Iâ€™ve been vaping for 18 months now and have never had the inclination to enter into a competition of wits and bandwidth. Well, probably not a lack of inclination but rather a lack of money or knowledge anything requiring an F5 key was taking place.
This changed on the day I swapped a Panzer for a GP Paps 2.5 Lux.
You know the feeling you probably had as a kid when an Aunt, who always gave socks as presents or cards with the wrong age on, suddenly appears as though she was struck down by an incurable dose of wonderful? The present you were opening didnâ€™t feel soft and you were racking your brain trying to invent a different plausible â€˜thank youâ€™ from the rehearsed â€œI really needed some new socks and these are brilliant â€“ I love flowers, thank you Auntie!â€™
And you opened it. And it was truly awesome; like a robot with real lasers or a jetpack or something.
And you were speechless.
That was me.
Iâ€™d never seen a Paps before bar pictures and, to be frank, I wasnâ€™t that impressed. Holding its 350 mightiness though, pushing the button, it was just one of those moments when you shout, â€œYes!â€ as a whisper. Gold glinting from the battery adjustment screw may rank up there with Chav bling but it just works as a whole. A shiny whole where less is more, understated by virtue of the simplicity of the device and the quality imbued by attention to detail during manufacturing.
A new world opened up, curtains drawn from that aspect of vaping reserved for those who find the gaudy Pinoy engraving offensive to the eye. I got it, I really understood why a simple tube could hold a fascination.
With some savings in the bank I went hunting online for videos, reviews, anything related to Vapourart. Even languages I didnâ€™t understand were fair game as long as I had music playing and a full pint next to me.
Iâ€™ll sing the virtues of a Mac computer everyday of the week but I was stumped. If I wanted to buy an X 1.5 Lux I had to be online this Tuesday, at 7pm prompt, and compete with the rest of the world after one from the limited stock going on sale.
It was easy to see what was missing when I lost out on the race for the affections of Caroline Phillips. My best mate had a motorbike. On the nights she told me she was going to stay in for a bath and some TV she was really grabbing onto his midriff. She was feeling the twist of the throttle pressing her back into the seat and making her hug on even tighter. With every peg-scraping corner her thoughts were driven by adrenaline and excitement â€“ I could never compete by offering her a croggy on my 10-speed racing bicycle.
It was easy to see what was missing from my quest to net this Paps too â€“ I have no F5 button.
How in the blue blazes of flip do you compete in an F5 war without an F5 button? Especially if your computer has a dodgy keypad, no mouse and massive cracks from where Iâ€™d hit it the night before with a Nemesis after tripping over one of the dogs.
No F5 button, no mouse, knackered screen, malfunctioning Magic Trackpad â„¢ and a pair of children. Itâ€™s at times like this you need special reserves of patience and to discover the hitherto unknown cmd-R Macbook function.
In the village we have broadband powered by a couple of field mice; when you have a daughter watching Netflix and a son using his Xbox (to kill pedestrians and prostitutes) it is slower than an old man driving on a motorway wearing driving gloves.
Iâ€™m not patient by nature.
At 7pm twenty-seven minutes of frustration, anger, more frustration, panic, even more frustration and some added fear ensued. I was all keyed up; this had gone from something I fancied buying to something I had to get. Why wasnâ€™t this an episode of Star Trek? Why couldnâ€™t I command someone to â€œMake it soâ€?
What I got was the screen going blank, the account not being recognised, refreshing, creating a new account, the screen going blank, refreshing, the website not appearing, refreshing…it seemed as inexplicable and longer lasting than Hugh Grantâ€™s acting career.
The adrenaline buzz at the end though, the rush when I got to the order accepted stage â€“ Iâ€™ve experienced some highs in my time, this was up there. Utterly ridiculous, I know, that a grown man should get so intense and immersed in the process of buying a metal tube. But, hey, this one comes with a pouch.
I caught the gaze of pity combined with disappointment from across the room. The wife is still searching for my personal F5 button.