally grabbed him by the elbow and shoved him towards the counter.
“Why don’t you get the Bold?” said Jackman Ho, a little flustered. “You get 500MB free data.”
“Is that a lot?” I asked and I swear he gave me a look. “That was a serious question. I know nothing about computers.”
Two dozen stupid questions later, we emerged triumphantly from the store with a glossy Blackberry Bold 9780. The first person Saffy emailed was Sharyn who immediately called. Saffy put her on the speaker-phone.
“Aiyoh, why you buy the Bold? The 9780 some more! Old model, you know. You should get the Torch, lah! Touch screen and latest model! Aiyoh, you two, hah, so suaku!”
Later, on a crowded train, Saffy said that she could just imagine what Sharyn’s wedding night must have been like. “Can you picture it? She’d be telling him off for doing all the wrong things. The poor man. Maybe,” she said, suddenly sitting up straight, “maybe that’s why they’ve never had children? He’s so scared of her, nothing works! And when I say ‘nothing’, I mean–”
I interrupted Saffy. “I know exactly what you mean!” I said hurriedly, glancing at the auntie next to us who was very busy pretending not to be listening to our conversation.
Barney Chen thinks I’m insane for getting a Blackberry. “I do wish you’d consult me before you go off and make a decision as life-changing as this,” he growled. “You should have got the iPhone! It’s so much more fun and interactive. And it takes much better pictures! Speaking of which, have a look at this picture I took of myself in the bathroom today. Do you think I look fat?”
Karl says my life is going to be changed forever. “It’ll creep up on you very slowly. You are a month away from sleeping with this under your pillow.”
“Oh my God!” Amanda said cheerfully. “I do that too! I thought it was just me!”
A few mornings ago, Saffy emerged from her room looking very grumpy and her hair resembled a rat’s nest. She was clutching her Blackberry. “I have not slept for two nights. I’ve been up playing with this stupid thing!”
“Why don’t you just turn it off?” Amanda told her.
“You think I didn’t think of that?” Saffy sounded bitter. “I tried that, but I just can’t help thinking that someone is trying to send me an email which I should read immediately. And then my Facebook alerts me that someone’s posted something, so I read that. And then I read the response to my response to the email. I tweet that I’m not sleeping, and before you know it, it’s dawn!”
“It’s dire!” Amanda said. “You’re turning into a Crackberry addict! I’ve seen it happen before. Some people bring it with them into the toilet, it’s so unbelievably gro–”
Saffy shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
“That’s disgusting, Saffy!” Amanda exclaimed. “I hope you remembered to wash your hands and wipe down the keypad!”
I later told Karl I hoped that it wasn’t just the keypad that Saffy remembered to wipe.