From Whence, Fragment?

I Ate iPod Shuffle

Originally posted on erasing.org on 19 January 2005

“Do not eat iPod shuffle.”

Cautionary footnote at the bottom of
Apple’s iPod shuffle page, circa January 2005

No need to make a big kerfuffle.

But yes, I ate my iPod shuffle.

The websites warned me not to, sure.

But sometimes one must ask: WHEREFURE?

Its sleek design was so damn sweet,

It just looked good enough to eat.

So bite-sized, so petite and cute,

Made by a company named for fruit,

Its product name based on a veggie

(With prefix “i” to make it edgy),

And even the site I bought it from

Said Smaller than a pack of gum.

Such was the power of suggestion

That all signs pointed to: ingestion.

I hungrily sat down to start

My iPod shuffle à la carte.

I shut off my Sad-Cube-Drone Mix,

Impaled the ’Pod on two toothpicks,

And faster than a Mac reboot,

I tossed it back like escargoot!

It really tasted quite fantastic

(Apple’s peeps use primo plastic),

Evincing a refined bouquet

Of silicon and Chardonnay.

(Nutritionally sound, I think,

With RDAs of iron and zinc.)

In all, quite pleasing on the palate.

If less so to my empty walate.

But soon that meal of small machine

Began to make me feel non-keen.

My stomach first began to churn,

Thus redefining Rip-Mix-Burn;

I then broke out in sweats and chills,

Got oh-eff-oh around the gills,

And then began hallucinatin’:

I worked in tech support for Satan!

He growled to me in tones satanic

That I’d just died of kernel panic,

And now would, for eternity,

Help sinners find the “Any” key.

These visions made me cower and quake,

Like something out of William Blake —

(Tiger! Tiger! burning bright,

Searching hard drives in Spotlight,

What immortal hand or eye

Improved thy fearful G.U.I.?)

My point is, I was suffering from

Severe ctrl-alt-delirium.

As I began to fade to black

(My best impression of Sad Mac),

I saw within some colored blobs

The floating face of old Steve Jobs!

His voice resounded like a god:

How DARE you dare defile iPod!

You’re not supposed to eat that thing!

Just swallow all the MARKETING!

Yes, choke down all the Day-and-Chiat!

But cough that iPod up, you shiat!

The iPod shuffle’s not a snack!

Don’t make me go get Wozniak!

Then faster than a broadband pipe,

He vanished in a flash of hype.

I woke up after hours of resting,

The iPod shuffle still digesting.

It’s since become a part of me.

So now I talk more randomly!

(What really makes my girlfriend swoon:

The merest tap, I change my tune!)

I never heeded Steve’s command.

In fact, I think I helped his brand —

The ergonomic single-serve

And random-ordered hot hors d’oeuvre:

Next time you need a snacky-treat,

Think different — iPod app-e-teet.

Thank you to David Pogue at the New York Times for the kind notice.