An apple is the perfect logo for Mac products: A biblical symbol representing irresistible temptation, sin, and the fall of humanity... there's even a bite out of it.
I approach the monolithic Apple storefront which has more glass and steel than Christian Grey's apartment and a glowing, white Apple the size of a Mini Cooper. A dude stands in front of the sign celebrating his new iPhone by taking the first of eight million selfies. He will no doubt Tweet, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook this historic moment. #whogivesashit
I'm here because Siri has lost her mind. She's been talking incessantly without any prompting or button pushing. Plus, she's adopting my words into her dictionary so now every time I misspell something Siri thinks she's getting an edukation. My messages sound like they were composed by a caveman and yet I can't curse in a text to save my ducking life.
I have an iPhone 5C -- C stands for Can't Afford a Real iPhone. Its brightly colored, shiny plastic attracts the less sophisticated demographic to which I belong. iPhone 5C doesn't resemble a product made by Apple so much as Fisher Price; Steve Jobs would roll over in his grave. Between the neon colors of iOS 7 and the glow-in-the-dark plastic casing, I'm genuinely surprised when I dial a number and somebody picks up.
I cross the Oz-like threshold and wedge my way into the Apple store. There's less standing room in here than a Taylor Swift concert and it's equally loud. I spy a little kid playing with my same model of phone and now it's dawning on me that the reason it looks like a toy is because it was designed for deranged rich people to buy their 5-year-olds. It seems to be working because that kid is glued to the screen like a molar to a Milk Dud. She's a classic member of Generation ADD: A group of precocious preschoolers who master the iPad long before they can navigate the potty, googling the Wiggles as they crap their pants. One day I'll be telling my grandkids about boredom like my grandparents told me about the Great Depression.
I resisted joining the Apple cult for years, but grew tired of friends forwarding me contacts that I couldn't open, and then realizing they were better than me. Surely Apple possesses the technology to converse with Androids but they don't use it because they want non-Apple users to stand out like an uncircumcised penis in a Jewish orgy. Texts from non-iPhone users come in green, not blue! They label you an uglier color, like a scarlet letter of poverty demarcating the unfortunate souls not wielding an Apple device; Don Draper couldn't come up with that shit.
Quite possibly a gift from God Himself, the iPhone puts all of the power of the universe into the palm of our hand. What do we do with it? Solve world hunger? Create a unified, peaceful global community? No. We take pictures -- of ourselves. At such a rate that we've had to pollute the Oxford English Dictionary with the word 'selfie,' which sounds like a euphemism for jerking off... and basically is.
I'm forced to awkwardly rub myself on strangers as I chafe my way to the Genius Bar. They offer me a seat at the miniature kids table -- the one that has a Mac on it with children's games designed to bond pre-verbal toddlers to their brand. I take the last chair, joining a group of adults holding broken Apple devices, looking lost. This intimate arrangement makes us all uncomfortable; we feel completely naked and afraid in this foreign social situation without iPhones to pretend to be working on. The very devices designed to connect us with all of humanity now prevent us from communicating with the person in front of our face; we are much more comfortable making iContact than eye contact.
I observe the Genius Bar as I wait. There are several Geniuses here today, it's pretty much the same combination of guys you see at any Apple store, in fact I think they've franchised this combination: Hipster prodigy kid wearing skinny jeans and Keds; cool, sophisticated black dude with a halfro; hugely beardy questionable hygiene guy; and a middle-aged square.
I get the square. He's a genius in that if you drop a box of toothpicks he can tell you exactly how many, but not a genius in that he can have a simple, human exchange -- and he definitely doesn't speak blonde. I hand him my phone; he studies the cracked screen with zero emotion. I tell him all about Siri talking out of turn, and right on queue she randomly ejaculates "I'm really sorry but I can't take any requests right now." He fiddles around with it and she volunteers the local weather. His brow furrows and I'm pleased to see Genius Guy feeling a small amount of the bewilderment I experience on an ongoing basis in all areas of my life.
"Have you backed this up onto your MacBook?" No. I haven't. I don't have a Macbook, I have one of those tiny, pretend laptops by ASUS. The name is literally 'eee.' That's it. I'm not fucking kidding you -- its name is the noise that Mini-Me makes when you toss him. This wondrous machine belonged to my mother but she got so frustrated with it that she gave it to my niece...who is two. Apparently she also got frustrated with its uselessness and thus it came to be mine. What I'm trying to tell you is that my computer is literally a hand-me-down from a baby. When you write more than 30 WPM eee goes into shock and restarts itself so the only thing I can hope to back up onto it is my Pontiac. I don't want to tell him this so I just say "Yes." He shoots me a look of untempered disbelief because Vulcans can read minds and blondes don't back up computers. I also lie by omitting the fact that maybe Siri is having a hard time because my running pants don't have pockets in them so I jog with my phone in my sweaty bra. He probably could use this information but I just can't bring myself to tell Spock that I boob-drowned Siri.
He turns the phone off and then back on again. We wait... and wait... and wait. "No Siri," the Genius announces loudly. He looks so pleased with himself that he may have to go take a selfie in the break room.
Seriously?? That's all my phone needed was to be turned off and then back on?!
Hipster kid and beard guy shake with silent laughter. Wonderful. I just wasted an hour and a half, molested several strangers and now these appholes are laughing at me.
I shame-walk back through the crowd and onto the street. "Duck you, Apple!" I exclaim. To which a strangely robotic female voice spontaneously responds "There is an Apple store not far from you." She instructs me to walk 0.1 miles and turn left back into the store. I obey.
Follow Kelly MacLean on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thekellymaclean