I bought an iPhone although I have no need of one. The few emails I receive are rarely urgent and there’s never any pressing requirement to access the internet when I’m out and about. No, I bought the iPhone because my friend Moishe bought one and I knew I’d never hear the end of how marvellous it was until I also had one. Moishe loves to show off whatever he has that you don’t.
The sad thing is Moishe needs an iPhone like a hole in the head. The only phone calls he receives are from his wife wanting to know why he’s not home yet. In 1986 when he turned up with his first mobile phone I told him, as he pulled the oversized brick from its case, that he may as well have a three-mile long lead around his neck.
Still, now I have one I must confess to enjoying it. It’s a very smart piece of equipment, obviously designed not for keeping in your pocket but for showing to people. Have you noticed how a person with an iPhone carefully places it on a table while everyone else leaves their mobile phone in their pocket? I thought they must give off harmful radio waves or something. Now I understand that when you spend so much on something you have to show it to people to feel like you’re getting value for money.
When I bought it the shop assistant showed me how to download “apps” and I’ve since discovered hundreds of apps for Jews, some of which are potentially useful. Easily my favourite is the Parve-O-Meter. Frankly I don’t know how we’ve managed to survive for 4,000 years without it. It’s essential for people who need to know the precise moment it’s OK to consume milk or meat. Just gobbled up a cream cheese bagel? Press the milky button and the countdown starts. If it’s a salt-beef sandwich you’ve eaten then pray your battery doesn’t go dead before the six hours are up. Truthfully, the most useful feature of the Parve-O-Meter is a puerile whizzy noise it emits when the timer is set. This can be deployed to great effect at the cinema just at that moment when the couple are about to kiss for the first time.
Another handy download is the Lulav Wizard. Rather than paying £40.00 or more for a set of Arba Minim, you can have a virtual lulav and etrog for only 59p. Bargain! Just shake your device as instructed and the little animated branches jiggle across the screen. Then hold the iPhone to your nose to sniff the virtual aroma of citron.
I know that sounds good, but wait for this. Easily the best app of all is one called Watch Out, Moishe’s About. Now, whenever my friend turns up with something to show off my iPhone rings and I feign urgent business to attend to. I tell you that one alone is worth the price of the phone.