‘I have come to hate my devices,’ the vicar said.
My eyes squinted. ‘You mean vices,’ I clarified.
No no. The vicar was referring to his alarm clock. ‘It is so loud, so ear-piercing in the morning, that I lather it with curse words. I hate it, I hate it. I want to smash its stupid fluorescent digits against the wall. I remain it bed to spite it, to show it it is not the boss of me. There is only one boss of me,’ and he pointed to the heavens.
It later emerged that the smoke detector also infuriated my man of the cloth. ‘I was frying a couple of pieces of salmon last night. I like it burnt, especially the skin, and the sauce caramelized. But the fumes set off the smoke detector. I screamed blue murder. I screamed, Stop trying to save my life!’
What about the fridge? I asked.
‘Why, the fridge is cool. Yes, it just hums. It applies no pressure.’
Got me thinking. Why are certain devices evil? The TV is not evil, it just sits there waiting to serve us filth and violence. In our good time.
But the microwave beeps every 30 seconds at us. ‘Take your damn food out, you fool,’ it says in Morse code, if we cared to decipher it.
The vicar knew the answer. ‘There are two factories in the world. One produces good goods. And one bad goods. But at the shipping depot the workmen in light brown overalls mix them up. Now we can never be sure which are which.’
Hm. He is right, of course! This is the way things are.
‘More herbal tea, vicar?’ I enquired.
‘No, no. I must be going. Doris’ feet are playing up again,’ and he took a Brillo pad from his satchel.
‘One last thing,’ I said, leaping from my seat. ‘Put on this Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. It provides an alternative world, free from bad goods.’
The vicar smiled. ‘My, my lad, you have something there.’ But then he looked puzzled. ‘Can you still get upstairs from a virtual world?’ and he gestured with his finger to the big boss.
I considered the gravity of his question and then replied, ‘God can see us everywhere.’
Vicar was satisfied. And this is the way things are.