Traversing the perils of Oxford Street on Thursday was somewhat more precarious than usual as I dodged swathes of rather desperate-looking individuals queuing for the new iPhone4.
Out of the loop as I am, I assumed that no event could cause such frenzied behaviour other than a revival of the old 'methadone at Boots' rehabilitation programmes, except this time taking place at the Carphone Warehouse. Young and self-assured city boys looked eager and alert, whilst older, balding men peered at me through weary and bloodshot eyes, conveying a panic at the thought of failing in their hunter-gatherer task and meeting disapproval and ridicule from their colleagues and friends as a result.
Oh, what have we become?
What can be so good as to drive a man (and, it IS men, or men and their extremely irritated looking girlfriends) to queue from the wee hours of the morning to get one of these things first? Do the ends really justify the means?
There's probably a deeper question here about the way we as consumers are regularly coerced with the promise of adoration should we flash a handheld device more sophisticated than most can afford. And it seems that the luxury of being able to do this for the few days before the world catches on comes at the price of looking like a bit of a prick sitting on the pavement at 5am in a suit and tie. I wish I could laugh and find it entertaining, but I can't.
I own a 3G. I feel sick and uncool. I need to go and buy an iPad before I have a panic attack.