Honestly, I never thought, when I declared a contest over my IPod yesterday, that I would receive such an outpouring of rational need, foolish greed and wretched hyperbole as has crossed my electronic blotter since.
I challenge you all! Read them, all 145 or so at this time and counting. Which of them would YOU select? It’s tough, you’ve got to give me that. There’s RJ from Oakland, CA, who said, simply and eloquently, “Because.” There’s Daren Baughman, who offered to bribe me with a $500 return on my (zero) investment so that I could get myself some DECENT CIGARS. There’s Mike Baker of Charlotte, NC, who yelled, “Just give me the damn thing already!” There were a few of you who, quite touchingly, I think, told me to give you the IPod simply because you were Canadian. Jason from Atlanta plucked my heartstrings with “I think you should send me an IPod because I’m a cheap idiot.” Gotta love that. Arren from Greenfield, Iowa, seems to have let Saddam Hussein borrow his or her IPod and hasn’t seen it “since Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction went missing.”
Finally, there are the people who want to please their pregnant wives or others who have a genuine need. Those too, moved me to moments of extreme cogitation in the dark hours between yesterday and now. So many entreaties and exhortations, great ideas, outrageous notions, pleas that would wrench a tear from a lump of granite, stuff to laugh about and wonder.
But in the end, I come down to two:
Scott, who began it all because neighborhood children stole his. One of you amusingly wrote in to say that it was YOU who had stolen Scott’s IPod and then it had run out of batteries. I liked that. There is something fair, however, in giving the guy who got this all started the prize.
And then there is Ed from Syracuse. I quote his entry in its entirety:
I was on my way to my mom’s carrying a new prescription for her heart medication. I had my boom box on my shoulder. It was a hot day and that old boom box was really heavy. I stopped to rest, it was only for about five minutes. When I reached mom’s building there were four flights of stairs to climb. I put down the boom box and rested again, just for a minute or two, then I started to climb. When I reached mom’s appartment she was sitting in the rocker very quiet. I thought she was sleeping so I went to rouse her. She had slipped away. As the ambulance crew was lifting her into the van I could only think that if I had had an iPOD and not that heavy dam boom box, I might have gotten ther in time to save mom.
Here we have a guy who actually conjures up the death of his mother in order to get a free, obsolete IPod. In its shocking willingness to say anything to achieve his desired objective, I believe Ed most fully represents the values that are daily expressed in this website, and in American business as a whole, the driving principle that made this economic system the wonder of the world.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to send Scott my old IPod, and I’m going to give Ed my slightly newer, second-generation IPod mini, the one that comes with its own USB connector and hangs around your neck on a cord. If I can find it. I think I can. I was just using it a few weeks ago. I think I know where it is.
Ed? Scott? Send me your personal information in a comment. I won’t publish them, but they will tell me where to send your prizes. Congratulations!
Oh, and be a little patient, by the way. The person with the original old gizmo is still sort of reluctant to part with it. Now more than ever, for some reason.