I preordered my iPhone 5 today, a decision fraught with tension, angst, and a dark sense of dread that I haven’t experienced since I invested in Friendster. (I am happy to report, however, that I am totally free of Weltschmerz, thanks to that new cream I bought off the TV.)
First of all, I had to give up my old unlimited data plan. Because its limits were un, I never bothered to calculate how many megabeeps or gigaboops I was using. For all I know, I ate up a scant three or four kilomites, just enough to log on to my Friendster account. (I occasionally play a knockoff of Angry Birds, called Kittens with Ennui, but the game is so slow-going, I usually give up after a minute or two.)
Then again, because I spend a lot of time on apologetics discussion boards trying to exonerate the Bogomils from some of the nastier charges that cling to their reputation, I may be burning through 50, 60 terranertz daily, which would result in a bill of such extravagance that I’d have to cut something out of my monthly budget, like my membership in the Mullets, my barbershop quartet (each Mullet must cover part of the travel expenses, and the trips to Guantánamo are adding up).
And then there’s the hard drive: 16, 32, 64? My music collection is rather meager, limited to TV theme songs and the “Bagno” aria from Condottieri’s Il mio maiale di una madre-in-law. Pictures are another matter. I despise nature, but I do take a lot of pictures of stuff in department store windows, which I then send to friends and family with the caption “Buy this for me.” I opted for the lower end of storage capacity, because I can always offload extra data onto my Macbook Air, iMac, or Wang 2200.
I was told by the nice man at the Verizon store that I should expect my phone October 5, because Apple sold out of the phone the very first day it was available for preorder. I proceeded to behave in a very un-Christian manner. I started to excoriate the incompetence of the staff, the shortsightedness of Apple, the concupiscence of the Bogomils. It was not pretty. I was finally mollified by an offer of a free one of these.
You would think Apple would know to manufacture enough of their gadgets by now. If you’re introducing a new iteration of the Zune, OK, two or three hundred should do it. But Apple should be thinking in terms of quattuordecillions, which is 10 to the 45th power. And even then, throw in another five or six million to cover accidental breakage at the plant should an uprising of slave-wage workers occur.
That was preorder No. 1. And as you can see, it was quite an ordeal. (It’s not easy being me.) The second preorder was of Pastor Jonathan Fisk’s new book, Broken: 7 “Christian” Rules that Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible.
Now what possible risk could be involved in preordering a book like this? O where do I begin? First of all, what if he’s wrong? What if there aren’t 7 “Christian” rules that ought to be broken? What if there are only six—or nine? And what if they’re not really rules but only suggestions forcefully advanced? And what if the irony quotes are in the wrong place? Maybe the subtitle should read: 7 Christian Rules that “Every” Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible, or 7 Christian Rules that Every “Christian” Ought to Break as Often as Possible.
Or what if he uses words like papistical or gelatinous or swashbuckling? Who wants to read about a gelatinous papistical swashbuckling anything?
And worst of all: What if I’m not mentioned in it? I tossed my copy of Les Misérables for that very reason. You would think with the word Misérables in the title, I would pop up somewhere. And here I am one-quarter Gascogne blood. You would think it would count for something.
Anyway, if you don’t know who Jonathan Fisk is, he’s this guy. If you’re a confessional Lutheran, especially of the LCMS variety, I have every reason to believe you’ll enjoy his videos. If you’re a filthy communist or something, then not so much. So you can try this:
TRANSLATION: “Don’t fall for those creams you buy on the television. I have tried many of such concoctions, and you can see what it has done to my hairline. Moreover, when they took my credit card number over the phone, I deliberately asked them to bill me all at once, and not to break up the payments over a period of three months. Here we are in month six, and I am still coughing up $39.99 for that stuff. It makes you lose faith in the inherent goodness of man. I would have had the operator shot, but then I would have had to cancel my credit card and start all over. And don’t get me started on the banks. Which reminds me of a joke I heard once. How many bankers does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, provided the government will quantitatively ease it first. Ha ha ha ha. That one always kills me. Not literally of course.”