“That iPod will be the death of you, young man.” Not the words you’d ever expect to hear from your mother, but they could have been for a young man this past weekend in Brooklyn. Read about it in USA Today here.
I’m sure the Apple spin doctors are working hard to point out that the kid probably would have met such a fate had he been carrying a Nomad Jukebox instead of an iPod, but I digress. Does the media really have nothing better to blame? Was the murderous motivation purely derived from that little white box that holds thousands of songs? Would the kid have lived had he handed it over?
The obvious trend is getting mugged for your iPod— a premise I’ve mentioned before. But you might recall the story of a kid fumbling with his iPod before he skated into a moving car. Although the original news link went dead, it’s still an example of blaming the iPod when it was the kid’s absent minded behavior that got him killed.
Seeing how far people will go for electronic gadgets is surreal and something the media loves to cash in on. Things like this recent murder or a story from a couple years ago where a girl dropped her cell phone into the NYC subway tracks and had the genius-thought to jump in and get it with a train coming — they just defy all logic.
So, in light of all this, I have taken a few moments to compose some hypothetical future scenarios that we might endure involving the media’s obsession with personifying the iPod as a cause for calamity. These scenarios don’t Nostradamusize the day when all of the iPods rebel against their masters via the touch wheel’s transforming into a saw blade to slice off fingers trying to find that old Pearl Jam b-side — but they do invoke some realm of possibility.
Scenario #1: A man cashes in on his AppleCare policy so many times that holding his new iPod causes him to spontaneously combust.
Scenario #2: A Baby Boomer’s iPod is playing Kenny G’s greatest hits on a merry stroll down the boulevard. However, the annoying frequencies that escape the headphones drive a passing herd of wild dogs insane with blood lust, and the person becomes a chew toy.
Scenario #3: A tourist accidentally drops her iPod off of the observation deck at the Empire State Building. Upon impact, it crushes a man selling double-decker bus tours below.
Scenario #4: After growing a thick black beard during the winter time, a man takes a trip to Miami to catch some rays. However, he forgets to remove his iPod from his pocket liner, and is promptly mistaken by a first week inspector as a terrorist with a bomb and tazered to death.
Scenario #5: A woman listening to her iPod is waiting on a curb to cross a city street. She does not hear the screams of people around her, and the mirror of a speeding bus extending over the sidewalk takes her head off.
Scenario #6: A teen downloads a song to his iPod that illegally samples the Smurfs theme and hundreds of little blue men come out from under his desk and eat the teen alive.
Scenario #7: A man listens to “Stairway to Heaven” twice in a row on his iPod, and the earth below parts and swallows him.
Scenario #8: Microsoft buys Apple, and all iPods begin running a Windows OS. The iPod then surgically attaches itself to all users. Resistance is futile.
Scenario #9: A grad student learns the actual cost of what it takes Apple to produce an iPod and chokes on his dinner of lukewarm Ramen noodles.
DISCLAIMER: This is satire. I do hope society learns from the real people who died in some of the news stories at the beginning of this post, but I don’t in any way mock their deaths. The mantra we all should remember is: Love thy iPod. But not to death.
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Mark Sahm writes and dodges falling Apples at Blogimus Prime