Cell phone fever
Coiled at the bottom of every girl's purse is a cell phone that by and large determines
the forward movement of her day. My new love is the Nokia 9290. It does everything
from registering my biannual dental appointments to capturing sound bites as I walk
around the city. I edit my home movies on its considerable LCD screen. The phone,
which has a full keypad when you open it up, projects the moving image with absolute
The only thing about it, and this was noted early on in the New York Times,
is that people may think you a little retarded as you walk around talking on it.
That is because the phone's keypad faces out when you hold the phone to your ear.
Any common passer by would think that they could come up and call their mom on it
for all I know. It's bulky, too, so it looks a little, let's say, "unsettling"
in the creased khakis Wall Street boys wear as their weekend wear.
On one balmy evening last week, I walked out of the cinema with a bunch of my girlfriends
after watching the spectacular New Zealand flick, Rain. We all kind of looked
at each other a little dazed, still sipping our chilled lattés, and wondered
out loud: "Who suggested this movie, anyway? It was just tremendous, wasn't
it?" No one really owned up, which is saying something when you're with a bunch
of self-centered, self-congratulating women with smarts.
So I wondered if this whole get-together wasnŪt somehow managed and coordinated by
our cell phones. That is, without either of us even taking the initiative. Then I
started thinking, what if technologies such as the new Nokia could be developed so
that they accommodate certain personal -- and therefore also certain specifically
ethnic or national -- needs. So that in our cases our phones, that had been programmed
to know that we would need company on Tuesday nights, and specifically Persian company,
would arrange, on our collective behalfs, to bring us to a movie that would strike
a cord in all of us. Because who would have known otherwise that a Kiwi flick was
exactly what we all needed to see along with a bunch of other Persians?
Madame Bayaz' astrological predictions this month are charged with precisely this
enigma. That is to tell you how your astrologically attuned cell phone has been programmed
to satisfy, with precision, a need that is all your own.
Your compulsive nature is riding you this month, Aries, so I've worked on your cell
phone to curb all your excessive urges. All your long distance calls to friends and
family in Iran and in the West are being taped. They'll be played back to you when
you hang up each and ever time. Rrrring÷.It's boring old, frumpy, old, pathetic ,
old you calling÷ YOU! Evil, isn't it? This way you'll know how often you repeat yourself
about your miserable life. And guess what? Maybe you'll learn how much others suffer
at the other end of the line. Who wants to listen to all that?
Practically speaking, there's nothing that your newly restored celly can't do for
you, darling Taurus. It'll schedule diaper changes for the baby, take note of what
gets eaten up in the refrigerator and dial up the neighborhood grocer with your order.
It will either call the locksmith the minute your forget your keys in the house or
if you have the 2002 model, it'll provide you with the option to break open the lock
with the build in gadget that kind of looks like a hairpin. Yes, you've got too much
to do, and too little time and you are certainly distracted, so we've made sure to
cover all the bases in case you forget. A little treat for you is also in store.
The cell phone produces (nightly) two rose scented cotton pads to restore your poor,
tired eyes. You'll always to sleep with the scent of Shiraz in your soul.
Friday nights may just end up being the toughest for you this month. Everyone is
out of town and you have to stay and work. But Friday nights are the nights that
you do your performances, whether they be in band or on a theatrical stage, or at
a karaoke bar. The thing is, no one's around to appreciate your brilliant performances.
So Madame Bayaz, in all her foresight, has arranged an audience for you. Buried in
one of the new chips in your cell phone is a phone book full of names of interested,
interesting, enthusiastic men and women in your city who with no particular motivation
that they know of, end up where you're performing on Friday night all summer long.
One of them, an attractive one, will inevitably be inspired to send you an e-note
on your cell, telling you how fab you truly are and asking you to go out for chelokabab
on the following Thursday. It's beautiful isn't it? I imagine you'll be worn out
by the end of June, but I promise, it'll go on for as long as you stick to your current
mobile service provider. You'll always GO to sleep.
Suggestive as this might seem, I'm thinking you need me for precisely this, this
month. Take your cell phone with you to the mountain top you climb on weekends and
watch it connect to a network for a change. The connection, mind you, is exclusively
spiritual in nature. That is of the spirit world. For some reason, you've been chosen
this month to hook into the Malagazi network, which is an ancient and cultivated
spiritualism that has returned now in a technological guise. With your cell phone
way up there, you can ask and get answers to every question you've ever wanted to
ask and never dared in your life. Say, for example, you want to know why Persian
toes (of all things), are always callused, unshapely and inward caving÷ kind of like
they want to ride on one another, taking comfort in ugly numbers. The Malagazi network
will be happy to indulge with the needful information. Of course, if you want to
know the purpose of life, click on the "Fashion" button under Menu. You'll
find that all the newest trends in clothing from Paris to Toronto for the next five
years are available to you right there on the mountain-top. And shopping, the purpose
of life, is on 24-7.
Can I congratulate you for taking yourself out of circulation this month? The
stars have it that you like Pisces will have to do without that wonderful gadget
this month, but unlike Pisces, it will not be because you're an insult to the word
"human". Quite the contrary, you'll overcome humanness sometime between
the night of the 3rd and the morning of the 4th by having the cell chip installed
in the back of your neck as you dream. The chip, will communicate somewhat less frivolously
than Cancer up there with the spirit world, to cast light on the path of your future.
As you dream, the cyborg-Persian that you've become will evaluate all your job, living,
partnership etc. options and pick exactly the combination of life choices that fit
perfectly to you temperament, your city of origin, your culinary tastes, your sensibilities
in love÷ you name it. What this does, as comforting as the outlook might be from
where we stand today, is that you will be unable to relate to anyone else. In that
everyone, born under another astrological sign will be struggling with the same old,
dreary issues all month long. Does she love? Will they offer me the job? What shall
wear? Will I ever be rich? Do I dare to eat a peach? You÷only you will know your
destiny. Your question of the month will be this, however: What else is there to
If you happen to, in your distraction, mindlessly plug in that cell phone and
charge the battery to its fullest this month, you'll find that the next time you
use it to call out, you'll experience a slight delay as a beat or two of an old 70's
Googoosh tune plays in your ear. You're not on hold, trust me. You're sampling and
recollecting this month and as you do, I thought that we should keep you on your
toes and up on your musical knowledge, too. In order for the call to go through,
actually, you'll have to guess the correct name of the tune you just heard. If you
punch in wrong, you'll get two more tries and then on the fourth try, the phone will
hang up. The thing is, Virgo, that all this sampling of history, your personal history,
has you caught you up in you and you alone. That's where most people are, come to
think of it, so they just donŪt want to hear all your stuff, all the time. If you
play right, and Madame Bayaz knows that you will, you'll get to talk to your friends
by and by. And they'll be delighted in filling in some of those blanks in memory
that seem to perpetuate themselves as you age.
Cascading waterfalls, sumptuous meals by the ocean, the sand between your toes
on the beach at twilight, a spectacular rainbow after a summer shower. You're craving
all that right about now, but you can't afford it just yet. So the best I could do
was to have your cell phone programmed to research all the flights to Hawaii, Australia,
New Zealand and the Pacific Islands for the Spring of 2005. When the price falls
somewhere below 125 US dollars, an agency will call you with your pre-booked flight.
Meanwhile, enjoy the slides I've installed on your cell phone as screen-savers. Aren't
those waterfalls beautiful? I threw in a few slides of the bridges of Isfahan, because
in addition to the wanderlust you're experiencing, you're also being rather nostalgic
about the homeland.
Lonely? Well dialing 1-900-TALK-TO-ME-DAHhhLING won't help your case any! I've
asked the technician to attach a new gadget to your cell phone. Every time you start
off with the 1-900 number÷ The cell-screen will slide open and a pair of tiny finger
cuffs will pop out -- "chi-ching" --around your ring finger and thumb.
You're caught! You'll think twice about cheating when the cat's away, little mouse.
You're the talkative one this month. But, I urge you to put away your cell phone
for once and save your friends from having to deal with your joyful, delightful and
jubilant spirit. I've maneuvered it so that each phone call on your cell will turn
your talk to poetry. It'll then dump it on the new Iranian.com radio website and
let someone else hear you out instead. Your friends are so done listening. They're
too traumatized to hear you go on and on about how great your life is. Oh, and how
IN LOVE you are. Hey, but look at the bright side (as if you wouldn't), you have
a whole new world of friends to make.
You wouldn't believe it, but the cell phone the Nextel gal sold you the other day
has your name written all over it. At least for this month. Nextel's new model has
a veritable advieh cabinet installed in its virtual storage space. You dial 6 and
you get rose water. You dial 9 and you have your tumeric. You dial one and the sumack
is right there. Yes, you're in the cooking mode again this month, Capricorn, and
your mobile is your best friend. If you check the menu button, you'll also find that
we've uploaded the great Nushe-Jan cookbook for your culinary pleasures.
Boredom doesn't become you. And your obsessive-compulsive behaviors would be better
channeled through the arts and crafts this month. If you scroll down the menu list
on your "handy" this month you'll find that I've added "flashcards"
as one menu item and "fruit peeling patterns" as another. The flashcards
will teach you new German words, like "handy" for cell phone, and "Brot"
for bread, all good terms for trips abroad that won't happen anytime soon. But the
fruit peeling patterns are exclusively about binding you to your national culture.
When the guests come, and they will ALL come this month, I urge you to take out your
cell phone and instead of avoiding conversations by calling some acquaintance, look
to the fruit peeling patterns for escape. The directions will tell you exactly how
to peel the orange and what patterns you can cut into the strawberries. You'll impress
everyone with your newfound artsy talent. It's the perfect thing for Persian gatherings,
as fruit is always the last thing to come to the table, after the long, drawn out,
and repetitive conversations you remember having with the same people the night before.
Isn't technology peerless?
Something tells me that you've got this love-hate relationship going with your mobile.
It gives people access to you (which you hate), but it let's you off the hook when
you actually get together with them for an evening of play and pleasure (and this,
you love). It rings and you can get up and go outside and talk to someone else with
a clear conscience. And, so, you don't even have to deal with who's right in front
of you. Right on! What a brilliant performance! And it is perfect for you, isn't
it? But here's what I've done to keep you happy, Pisces. 'Cause, you know, people
are catching on to the act. I've wrecked the damn thing, so you don't have to deal
at all. It won't ring... and there'll be some outgoing message about some trip you
had to make to some outpost in the suburbs of Qazvin. And the thing is, with the
cell now wrecked, you won't even have the money to get a new one. You see, the program
we have installed to wreck the phone, has a few side effects. As its wrecking itself,
the cell phone automatically withdraws all your savings and dumps it in your nicknamed
friends' accounts. It does the transfer anonymously so that they, at least, can go
out and enjoy themselves ÷ at your expense.. but without you there to ignore them.
Didn't you say something about being popular, sympathetic to human needs and, oh,
something about, appearing to be gregarious? Well, the "cell wreck and withdrawal"
program will do it all for you, without the hassles of human contact. Who said you
had to put up with all that taarufing? --Madame Bayaz
Some useful terms
Chelokabab=Persian rice and meat dish
Taaruf= "No, no, after you! After you. No, really, after you. I mean it!"
"No ghorban, I've already eaten." "Oh, please take it. It's yours.
God forbid I'd take any money for it." "And how are your parents? And you
grandparents? Is you great aunt still in Kurasan? And your close friend from highschool?
How is he anyway?" ---You get the picture.
To contact Madame Bayaz write to: firstname.lastname@example.org