Thank you Jesus for creating nerds. And when I say "nerds", I mean it in the most flattering way…hell, the only thing keeping me from being a nerd is the lack of both usable knowledge and a good paying job, so believe me, I don't mean it as an insult.
I've always been slow to embrace technology. In fact, I still don't have a cell phone. I know this might seem impossible to some, but I don't really have a need for one. Honestly, who among us has an overwhelming desire to spend more time on the phone? And fortunately, no one at my job has forced me to join the continually available revolution, so until they do, you can leave a message at my home or office, thank you very much. I would like to say ‘leave a message with my smartly dressed secretary Miss Billingsly and she'll let me know you called', but as much as I'd like it to be 1953, it ain't. The point is cell phones represent a convenience that has become an inconvenience, while the Ipod is convenience in its purest form. An Ipod's only request of you is to be plugged in once in a while, so that it can bring you more enjoyment down the road…unselfishness at it's highest pinnacle…the Ipod makes a dog come off like a worthless bastard by comparison.
Even though I've embraced this technology wholeheartedly, I still can't manage to call it by its nerd-given name. I never thought this would happen to me, but apparently I've reached the age where you start calling something by the name of its antiquated predecessor, so when I want to say "Ipod", what typically comes out of my mouth is "Walkman". Kind of like an 80-year-old calling his refrigerator an "ice box". And believe me, it is with no small loss of dignity that I admit this. I like to think I'm still somewhat attuned to our nation's youth culture, but routinely referring the finest innovation of the 21st century by a moniker associated with mullets, mix tapes and INXS, seems to suggest otherwise.
One of the things I like best about this miracle of modern technology is that it somehow makes running on a treadmill bearable. Pre-Ipod, my feet would drag on these god-forsaken machines as I attempted to catch the latest CNN stories over the whir of Stairmasters and chatty women doing anything but exercising. Now, I just crank my little, white rectangle of salvation up to 10 and my arms and legs become the perfectly synced pistons of a finely tuned machine, like Jesse Owns in the '36 Olympic games. Well, at least until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, then I realize I look more like an uncoordinated Larry Bird after some kind of accident involving partial leg amputation; a gazelle, I am not.
The Ipod also helps you avoid talking to people. Don't get me wrong, I usually only listen to it at the gym, so I'm not trying to cut off communication with everyone in the outside world, but the thing comes in handy in keeping things on simple "Good morning" terms. I work out at my local YMCA, so if you were picturing me running on an immaculate treadmill at a state of the art workout facility, you couldn't be further from the truth. I don't want to sound mean, but YMCA + 5:30am = old people. And while I like old people well enough, many of them have nowhere to be for the rest of the day, and they seem to assume that everyone possesses the same cache of free time they enjoy. Hence, a simple "Good morning" can lead to an extended conversation, unless you launch some quick countermeasures…enter the exquisite box of zeros and ones with it's impenetrable shield of ear buds. Sure, they may continue to speak, but all you're hearing as you nod your head is "The Hives" singing "Walk Idiot Walk", and suddenly your workout unexpectedly morphs into an absurd music video starring a cavalcade of senior citizens doing 5 lb. leg lifts. It's magnificent.
Of course, I realize I'm coming late to the Ipod party, but like I said, I'm slow to embrace technology. Plus, I fooled around with a different Mp3 player for a couple of years, before finally letting Apple's all encompassing technology wave wash over my lost soul. Which is why I'm here today to offer my testimony, brothers and sisters. Yes, I was lost and wandering in the dark wilderness of low tech, reaching out for anything that would ease my pain and suffering. But then there was a light…a light from a 2.5-inch color display calling me home. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of exercise, I will fear no senior: for thou art with me; thy Zevon and Costello they comfort me. All Ipod's people say it! Amen.
You can't hear it, but organ music is totally blaring through my Walkma…er, Ipod right now...so hip.