Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Did you hear the one about the iPod that jumped to its death while playing Disintegration?

Filed under : Gadgets
On January 8, 2009
At 2:15 am
Comments : 12

This could be the longest title I’ve ever done but it was worth it. And I even left out the part about leaping onto the tracks beneath a subway car. And it’s all true.

You will remember (or be reminded) that I have said that I tend to listen to The Cure’s Disintegration on rainy days (I’m so melancholy and dramatic, what can I say). Today was a rainy day and that figures into this story because I was carrying an umbrella in my hand. Sure, I have two hands but I had my iPod stuffed into a pocket. It stays dry that way too. I take a really crowded subway to work, the #1 (we’re #1!) and as my train stopped at 50th Street, a lady pushed past me to get out of the car. This is not unusual. In fact, I push past other people. It’s not like there’s anywhere for people to get out of your way. You just have to use your elbows. Well, the cord to my headphones got caught on one of those elbows. Or it may have been her coat. Or her bag. It all happened so fast.

Wham! The cord came out of my pocket. So I put my hand in to plug it back in. NO IPOD. I looked and there it was, face down on the ground next to the tracks. Yes, it had managed to go flying into the three inch gap between the car and the platform. I was kind of stunned. No, I was utterly stunned. And then the chime ding dinged and the doors closed. Holy fucking hell. There went my iPod. Gone forever in the space of three seconds. No one seemed to have noticed at all. I said to the lady next to me, “that was my iPod. My iPod fell onto the tracks.” She looked at me and said, “really?” in the tone of voice you might use if I told you that cereal tastes better with raisins. I went on with, “that was $200!” Actually, I have no idea if it was $200 because it was a gift from a dear friend, but that’s how much I estimated it would cost to replace it. More on that later. But the important thing is, she just gave me a kind of, “mmm hmmm” look. These are the moments, ladies & gentlemen, when you just want to reach out and bash people in the head.

When I got to work, the universal comment was, “why didn’t you just go get it?” Excuse me? I’m not risking my life for an iPod. Unless it was really new and I didn’t have the music backed up. Plus, if you think I’m going to be reusing a device covered in puke and rat droppings, you are sorely mistaken. Some track worker is probably having a look at it right now. It’s probably still playing the Cure, I have the whole discography.

The funny thing is, I just bought a shiny new toy with my Hannukah money yesterday. It’s called a Slingbox and it allows me to watch my home TV on any computer or even my Blackberry. Yes, live TV or programs I’ve recorded on my DVR. Waiting for the bus. At work. In hotels. In the kitchen. The sky’s the limit. As long as they have Internet access in the sky. But, well, this really put a damper on things. “Look, I have a fun new gadget!” has turned into “holy hell, I lost my beloved old gadget!”

But now I have this difficult task of replacing Old Faithful. I was sure I would buy a refurb. Every Apple device I’ve ever purchased, including the MacBook on which I am currently typing this, has been a refurb. Fantastic bargains. But there were no iPod “Classics,” as the one I had is now called, on offer. Then I made the mistake of looking at iPod Touches. This put that Bloodhound Gang about doing it like they do it on the Discovery Channel in my head the whole day. That’s because it’s called The Bad Touch. I basically spent the whole day dithering over whether to get a Touch or a Classic or a Nano. Or should I just get an iPhone and not carry around two devices all the time? Stupid flying iPod. Why did it have to rain today? I, I’d really like to know. That just put another song into my head, it’s by APB and those are the first two lines. See how crazy this has made me?

This evening, I went to the Apple Store (the cheerful Apple guy said mine was the saddest story he had heard all day) where I spent twenty minutes doing the exact same dithering I had done the whole day, only this time it was in front of the actual objects. I really did want a Touch. But did you know? The Touch is exactly like an iPhone except it costs more and does less. Yes, yes, I don’t need to pay $70 a month for it, but I already pay $60 a month for the Blackberry! And when I stood in the Apple store playing with it, I realized that it would make me want an iPhone every day. Because I’m never near WiFi except in my own home and I can check my e-mail and surf on an actual computer there. It’s for when I’m out. And then I’ll be using my Blackberry and its tiny little screen. Now, I do love my Blackberry and I wrote an ode to it a while back, but, well, surfing on this screen is really awesome.

I ended up buying a Nano (purple!) on the theory that my Blackberry contract is up in November and this will tide me over till then. But I haven’t opened it because I’m not sure. It’s really hard to fathom paying just a bit less than it would cost for an iPhone, which is a phone and browses the web and does e-mail and plays music and a hundred other things, and getting this… music player. If only T-Mobile would let me go. That’s a song by Heaven 17 and probably a lot of other people.

So, anyone want to take over a T-Mobile contract? Free Curve with memory card!

I’m only half-joking.

I could go with so many references in this post but here’s the one that rainy days sound like to me.
The Cure – Plainsong