My iPod, a slick 60 gig red and black number, recently had its fifth birthday. I took the opportunity to brag to all of my friends about how long my iPod has lasted, and how it will never ever break.
Naturally, the God I don't believe in took this (and maybe the me not believing in him stuff) as a challenge, and sent a gust of angelic wind to rip "Broken Arrow" from my hands just as I was about to lock in Air's "Talky Walky," my favorite going downstairs music. Tragically, I was going downstairs at the time.
A series of heartbreaking sounds followed: First, the sounds of my little man bouncing blithely down each stone step of our apartment building and into the street. Seconds later, as I cradled his injured frame in my arms, came the horrific clicking sound of his hard drive’s death rattle, like a thousand hearts shattering in unison.
And finally, nothing but silence. A grim, dire silence couched in the whistle of a summer breeze blowing as if to remind me that there actually is a world outside my headphones. I’m telling you, it was terrible.
So I’ve been iPod-less for a few weeks now, and singing loudly wherever I go is starting to get tiresome, especially since I only know like half the words to most songs and just kind of improv. But the sad fact is, I can’t afford a new 60 gig. At least, not without cashing in some of my stocks, and I’m kind of waiting for my WaMu shares to rally a bit first.
In the meantime, I spend a lot of my day scrolling up and down Apple's website, debating with myself about whether to buy one of them
fancy new iPod Shuffles to tide me over. The debate goes something like this:
ME:Alright brain: the new iPod Shuffle. Let’s think the shit out of it.ALSO ME:What’s to think about? Click buy right now and you could be grooving to Marley and the Wailers in your underwear this time tomorrow.M:Look, I know, I know! It sounds appealing, but let’s think this through. We don’t want a repeat of the Abdo-er debacle.AM:But it’s new, and it’s from Apple! It’ll raise your social status modifier like three points.M:First of all, never use the word “modifier” in that context again. Secondly, the thing’s got some serious flaws. For starters it only holds 1,000 songs. That’s basically just the Elvis Costello folder. You really want to jog along to “Shipbuilding”? It’s fucking depressing.
AM: Just put “Solsbury Hill” on there on repeat and you’re good to go. You know this. We’ve been through this.M:It doesn’t even have any buttons!AM:Get with the times, gramps. The world of tomorrow is all about smooth, featureless steel without personality or character. Didn’t you see Minority Report?M:There’s no screen, no interface, nothing. How do you even pick your songs?AM:Easy. You just press the button on your headphone cord once to pause, once to play, twice to skip ahead, three times to scan ahead—
M: I thought it was twice and hold.AM:No, I think that’s to scan backwards. Or access your playlists. Oh no wait, to access playlists you beat it against your face.M: What if you want to reshuffle?AM:You press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start.M:Ha! Lulz. I’m so funny. But seriously, that sounds like a fucking nightmare.
AM: But it’s smaller and there’s less to press! Therefore it must be easier to use. Apple wouldn’t make a product that was counter-intuitive.M:But if the buttons are on the headphone cable, that means I have to use those shitty Apple earbuds, right? The ones that hurt my ears after 10 minutes and sound like crap strained through a speaker?AM:Well, maybe that’s what you deserve for having such misshapen ears, you hideous freak.M:I’m still not convinced.AM:But it talks to you! It says the names of the songs, right in your ear. How cool is that?M:As cool as it was 14 years ago when my Apple II did it.AM:But now you’ll always know what song is playing! No more tedious waiting for the chorus or a recognizable riff! No more confusion! No more fear! And just look at it. Look at it in that guy’s hand. It’s so tiny! If you hold that thing next to your dick it’d look like a goddamned anaconda.
M: I don’t care how tiny—AM:Did you seeAnaconda?!M:Why do you keep asking me what movies I’ve seen?! It makes no sense! You know what movies I’ve seen!AM:Buy this electronic wonder box and hang it off your dick.M:No! Although...AM:Right? Listen, buy it or I’ll make you keep thinking about it every 10 minutes for the rest of your life. I’ll have you on this website, scrolling up and down, reading customer reviews for hours on end. You will literally waste a third of each day analyzing the tiny minutiae of how your life would be impacted by the purchase of this singing tie clip.M:FINE! I’M BUYING IT! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!
At that point I usually scream incoherently or else someone walks by and asks why I’ve been silently staring into space for 20 minutes. But it was all worth it, because I’m happy to report that I’m now the proud owner of three iPod Shuffles!
My ears may hurt, and I may not be able to navigate through the file directory with anything that could be called accuracy, but I’ll be damned if my penis isn’t larger than ever (perceptually speaking). In fact, if you ask me, Apple’s ad campaigns are really making a mistake neglecting that valuable feature.
When not transcribing thought, Michael serves as head writer for and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!