My iPod has officially died. This will not come as a big surprise to Sassafrass and my s-daughter Grace, who share the conviction that the Ipod Muggins bought for me several years ago is “ancient” and “jurassic.” I have always loved it, though. I have coaxed that little thing through a lot of wrinkles, including unstoppable cycling through song after song, a mystifying refusal to play any purchased music, and my personal favorite, a sync with my iTunes library that resulted in my being too scared to disconnect it from my computer due to an alarming series of exclamation points appearing next to about half the songs in my library. I had to call Sassy in for an emergency consultation. She came over and looked at my computer screen for a long, silent time. Then she made her pronouncement: “Think about it this way. You have an iPod that was manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, with an Apple library living on a PC. Be thankful that it plays at all. And by the way, why in God’s name are you listening to Rod Stewart’s Greatest Hits?” Then she unplugged it, and it still worked. That was about four months ago. I soldiered through until last week, when I got a new message on my ever-darkening screen that led me to an expired page on the Apple website. That was the last straw.
Two days later, Muggins and I trundled over to the Apple store on 5th Avenue and 59th Street, WHICH IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY. Can you believe that? Muggins and I were shocked.
Frankly, the inside of the store was even more shocking. It was positively packed with people, most of whom who were at least 15 years younger than us. We wandered for a while (ok, it was about 3 minutes, at the end of which I was so overwhelmed that I was ready to race to Radio Shack and buy a $45 transistor and listen to AM radio for the rest of my life). Luckily, we were befriended (or cased, is more like it), by an employee named Brooke. When I showed her my iPod, she said, “Wow. I didn’t know Hewlett-Packard made iPods.”
The next thing we knew, she had steered us to something called a “Nano.” She said that they are so small and light that many people even wear them as wristwatches. To me, it looked like a midafternoon snack for Boo-Boo, and since I already spend enough time cleaning up the rubber bands, pigeon feathers, and used condoms she likes to eat on the street and later throw up at home, I decided to pass on the Nano. Then Brooke brought us over to the iPod Touch, and I could hear Sassy’s refrain in my ear: “You’ll like the Ipod Touch..touch..touch.” It was pretty amazing, I have to say. Two cameras, HD video recording, and music, music, music. If you must know, I find such a little machine incredibly daunting. I think I’m going to buy it, though. Rod Stewart or not, I’ve got to keep up with the young’uns.