Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not a bug's life in the Matrix

Last night we walked over to the Funan Digital Life Mall. I hoped this would be a portal into the Matrix, but it's just a five floor shopping centre with lots of televisions and mobile phones for sale. Rather than a bald man in a leather coat offering you a choice between red and blue pills. Oh well. I did feel we'd left reality if only for a minute, when we had to pay more than $5 for a bottle of water.

We hadn't gone to the mall just to be overcharged for bottled water: we'd gone there to tease shop assistants by asking a series of senseless questions about telephones. I'd ask complicated technical questions about how the voicemail settings worked, and then my wife would interrupt and ask what colour the phone was available in. And after we'd extracted every bit of information about a particular model, we'd put that down and pick up another.

Strangely, we ended the night without being stabbed to death by an irate shop assistant; we had a new phone instead, so mission accomplished.
That meant that this morning, with four hours of phone calls ahead of me, I could sit at home and wait for the exterminator to come kill our insects and not take a hit to my productivity.

The exterminator didn't arrive until 2:30, and in fact it wasn't the exterminator, it was the realtor coming to see if we needed an exterminator or not. At some point, the termites had retreated, taking their dead and wounded with them. So when our inspection began, there was no sign of any bugs. Just what we needed to persuade our realtor that we were having paranoiac fantasies about termites.

Fortunately, my wife had been photographing the termites, so we have some proof that the insects weren't just a fabricated threat in a giant computer simulation of real life. Still, I'm hoping the bugs don't come back: sitting through two lamentable sequels isn't what we want to endure.


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