The Jason Hahn Files: Let's Talk About That New Roomba...

“The other feature of the Hom-Bot that Saffy has fallen in love with is its built-in camera, which can be linked to the handphone. All of which means that she has spent valuable hours at work, remotely piloting the machine around the flat. Endlessly. From room to room. Like Wall-E in the tropics.”

Saffy’s latest gripe is that just as she was coming to terms with how expensive the iPhone X is, along comes the iPhone XS to blow up that world view.

“O. M. G!” she said the other day. “It costs like a million dollars! Who do they think is going to buy it?”

“Lots of people,” said Amanda, as she reached for her iPhone X to call her broker to place an order for another lot of Apple shares. “And when they do, my shares will go up in value and I’ll get me one as well as a bonus.”

Saffy turned to me, her bosom inflated to a dangerous volume. “Are you seeing and hearing this?” I shrugged.

“You,” said Saffy, pointing a chipped fingernail at Amanda, “are the reason why poor people all over the world are revolting! You’re sucking the life out of all of the working class!”

Amanda arched a perfectly drawn eyebrow. “Says the woman who just got off a Business Class flight from Dubai!”

Never one to stay focused on any subject for any length of time, Saffy turned pink. “Oh, Emirates!” she moaned. “Seriously, that was the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life! Well, except for that one time my boyfriend Brian did this thing with his little finger? Oh my God!”

“Speaking of amazing, how are you finding our new robot vacuum cleaner?" Saffy moaned again.

A few weeks ago, when our cleaning lady Ah Chuan went off on her annual holiday back to Malaysia, Amanda said she was far too busy to lift a mop, never mind scrub a toilet. So, she went online and bought one of those round vacuum cleaners that hums around the house sweeping up dust.

The first one we got earlier this year had literally blown a fuse one day and stopped dead in its tracks. What got Saffy mad was that it had only done half the flat when it died, but because she’d not been paying attention, she didn’t know which half was still dirty.

All of which meant that she had to get out the Kao Magic Mop and do the whole flat all over again, which she said was such a waste of time. “I could be watching Dr Pimple Popper now,” she muttered as she crouched under the sofa, her arm working the mop like a piston.

The minute she laid eyes on our new LG Hom-Bot Turbo+, she declared she was in love. “It’s way better than that Chinese vacuum we had before,” she tells everyone.

The other morning, I found her telling Uncle Yuan, our ageing security guard downstairs, how life-changing the Hom-Bot was. “It was always chatting to me in Chinese and I had no idea what it was saying! I always felt like I was in a Crystal Jade restaurant! Was it telling me it needed to be changed? Or that it had lost its wi-fi connection? I didn’t know! So stressful!”

You could tell poor Uncle Yuan was completely lost, because he kept nodding helplessly. Every so often, he said, “Issit?”

Much later, when he caught me coming home, he said, “Ay, your old maid from China, issit? I thought Ah Chuan was from Muah?”

The other feature of the Hom-Bot that Saffy has fallen in love with is its built-in camera, which can be linked to the handphone. All of which means that she has spent valuable hours at work, remotely piloting the machine around the flat. Endlessly. From room to room. Like Wall-E in the tropics.

“But what are you looking at?” Amanda asked. “There’s no one home!”

Saffy shrugged. “I don’t know. I just love the fact that I can snoop around my own flat. And if someone does break in, I’d be there to see it! If only the camera can actually take photos!”

Against her better judgement, Amanda asked why.

“Well, if your husband was cheating on you, you’d have hard evidence you could give to the divorce lawyer! Oooh, LG should also put in a microphone, so that if there’s a break-in, you can say, ‘The police are on their way!’ while you’re walking to lunch!”

Which then led to Saffy’s other brain-wave that LG should install a motion sensor that triggers the camera and sends an alert to the handphone if something moves in the flat.

When she heard this, Sharyn, who is still in post-Ghost Month mode, asked, “What if it can see ghost? Den how?”

Amanda says that would make a truly terrifying Korean horror movie.

This story first appeared in 8 DAYS issue #1458 (Sept 27, 2018).


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