I once wrote something for this site about the difference between the reserved British attitude to new technology and that of our gregarious colonial friends.
And here I am again. It all began when I was walking down the street in Ealing, West London, one day, chatting on a Bluetooth headset. A random stranger walked past and called me a name. A rude name. Now, it has since been suggested to me that there are other reasons that strangers might have for spouting random abuse in my direction (thanks, Mum), but I've never used Bluetooth in public again.
It's a British thing. We hate seeing people show off. In fact, we hate it when people do anything just a little different. Witness those poor, deluded souls who dress their house in enough neon and fake snow, come Christmas, to make it visible from space. We don't just mock them - there are whole websites devoted to lampooning the most egregious examples, yet I'm told this is quite normal in North America. If you have a lifesize, plastic effigy of Rudolph the Reindeer ensconced in your garage until the festive season, know that those sites are made to make fun of you.
I once sat in a barber shop, across from a gentleman that was missing exactly half of the hair from the left side of his body. He also had a crudely drawn picture of some male genitalia, drawn in permanent marker, on his forehead. It was his wedding day, he explained. The stag party had got a little out of his hand and he'd woken up that morning sans cheveux. He was visiting the barber to have the rest of it off, because uniformity was preferable and he didn't want to embarrass his new bride. It's fair to say that the other patrons were sympathetic - it wasn't his fault he looked different. No, we reserve all of our vitriol for those whose lack of uniformity is intentional.
Imagine my horror when Apple added Siri to the iPhone 4S. I don't believe that Siri can take off in the UK because virtually no one is going to use it in public, in case they are scorned by friends, disowned by their family, have rotten vegetables thrown at them by small children and end up living on the streets, chased by dogs. Siri is something you should do in private. Strictly speaking, not even your significant other should be around, because whilst they might not stab you with a handy kebab skewer right away, the twenty-third time you ask Siri to calculate the density of the moon, they will definitely be thinking of inventive and satisfying ways to hurt you behind that sweet smile.
And that brings me to the outrageously uncool behemoth that is the Samsung Galaxy Note, a spiffing piece of technology that has the unfortunate side effect of making you look like Dom Joly's famous phone sketches from 'Trigger Happy TV'. Walk down the street holding this to your ear in the UK and you will be met with derision from your fellow man. Children will ask their mothers if you are very small or the phone is very big. Your wife will divorce you (if you're considering the Galaxy Note, you're almost certainly a married man - neither women nor single guys are going to be seen with it). Old friends will cross the street to avoid you. Your boss will fire you. You will be a pariah. And finally, sick of life, you will book your space at Dignitas, euthanasia the only choice left in your bleak, empty, shell of a life.
Now, I'm not saying it's right and I’m not saying it’s fair. Don't shoot the messenger. Just know that if you want a Galaxy Note, be prepared to move continent or die a lonely death, surrounded by kindly Swiss volunteers.