My first published work, originally printed in Honi Soit in 2005, this piece of satire was ripped out of every copy of the magazine by some disapproving students, setting off a storm of controversy which raged until the end of semester – after which everyone promptly forgot about it. It was republished in UNSW’s Tharunka, as “The article too controversial for Sydney University”
“Why my iPod is better than a girlfriend”
by Spencer Harding
Recently, I purchased an iPod. The first friend that I saw, while strolling down Eastern Avenue after this fantastic occasion, having spotted my white earbuds, immediately shouted “you got an iPod! You fat f*ck!” and kicked me in the shin.
I however, couldn’t have cared less… well, other than, that is, the moment before, where I was equally elated about my iPod ownership, and not in any pain.
The point is, however, that a feeling of joy and contentment had washed over me the moment I put those darling (ear)buds of may into my ears… the void in my life that I had until that point attributed to my lack of girlfriend, active social life, religion, visible career path or prospects was filled. Suddenly, I was complete. I had achieved a Zen-like calm and acceptance of the way things are… why? Because suddenly, things aregreat.
I’m not a materialistic person, the only things I ever get the urge to buy are books, computer parts… and chips with gravy at the Manning canteen, but that’s another story. However, somehow, this tiny little box of digital joy makes me happy in ways that I have hitherto not experienced. This revelation led me to the question: is my iPod the perfect companion? Is it in fact, better than a girlfriend?
Now, I don’t want anyone thinking that this in an indictment of my ex girlfriends. I still like them, all of them (not that that’s saying much), in fact. I really do. Actually, if any of them are reading this, and feel like giving me a call – please do; as I’m sure you can guess from this article (or from first-hand experience), I’m single at the moment…
Enough of that digression, though. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of attempt to get me a girlfriend (Interested applicants please email SpankHoni[at]hotmail.com) it is, in fact, a serious study and comparison on the relative benefits of iPods and girlfriends.
Furthermore, any feminists wishing to complain about my “objectification” of women should know that the points in this article apply (for the most part) equally well to boyfriends/men – I’m an equal opportunity jerk. Besides; the fact is, I don’t view women as objects; they’re more like… commodities.
1. Now I, like many (but not enough) people, am uncomfortable with PDA’s (Public Displays of Affection… I don’t have any problems with hand-held computers) mainly because I know how annoying to other people they are, especially when “other people” is me, and “me” is single. In fact, this unwillingness to be expressive of my emotions may have lead to the early demise of some of my relationships. However, I have no problem with holding my iPod in public… or for that matter, stroking, caressing or kissing it.
2. I have yet to meet a woman that can do a pitch-perfect impression of the entire Wiener Philharmonkia
3. Show me a woman that can be switched from Kylie Minogue to Christina Aguilera.
4. Two words: Click Wheel. Click Wheels make everything better. You invent a woman with a Click Wheel; you’ve got a better woman.
5. Design: Natural selection/God did a good job. Really, I’m very impressed with the results, love that whole “breasts” idea – truly inspired work…but nothing and no one can out-design the engineers at Apple.
6. As time passes, iPods will have new features and capabilities. Girlfriends, however, have pretty much reached the limit of technical innovation.
7. My iPod doesn’t mind if I wake it up at 2am to play with me.
8. Movies. Dinner. Theater. Opera. Bungy Jumping. Wherever you go together, you don’t have to pay to take your iPod with you.
9. It’s actually good for my iPod to wear either a skin-tight latex suit or a form-fitting black leather number… all the time.
10. Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, you need some “me” time. iPod is the essence of “me” time
11. People on the street don’t bother you if you have earphones in your ears, plus it makes it really easy to be an uncaring jerk if they do. In front of a girlfriend however, you have to be sympathetic, so that they’ll be fooled into thinking you’re actually a nice guy.
12. No matter how big their handbags are, girlfriends just can’t be used to transfer 40gb of files from one computer to another.
13. Just try putting your girlfriend in your pocket.
14. You can’t pause, rewind, fast-forward, mute, or sort your girlfriend in easy to use categories.
15. You can’t buy an AppleCare extended warranty for relationships.
16. Stamina: With its 4th generation battery, my iPod can go for 12 hours straight.
17. If you use someone else’s iPod, no one gets hurt.
18. iPod users are a special group… When we see the white earphones, we like to give each other “ahh, you have an iPod, too” nods and smiles as we pass each other in the street. It’s somewhat disconcerting, however, if a guy gives you that smile-and-nod after seeing your girlfriend.
19. Girlfriends don’t come with a remote control.
20. You can have as many iPods as you want. You can have them at the same time. You can have them hanging upside down. You can have them on a plane, train, bus, car, coffee table or Falafel wagon… the possibilities are endless.
21. Backlight: because sometimes it’s dark.
22. I know exactly which buttons to push on my iPod, and I can touch them whenever I like…
23. Believe it or not, my iPod has, on occasion (through manners that I will not explain… I need every advantage I can get…), helped me “pick up”… Girlfriends, on the other hand, tend to be a hindrance to such activity.
24. People like to say to me (in a sage “Just call me Socrates” kind of way) “Ahh, but you cannot sleep with your iPod!”… Well, the fact is, you can! It even has an alarm clock built in for just such a purpose… If however, you’re talking about the “fun in your pants” kind of sleeping with… Well, chances are, right now, somewhere, someone is working on an accessory…
One final note, before I go; I’m not suggesting that iPods and girlfriends are incompatible. (On the contrary, girlfriends can be like a really good iPod accessory… well, except for the fact that you can’t really listen to your iPod while your girlfriend is around – it’s antisocial.) I would love to have both at the same time. That would be the best possible situation. It’s every man’s fantasy. What I am saying though, is that if it comes down to it, pick the iPod… it’s a choice you won’t regret.