The first time I opened up the app, I had hoped for more than just the lonely animated cactus I saw at the center of my screen. I tapped once, expecting nothing to happen. After three or so taps, however, I was interested in the tiny icons that would appear and float away from the cactus. While the icons would often repeat themselves, including the dollar sign, heart, briefcase, and lightning bolt; I would sometimes see a car, pink bird, or sunglasses. None of these icons felt of any actual importance to me, but tapping on the cactus just to see them pop up definitely served as a time-passer in moments of excessive boredom.
After the first week of testing out this app on my phone, I’d begun to realize the effect that my cactus was having on my life: none at all. I was about to delete the app, but decided to give it one last try to see if anything would happen.
One day, after miserably failing a chemistry test, I went out for comfort food to a pricey Tribeca restaurant. I ordered its cheddar-broccoli soup and was a few spoonfuls in when I felt a sharp, thin object poking the edge of my tongue. I immediately spat out the soup and was appalled to find a big, fat toenail speckled with dirt and weird yellow stuff. After mentally cursing my cactus and leaving the shop in a state of trauma, I quickly deleted the app, bidding my $10.00 a tearful but joyous farewell.
The first time I opened up the app, I was on the train, and I was immediately staring at the black “loading” screen, which lingered for about 10 seconds. The first things to catch my attention were the tiny capitalized letters that read “Lucky Cactus is Loading” bolded in an unwelcoming font. Above these letters stood a symbol of a golden eye, which bore a chilling resemblance to the Illuminati.
Originally, I expected my “lucky” cactus to have absolutely no effect on my life. However, in the span of three weeks, I’ve suffered from even more unlucky occurrences than usual. In most cases, it seems illogical to attribute them to “Lucky Cactus,” but in fact, the app has left me more frustrated about all the negative moments that it has forced me to fixate upon.
For example, my birthday was a few weeks ago, on an undoubtedly cloudy Tuesday of the school week. On my way back from school, I tapped my lucky cactus and decided to treat myself to an expensive but warm matcha latte. With my severe lactose intolerance, I specifically requested for my drink to be made with soy milk, to which the cashier nodded. A few minutes later, I picked up my ready-made latte from the counter and headed out, taking my first large sip. Almost immediately, I could taste the signature sweetness of cow’s milk and had to throw out almost the entirety of my $8.00 latte.
Just last week, I had begun putting my hateful thoughts together to draft this very review of “Lucky Cactus,” and later that night, my sister coincidentally closed a car door on my wrist. I’ve had to wear a cast ever since, and to make matters worse, it was the wrist of my writing hand.
It’s safe to say that these $10.00 were not well-spent, and we’ve discovered that even thinking about the app’s effect on our lives tends to invoke lasting migraines. The incomparable luck the app has brought us has consistently reinforced a negative and irritating vibe into our daily lives. “Lucky Cactus,” a talisman that we thought would boost our spirits instead obliterated them, and we don’t want a cactus to waste 67.8 KB of your phone’s data as it did to ours.