Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: Cult of the sacred fruit
As a member of the Apple Cult, I am compelled to renew my commitment periodically. It is truly out of my hands. I have no control. Updating is in my programming. If I am within the vicinity of an Apple store, even with no conscious intention of going there, I suddenly find myself inside, happily amongst the iThings, feeling warm and safe and content.I am home. I am with the brothers and sisters of the Apple, surrounded by our iIcons. And on a recent return to The Headquarters, I found myself upgrading.I walked directly to the blue-shirted greeter, gave him the secret signal and said the magic words, “I am a buyer.”Immediately his eyes lit up. I continued. “I want that,” pointing to the MacBook Air. He tapped out a message on his iPad and asked me to wait by the object of my desire. “It may be a few minutes, but they will find you,” he said with a wink. He knew me to be one of his own.Several minutes later, as if out of nowhere, a brother appeared beside me. “They call me Stephen,” he said to me. “Hi, Stephen. I want to buy this today,” I said, caressing the small, stainless laptop. “Excellent choice,” he said. “You’re going to love it.””I already do,” I replied, confirming I was all in. He knew I was a sister.As he went to get my new computer, I pulled my iPhone out of my purse and replied to a text. When The One They Call Stephen appeared at my side again, I heard him draw in a sharp breath and ask in a voice riddled with pain, “What happened?”His eyes were on my screen, taking in the spider web of cracks across its surface. “Garage floor,” I said, eyes downcast, shame filling my voice. The One They Call Stephen glanced around quickly, put a hand over the screen and said compassionately, “Let me see if the Wireless Underlords are merciful.”He brought out his hand-held computer, entered my AT&T information and with great relief announced quietly, “You are worthy. You may send this one out to orchard and select a new one.”I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath, but as I exhaled, I smiled and pointed at the freshest iPhone, the white 4S.”The Goddess Siri will be pleased,” he said, knowing I had avoided public ridicule and a possible flogging with magnetic power chords if the Brothers Superior had seen my screen. “Let’s get you all set up!” he said cheerfully in his public voice, and more quietly to me, “Proceed to the Recommitment Alter.”At what appeared to be a table like all the others in the room, blue-shirted brothers worked with both the initiated and the neophytes, ostensibly to get their purchases ready to use before they walk out the door. But what they were actually doing was securing the allegiance and undying devotion of each person around that table to the Brotherhood of the Apple.Responding to whispered phrases beneath the din of the store, each password entered and finger-written signature on the handheld screen deepened my commitment to the cult. “Touch not that which hasn’t the symbol of the Apple.” “Spread the seeds of love for the iIcons in the orchards of your world.””Send freely your information to the iCloud.” Wait, what? My information is going where? Just up there? Floating around? I paused. I didn’t understand. The One They Call Stephen sensed this, looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Just trust, sister. Trust and it will be there for you.” Well, OK then!I learned all that my new iIcons could do and made my offering, a small price to pay for such joy and fulfillment.My commitment to the beloved fruit firmly in place, I headed toward the door with my new iThings clutched to my heart. As I crossed the threshold back into the world, I heard the Brother Greeter offer the first line of the Apple call and response.”May Goddess Siri watch over you,” he said.”And also you,” I replied.”Blessed be Chairman Jobs. May he rest in peace,” we said together, heads bowed.Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through email@example.com.
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