Today’s subject: the iPhone.
My old English friend, Russell, recently asked me a few questions about this little device that, without which, it is now impossible to imagine a modern man.
1// Where do you hide your iPhone?
When I was young….
The book of life is brief.
But life goes on and this old world keeps turning…
When I was young I lived in a big house. More than 40 families lived there, but only one family, the Ivanovs, owned a telephone. Today this is unimaginable. But back then only people “with status” had phones. Ivanov was the small boss of the City Party Committee in my Russian hometown. This family was happy and unhappy at the same time. Sure, they could call their friends, relatives, etc., whenever they pleased, But a crowd of people always congregated at their door. One neighbor had to call the police. Other neighbors would call the mayor’s office. Still another neighbor wanted to call his mistress. constantly. Mr. Ivanov could not deny his neighbors because there was the possibility that one would write a denunciation. Every summer, Ivanov went to a resort in the Crimea (which then still belonged to Ukraine). During his holiday Ivanov put the phone in a safe. Once the Ivanov apartment was broken into. Thieves stole money, clothes, and, most importantly, the phone. safe The house plunged into sadness. Today I have a sophisticated iPhone. Where do I hide my iPhone? Not in a safe, that’s for sure.
2 // How many videos are on your iPhone?
When I was young….
Childhood, my dear, I keep it ever gentle on my mind
Lay your head upon my pillow
And make believe you love me one more time…
When I was young I lived in a city that had only one theater. Soviet films, usually, were not interesting. They had a primitive script. The bad guy joined the brigade of Communist Labor and turned into a good guy, yadda yadda eider. But sometimes the holidays came to town – i.e., the French-American movies! My favorite was “Fantômas,” the 1964 French film starring Jean Marais as the arch villain with the same name as the character opposite him, played by Louis de Funès as the earnest but outclassed commissaire.
Today, my iPhone has a lot of videos, but my favorite remains “Fantômas.”
3 // Do you love your phone?
When I was young and the taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue, my school teacher taught to love of “Soviet Motherland,” the Communist Party, and the ideas of Marx and Lenin. My parents taught me love for my native home and for my sisters, brothers, and all housemates. Dudes off the street taught me to love wine, cigarettes, and women. Rock musicians taught me to love American rock ‘n roll and English hard rock. No one taught me to love the iPhone. In the years since my all this youthful education, no one could even imagine this gadget. The iPhone sounds like a pop tune. Maybe I love my iPhone because I love pop music. After all, it stores an awful lot of Beatles songs.
4 // What if someone steals your iphone, how bad would that be?
When I was young the moon was blue
And every crazy day brought something new to do
My father taught me one rule: Stealing is bad.
My grandmother showed me one of the 10 commandments (now available as an app): Thou shalt not steal.
However, in my life, I have seen more than once how people spit on this commandment. Our life, alas, is made up of lies, deceit, theft. I was taught from childhood not to take someone else’s belongings. One has to be able to tell the difference between someone else and his own things though. Once I exchanged guitars with my buddy and later never switched back, on purpose. I felt I’d stolen his guitar. Next to his cool American guitar was cool my Sovestky glooked like a piece of shit. On top of that, I could never play his guitar properly because it always made me feel like I’d been caught stealing. My conscience wore me down. At last I swallowed my pride and went back to him with his guitar. Theft is a heavy burden.
If anyone steals my iPhone I won’t miss the thing as much as I’ll feel badly for the guy who swiped it. I want to tell anyone who wants to steal my iPhone this, My friend, don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin eat them away and where thieves break in and steal.
5 // If you had to choose, would you rather give up your iPhone, or cut off a hand?
When I was young I had a friend named Anton. I write about him in the past tense although it may be that he is still alive. Anton loved Veronika. One day, Anton came to me and said, “I have to go to the Red Army, but I do not want to because while I’m there Veronika’s going to go find another guy. You gotta help me. What should I do? I know, I’ll cut off my fingers, and you call an ambulance. Without fingers I’m no use to the army,” he said.
I promised to help him but got scared and cut off our friendship instead of his fingers. I stopped answering his calls and stopped going to dance clubs. Soon I learned that Anton was caught cuting off women’s fingers. He was sent to prison. I don’t what became of him or of Veronica. All I knowis, it’s better not to cut off your hands – otherwise you wouldn’t be able to use your iPhone.