Though the title of the 1955 science-fiction novel The body Snatchers sounds titillating, the subject matter was anything but.
It told the story of alien seeds that invade humans and re-sprouts their bodies from pods. Once a human was re-birthed they became known as a pod person, and had a mere five years of life left before going to the great unknown. But, being a pod person recreated you as a perfect physical version of yourself for those five years... A price many of my fellow gay friends will gladly pay.
This got me thinking of my community in Northern Johannesburg which have emerged as a semi-upscale Gauteng-based gay paradise. Here, no man is exempt from a gadget with the words pad, pod or phone attached to it. With these gadgets we are certainly creating perfect versions of ourselves that is amerced in al that clicks, glistens and connects to the internet. Creating that beautiful illusion of youth and perfection. We are pod people.
I myself recently splurged on a bitten fruit cell phone just to have the logo attached to my ear while making a call, smirking at my friends who still used phones named after fruits closely resembling mulberries.
Of course I never share with these friends that I switch the phone to airplane mode at every possible opportunity to save valuable data – so I can afford the thing at the end of the month.
And even this dirty secret is not as bad as the fact that a newer, even better device has already been launched, making me look like a last-season pod person.
These pods, pads and phones are really doing a number in the area, and this was proven only recently when I stumbled upon a Smoking POD at a well-known Fourways based shopping centre.
The smoking pods are a glamorous way of ridding the centre from second hand smoke. Emphasis of course on glamorous.
It’s appealing design is any pod person’s dream, as it closely resembles the packaging of a teeny touch-sensitive MP3 player that every pod person has in their arsenal. It’s functionality is even better.
You enter this Pod, with ashtrays and chairs already inside, and light up. To your surprise the smoke is sucked up into an air filtration system, which then ‘cleans’ it and blows it back into the pod with a divine perfumed smell.
I love the fact that pod people are almost drawn to this sleekly gorgeous mini-room to unwind and look even more poddy, while we pod, pad and phone away inhaling smoke and looking smug.
Just like the pod people from The Body Snatchers, looking this fabulous comes at a prize.
Except for the thousands spent on the ever-increasing devices that turn stale as soon as the newer and better version arrives, we are sacrificing hours of life tapping away at a screen, millions of seconds wasted while sucking down toxic smoke, all to look beautiful.
To my esoteric friends I say I can't believe how these people waste their lives being so poddy, while I eagerly sit and scheme in my head how I can up the woman who just entered the Smoking Pod with her pad, newer and glossier than mine.
The stress of all the lies and bullshit is wreaking havoc on my frown lines, but damn it’s good to be a pod person. And damn it if it kills me.
But, with my last breath after being poddy, I know I will regret every second I made with that logo attached to my ear.