The Loh Life

The iPad Chronicles, Part Two: The Bar Is Low

Sandra Tsing Loh wonders whether she needs an iPad.

I love my I-PHONE and my I-TOUCH. That brings up the NEXT middle-aged lady QUESTION: Do I also need an I-PAD?

My girlfriend JAN offered to show me hers. She had been GIVEN one by her company as an end-of-the-year Christmas gift. She was very enthusiastic about it. “It’s so cool!” she exclaimed. “What do you DO on it?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know!” she replied, just a tad vaguely. “You can watch movies on it! I have never have, but I believe you can.”

“Oh wait a minute,” she erupted suddenly. “I know what you can do on it. You can play Angry Birds!”

“Oh man,” I said. For someone like me, the offer to play Angry Birds on a brand new IPAD is only SLIGHTLY less tempting than being given sole possession of a groaning SAMPLE tray of Whole Foods cheeses.

How great would THIS be? I am used to thumb-catapulting my ever-EAGER avian army—woo hoo hoo hoo hoo!—on an I-Touch SMALLER than HALF a deck of cards. It is greasy from my children’s fingers and has been DROPPED by them not ONCE, but several times.

Playing Angry Birds on the much grander CANVAS of a brand new tablet-sized IPAD? Oooh… This was going to be some VERY special MOM time.

So, I eagerly grabbed Jan’s iPad, and started the game. But HERE was the thing. To my growing confusion, what with the bigger SCREEN, the birds seemed somehow FATTER and they flew SLOWER. Is that possible? They had just MUCH more of a charmingly WACKY fictional desert VISTA to cross. They were practically paddling. There was too MUCH bird—it was Angry Birds on GROWTH Hormones. Hoolya!

Also, to my deepening horror, I realized that when you’re playing a stupid addictive computer GAME flinging birds on a gleaming eight-hundred-dollar IPAD—? Well, you become suddenly much more painfully aware of yourself PLAYING a stupid addictive computer GAME flinging birds. Almost as if in a dream, I could step outside and look BACK at myself—I almost saw MYSELF as a fat bird being flung—using a fancy Apple GIZMO to waste the time I could be spending knitting a baby sock, washing some dishes, or for that matter picking my nose, which would perhaps provide at LEAST some basic health benefit.

It’s like instead of just pleasurably READING about which celebs have the worst BIKINI bodies in the CHECKOUT line— I mean, what ELSE are you going to do while your apples roll down the conveyor belt? Split the atom? I don’t think so. Oh my God! Kirstie Alley! No, instead of just skimming the STAR and flinging it back, you BUY it and take it home, thus truly besmirching yourself.

But stupid addiction be DAMNED, I declared. I decide to take the leap. Next week: buying the I-Pad.


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