The Rant (September 25, 2014) 

The hysteria around the iPhone 6 is a mystery to Tim Sampson.

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I could just kick myself for not buying a pup tent, getting some freeze-dried foodstuffs, putting my cats in carriers, making sure I had enough prescription medication to last a couple of days, having a catheter installed, having plenty of Psssst dry shampoo on hand, and camping out in line at an Apple store so I could be one of the first people to buy a new iPhone 6.

What in the hell was I thinking — that I could carry on anything resembling a happy life without this new phone? This bigger-screen, thinner version of the one I have now that I barely know how to operate? I must be completely nuts.

Now there are people out there with the new Apple iPhone 6, and I don't have one. I might as well jump out of the window of the top floor of a 12-story building onto burning asphalt. What are my friends going to think of me? Wait, worse, will they still even be my friends, now that the iPhone 6 is out and I don't have one? Will they speak to me again or will they avoid me like a sexually transmitted disease drip? If I'm walking down the sidewalk and see them and start to approach them will they recoil in horror and act like they've never met me? Well, some of them do that anyway, but now that I am totally impotent since I didn't camp out for a few days to get the new phone, will they try to forget that I exist?

This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder why people believe in God. What God up there would create people who would actually camp out in line for days to buy a telephone, when they already have a telephone that works just fine? And this time it's not just Americans. No, these lemmings are headed for the cliffs all over the world. So far, I haven't read of any crowds that got out of hand and crushed people to death trying to get to the new phone, which actually makes me kind of sad. If people are going to act this stupid, you'd think there would at least be some violence to spice it up a little — because they deserve it.

This business about getting up before dawn to go stand in line to get a new phone ... When I get up before dawn it's usually because I'm having a nightmare about being stalked by giant animals or murderers in my own backyard or because there's a cat sitting on my chest staring at me for no apparent reason. I can barely get out of the bed (well, off the futon) to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water. I just stay there and moan with back pain. And my eyes are so filled with allergens that I feel like there's a beehive between each one of them. I am bleary-eyed and kind of in shock at being awake, and my mind is racing 4,000 miles an hour about every single stressful detail of my life, and I am all but paralyzed. Get up and get dressed and get in the car and drive in the dark to a store to stand in line for hours on end to buy a product of any kind? I wouldn't do that if they were giving them away.

One woman somewhere — I think it was Detroit, where you'd think waiting in line for a new phone would be a priority way low on the totem poll — was quoted as saying, "I've done this for two years straight. It's so worth it. It's not just a phone. Our whole lives are on the phone." The article went on to explain that she had talked her fiancé into joining her and they waited in line for six hours. "It was fun to get stuck with a bunch of other people you don't know," said the fiancé. "You make some friends."

There is so much so horribly wrong with that, I don't even know where to begin. Their whole lives are on the phone? I did lose my phone to a drowning not too long ago and lost all of the contacts, notes, and photos in it and, yes, it was kind of a pain. But my whole life? I certainly hope not. How could a person have his or her life on a telephone? She is probably the type who takes four or five million photographs while on vacation and then brutally tortures her friends by making them look at them all while she regales them with a story for each photo. Or worse, she probably has kids and she has hundreds of photos of them and does the same. Maybe she is one of those parents who likes to scare her kids or do something intentional to make them angry and then records their tantrums on the phone in order to upload it to YouTube in hopes of everyone thinking it's really funny or, worse, cute, and thinks she'll get several million hits and end up on television. Or at least on all the phones of the new iPhone 6 owners, so they can watch it while they wait in line for the iPhone 7 a year from now.

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