Fortunately not all the women in Stepford were as blandly mindless as this. I had made one friend, Paula, whose acerbic wit helped me through those lonely first months of acclimation to my new suburban hometown.
We were joking one day about iPhone users.
"I hope they're enjoying their new fingerprint scanners. Can you say 'lambs to the slaughter?'" I said.
"Yeah, baaa-aaa-aaa," Paula replied.
"I'm still clinging to the sentimental idea that biometrics aren't freely given, even to a machine you trust," I added, putting air quotes around the "trust."
"You got that right, Kate," Paula said. She was a Steve Jobs hater from way back, I had learned. "Fingerprinting was an act of ritual humiliation by the state so in a way it makes sense for the high-handed Apple to imitate that."
I laughed. "I guess it also explains why police are handing out flyers telling you to upgrade your iPhone. Apple doesn't even have to pay them!"
I checked my Blackberry to see if any new freelance assignments might have come in. "This thing" -- I held it up -- "is dying because people decided en masse that they'd rather be tracked and fingerprinted."
"Wankers," Paula agreed.
Things had gotten worse in Stepford and my life, immeasurably worse, but I didn't feel the cold grip of fear until I saw Paula pull that iPhone out of her purse.
"Wait -- when did you get one of those?" I asked.
"I've had it about a week now and I have to say it's changed my life."
"I thought you were concerned about fingerprinting!" I said, trying to control my mounting panic.
"I like the idea of the fingerprint scanner. It's much better than the pass code," Paula said, with a sunny smile.