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Donkin's World: Is that An iPhone In Your Pocket?

Richard Donkin imagines a classic Western - with modern technology.

This story in the Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304299704577504580404044036.html had me thinking of the old wild west and how a dinner party in the film Unforgiven http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105695/
might have played out with modern communications devices:

Little Bill spits a wad of tobacco at the feet of his dinner guests and tells them to leave their iPhones by the door. “You may think you need to be connected but not In Big Whisky. We run a private house here and what’s said indoors stays indoors,” he says.

Little Bill’s wife, Delilah, notices the bulge in English Bob’s pocket. “Is that a Blackberry you have there or are you just pleased to see me Bob?” she says. “On the table Bob, and move real gently.”

Bob glances around the table as he reaches in to his pocket. A few nervous twitches from the other guests.

“It’s an android,” says Ned Logan as he places his own device on the table. “An HTC Wildfire. Shit Bob I can’t believe you came here packing that thing.”

“I think me and Bob here need a few words,” says Little Bill, catching his guest by the scruff of his neck.

Bob’s wife, Sue, moves quickly, snatching out her HTC Thunderbolt with its 1Ghz processor, 8MB camera and 768MB of RAM. Other guests scatter as she takes advantage of the easy-to-use camera function. The picture will be on Facebook in seconds.

“You know what this means Little Bill. Your party’s going to be all around Facebook. People are going to see your IKEA chairs and the Cavallo oak effect laminate flooring. Can you live with that?”

Little Bill lets go of Bob’s coat as he stares in to Sue’s Thunderbolt, recoiling from snap after snap. People are laughing and making faces as other concealed devices respond and one guest, William Munny searches the IMDb movie database on an out-dated Blackberry.

“It doesn’t mention here that English Bob had a wife,” he says, “And Little Bill didn’t either. Mind you it’s true he was useless at DIY so you got that right Little Bill.”

“You know Mr Munny,” says Delilah. “I liked it when dinner parties were just about conversation and the food. Little Bill meant well, just tried a bit too hard maybe to keep those gizmos off the table."

Munny turns to Delilah who he recognises now as just another saloon bar whore. “Funny thing, photographin’ a man,” he says. “You take away everything he's got and everything he's gonna have.”


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