Miles Kington: i-love i-phones? Read a newspaper and get an i-life!

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The Independent Online

Good news, boys.

The i-thing is here!

The new gadget which has stunned America has finally arrived!

I-queues formed all round the block at the weekend outside I-House in London's West End to pay i-cash and get their own sensational i-thing which not only does everything, but does everything else as well!

"I swoon," says Stephen Fry, who thought he had seen everything. "I thought I had seen everything, but this is something else. Touch me, tap me, stroke me, it seems to say. In fact, that is what mine actually said to me. 'Touch me, tap me, stroke me', that is what it whispered, in the voice of a rather pretty young fifth-former I used to know many years ago.

"How many gadgets do you know that can be programmed to murmur in the velvety tones of the erotic dreams of yesteryear? Not many. I swoon for pleasure. I am jet-lagged with delight. I am registered for VAT, by the way."

So saying, the ineluctable Fry makes passes at his i-thing with two chubby digits, and a small invoice for services rendered appears magically in his palm.

"The cheque is in the post," we say shyly, conscious as we do so that to talk in such a fashion in the presence of the i-thing, or indeed the Stephen Fry-thing, is to commit lese-modernity. A cheque? What ancient god was that? Post? How ever did that work?

What we mean to say is that appropriate funds are being transmitted electronically from newspapers everywhere to i-worshippers anywhere who are prepared to testify just how good and godly the i–thing is.

And yet this i-thing will be the death of the newspaper.

The newspaper which is paying good money to the i-dolater must surely know that it is tipping its own assassin.

Look at the i-thing.

Look fiercely at the i-thing.

Look fiercely at the i-thing, breathe on it, tap it, stroke it and say: "So, what's the news?"

The i-screen goes cloudy for a moment, then clears to reveal the headline: "You want news? We got news! Death of newspapers, that's what the news is! Imminent demise of paper press forecast as i-thing invades London! On other pages: Stephen Fry reported swooned ..."

In time to come, we will all remember exactly where we were the moment we heard that the i-thing arrived in Britain.

I was making a cup of tea.

You were making a cup of tea.

My cup of tea went cold and so did yours, as we heard the momentous news.

The i-thing has arrived!

"You know what this means?" you said. "This means that if only the i-thing had arrived 50 years ago, President Kennedy would never have been killed!"

"Wouldn't he?" I said.

"No," you said. (You were always quicker than me.) "As the cavalcade moved through Dallas, the i-thing would have rung in the car and he would have answered it. 'Better duck, Mr President,' it would have said. 'Lone gunman on grassy knoll. Three o'clock. Also window of book depository. Please duck, sir!'"

But there was no i-thing 50 years ago, and President Kennedy had to die. Today the i-thing has arrived, and nobody has to die any more.

Nobody has to be lonely any more.

Your i-thing is a friend for life.

Download your favourite jokes into the i-thing.

Tell it your favourite recipes.

Lend it your opinions, bend its ear and send it your trends.

Then let it live for you!

The i-thing is cleverer than you, you see. It dresses better than you, thinks faster than you, and has better i-chat-up lines than you.

When you go out together, you are the plain, dumpy girl and the i-thing will get all the whistles.

From now on, i-things are taking over.

You have been warned.

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