I’m noticing a certain phrase sneaking into our vocabulary. It pops up in almost every conversation, regardless of the topic. You can be debating which fast food menu item is the healthiest or kvetching about a boring workout. You can be chit-chatting about the stock market or trying to remember the name of the band that sings that stupid song that’s been running through your head for a week. The response is always the same: There’s an app for that.
I do not own an iPhone, but not surprisingly, Cranky, Whiny and Punch do. It is only now that I am beginning to scratch the surface of Steve Jobs’ genius. I would never give Punch $365 to buy apps, yet I casually green-light his daily $0.99 purchase. And for what? An app that repeats what you say in a helium voice? An app that fabricates bodily noises? Where’s the app that picks up your dirty laundry? Where’s the app that puts your dishes in the sink?
There’s an app to console a lonely heart: Called ‘Honey, it’s me,’ it leaves regular messages and texts from a virtual friend. Of course there’s an argument to be made that if you weren’t spending so much time on your phone, you’d have time to make actual three-dimensional friends, but I’m splitting hairs. Remember at the end of a rock concert you would hold your burning lighter up in the air for an encore? (I wasn’t permitted to go to concerts as a kid, but I’m told this took place.) Well, now you can flick your Bic on your phone’s screen. Oh and remember that naughty novelty pen that when you turned it upside down the lady’s clothes came off? Say it with me: There’s an app for that. Star Wars aficionados can buy an app that enables them to hear their favorite characters’ catch phrases. And when you’re 35 and living on a futon in your parents’ basement, hearing Luke, I am your father can be very comforting.
Basically the iPhone is like a 21st century Swiss army knife. I haven’t actually checked the side of the thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a corkscrew folded out—now that would be a useful app! It’s all very fun, but until it can yell at my children, get dog poop out of a carpet and show me how to mix a gimlet properly, I have no need. Oh wait…