Our PC is probably the least smart of all our electrical goods at the moment and I’m including the toaster in this. The toaster is not smart but it does what is asked of it. The PC is not smart but it thinks it is. It’s like a teenager. It thinks it knows better than us. It even has that, do-I-have-to air about it. Every time I ask it to save something, it comes up with questions like, “Are you sure you want to include all the layers?” So the Iranian in me starts taarofing and I go and delete some of the layers and merge a few together and then ask it again politely to save the file, if it’s not too much trouble. Then it does it finally, reluctantly. And I can’t work out what its problem is. It’s not like it has better things to do, other places to be. It just can’t be bothered. And it’s constantly denying the existence of things, “File does not exist”, “Scanner cannot be found” I’m looking at the file on its desktop and the scanner is five centimetres away from it. Luckily I’m quite good at fixing computer problems. I turn the scanner off and on again. The two of them meet. The computer sighs.
The only subject our PC is actually interested in is virus protection. Every time I turn it on, there is a new virus it needs to be protected from. It’s a complete hypochondriac. So I get AVG on the case, who always recommends a full body scan. Then I have to sit there while the PC tells AVG all about its various ailments. I swear there is something going on between those two.
My phone is definitely my favourite of all our gadgets. The only negative thing I can say about my phone is that it doesn’t speak Farsi. Even that is not a problem actually, it’s the fact that it doesn’t speak Farsi but insists it can that gets on my nerves a little. I keep saying to it, “You don’t speak Farsi and that’s absolutely fine. Please just don’t autocorrect me when I’m writing something. For example when I wrote that email to that Iranian publisher and you autocorrected my Bemoom (stay) to Bekoon (to my bottom) that was not funny.” And it wasn’t.
But I love its enthusiasm. It’s like a puppy dog. Even when I’m writing something with a pencil (pencils never have any idea what you’re writing and won’t even attempt to guess) I can see my phone on the table with its hands up going, “I know! I know what you’re trying to write! Pick me! Pick me!”
My iPad is evil. I’m pretty sure it’s planning a coup against us or something even more evil and twisted like hijacking the television and locking all the channels onto Iranian Press TV. It’s smart. Maybe a bit too smart. And cheeky.
It has gone and given me a nickname for example, off his own bat, without my say-so. And now wherever my name appears, underneath it says, “Dark Tower”.
“You are Shirin,” it tells me, “but because we’re buddies, I get to call you Dark Tower.”
I’m pretty sure it’s alive. One time Dara said to it, “If I put a book in front of your screen, will you read it to me?”
The iPad replied, “I’m sorry but I seem to have misplaced my reading glasses in another dimension.”
We thought this was brilliant. Our iPad is so witty we thought, wonderful. Sometime after that we had a few friends over and we were telling them about this. Then we thought why tell them when we can just show them! So we brought the iPad out and we asked the question again. Do you know what it said?
“I will do a web search for that, Dark Tower.”
We were like, “No no no, don’t do a web search! Say that funny thing!”
But it just flat out refused to say it and made me look like a complete idiot. You see what I mean when I say it’s evil.
My phone too calls me Dark Tower. But I don’t mind that. I know that is the iPad’s doing. It probably told my phone that this is what I wanted. My phone is very gullible. The iPad was here way before my phone arrived. My phone looks up to the iPad.