My husband and I finally got a tiny electrical device capable of playing music that fits in your pocket — also known by the American public as an iPod. We may be the last people in the charted world to obtain such a device, I’m not sure. What I do know is that my husband immediately loaded some very questionable songs onto our new iPod, including “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones. I am living with a stranger.
I wasn’t eager to join the iPod craze — technology kind of scares me with its smallness, to be honest. I’m not necessarily looking forward to the future, where people in spacesuits can be heard saying, “Hold up a minute. Can you look inside my ear? I think I dropped my phone down into my eardrum.”
The next miniaturization of the cell phone will have to include a stylus (that plays very skinny videos, of course) because the human finger will be too large to press the tiny buttons. Also, while technology is getting smaller, everything comes with a ton of accessories; everyone in my house is always frantically looking for a charger.
“That’s why I stay with my old pal the boom box,” I say confidently, hugging my boom box that is the size of a refrigerator with two huge speakers and an old-fashioned tuner dial that looks like it belongs on a trucker’s ham radio. The problem is that no one really uses cassettes anymore, which is all old Boomy is capable of handling; I am going to have to load my Pat Benatar and Lonestar songs into the iPod, if I can ever figure out how you get the music inside the iPod.
Technology in general can cause some awkward moments, like when someone has a tiny phone clipped to one ear, but you are standing on the other side of their head, and you can’t see it. So, you are innocently standing with an acquaintance on a ball field or in line for tickets, and the person blurts out, “Did you ever get those figures? I think I e-mailed them to you.”
Now, you can’t see their tiny phone, so your mind feverishly goes into overdrive as it scans your poor, already overburdened and under-performing memory banks: “Figures? Are we on a committee that I forgot about? When was the last time I even checked my e-mail? Oh no, I haven’t received the figures! I’ve somehow screwed up again — I’ve got to get those figures NOW!”
So, you start to respond, saying, “Figures? I’m so sorry, for some reason I can’t quite place…”
You don’t get any farther, though, because the person, who is not even talking to you anyway, pivots away from you (he must be angry at you!) and says, “We have to act on it, now! I’m depending on your team for support on this one, frankly.”
Now you are panicking — whatever it is you have developed amnesia about, you have a whole team that you can’t remember working on it — you’ve got to get your act together, darn it! Take more vitamin B or something, but stop forgetting about the figures! Stop forgetting your team! The figures for the team are not to be overlooked or discounted, and you are letting people down again! Arrgh!
Just as you are about to start crying literal tears over the figures, the person turns and you see a tiny device clipped to their ear (which looks silly, I’ve tried my husband’s on — although you do feel super important, like you’re involved with research or the space shuttle) and they motion to their ear, which means, I am talking on this thing, can you believe it? You really can’t believe it, but you are very relieved that you don’t have a team, or any support of any kind, and can just go on reliving the latest episode of SpongeBob in your head while you pass the time.
So, we finally have an iPod, which is great. But, my husband and I are sharing one, which is not turning out so great — he has to go everywhere I go when we’re listening to music, like my Siamese twin. Also, to date only he has learned how to get music inside the iPod, so he has total musical control — I don’t know how you do this, but I do know that it doesn’t happen by gingerly rubbing the iPod itself across the boom box’s speakers while a song you want to “upload” is playing — I’ve learned that much. Hopefully in time I’ll figure out how to really use this thing — actually, I should get the team right on it!