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The Device Whisperer Or, the Passion of Consumer Electronics

I have a lot of devices and it is important that I maintain good personal relationships with all of them. Take my humidifier. It is a top-of-the-line Swiss model, about the size of a jewellery box. You affix a bottle of water to the top and it creates a perfect vapour, like a pure mountain mist. There’s a pale blue nightlight built into it that illuminates the spout and gives the mist an otherworldly quality. I love my humidifier. Yes, love. But not the way Romeo loved Juliet. I talk dirty to it, and sometimes caress it, usually at night, when it’s just the two of us. This makes my iPad very jealous.

Though my iPad is downstairs sleeping, she is still turned on, still breathing, as it were. My iPad is in sleeping mode, which is not at all like REM sleep. She’s awake enough to know when I’m lavishing attention on my honey of a humidifier. So it becomes incumbent upon me, being a fair-minded lover, to go downstairs and show my iPad some affection. I’ll write a poem to it, on it, and it will purr with delight, the way only a mechanical device can purr with delight. Which is to say it behaves like a horny object. And that infuriates my Hong Kong-registered touch-screen Blackberry Storm.

You don’t want to piss off a Blackberry Storm no matter where it’s registered. They don’t call it a Storm for nothing. Hell hath no fury like a Blackberry Storm scorned! Truth be told, I hate my Storm. I long for my ex-Blackberry with the 'qwerty' keyboard. Yeah, I miss my ex a lot. I regret breaking up with her. But I pretend to love my new Blackberry Storm because I hate confrontation. (I also have a second phone, a sexy slim Samsung Anycall I’ve use for six years as my go-to mainland bitch phone). My Blackberry Storm tolerates the presence of my Samsung Anycall, but if she knew that I fully intend to dump her and buy a Blackberry Curve next week, she might chop off my email while I’m sleeping and throw it on the footpath. That’s what my Roland Micro Cube amplifier tried to do when she found out I was thinking of upgrading to a vintage Fender tube amp.


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