One Egg Shy

The musings of Chris. Writer, humanitarian, hero.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Day the Music Died

My car tells me when to shift.

It’s funny. Twenty years ago that statement may have elicited raised eyebrows, wet drawers, and provoked thoughts of futuristic flying cars. Now, with GPS systems and artificial intelligence all around us, orders from inanimate objects is par for the course.

So like I said, my car tells me when to shift. It uses a small, upwards-pointing orange arrow when it feels my car’s tires are spinning too many times per hour for the gear. I’ve been ignoring the arrow for so long that I forget it’s there most of the time, but when I do happen to see it, I usually tell it, out loud over the music or talk radio, to “shut the fuck up.” My car, a dented, off-gold Saturn, is nearing the 170,000 mile mark without any major work required. I think I’ve done a good of shifting at the right time.

Honestly, I don’t like being told what to do by technology. I don’t like when my iTunes tells me I should upgrade to the newest version. I don’t like when my virus software tells me it’s outdated. I prefer to live my life the way I want to without technology’s interference.

But I’ve realized lately that as much as I resist technologies gentle machinations, I’m enslaved to her whether I want to be or not. Take last Thursday for example. I pulled into work at 9:02 (two minutes late, of course), and attempted a mad dash. As I rushed out of my car my iPod slipped from the pocket of my hoodie and hit the pavement.

“Oops!” said a nearby co-worker who was also late, but by 32 minutes.

“You didn’t see that,” I told her.

An hour later, my iPod stopped working. It didn’t simply shut off or refuse to play a song; it showed an icon of an anthropomorphic iPod complete with a frown and X’s over its eyes.

“Shit,” I said, “My iPod’s not working.”

“What’s wrong with it?” my boss asked.

“He dropped it,” my co-worker said.

If you work for Apple and are reading this, me dropping it never happened.

After attempting several repair techniques (hitting it, shaking it, praying to St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes), I gave up and resolved to visit the Apple store, located 45 minutes away.

On the way there, I realized my cell phone wasn’t working either. No matter what I did, I couldn’t hear or speak to anyone. With the loss of my two prized pieces of technology, I was vaulted back to the middle ages. I was in a car without access to the 3,312 songs I’ve collected on my iPod or the *2,941 friends I’ve collected on my cell. People would call me and I couldn’t answer. My mother seriously thought I was dead.

Read that again. My phone wasn’t working for a total of 6 hours, and my mother thought I was dead. This is what America has come to. The world has shrunk so much that not being able to contact someone for a mere two hours implies tragedy. Maybe I forgot my phone? Maybe I was engaged in some tantric sex (although this is impossible since my iPod was busted and I can’t listen to Sting) and unable to pick up the phone?

I’d like to say that this epiphany regarding my reliance on technology set me from hardwiring and microchips, but that’s not the case. As soon as both started working, I fired up the Abba on my iPod and gabbed on the phone with my mom about my dad.

Maybe one day I’ll break from the shackles, but for now, I’m listening to some Frank Zappa.

*Slight hyperbole: the number is actually 592


  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger Jake said…

    Really liked this post.

    You haven't lived until you drop a cell phone in the toilet. That's what Strulson tells me, anyway.

  • At 7:34 AM, Blogger Candy Minx said…

    I'm sure you are too classy to know this, but last night on Survivor one of the contestants found a little piece of wood and because he saw as shaped like a Blackberry he used it as such. He checked his messages, he text messaged people, he surfed the net. Maybe keep a piece of drift wood in your glove compartment in case you drop, I mean, your iPod get jimmied again. Just make sure you can McGiver your glove compartment open.

    Cheers, enjoy all your posts so far, made me laugh


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