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Notes From a Walkman Junkie: Death Rattles & Ipod Broaches

May 7, 2009
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I have been pondering my attachment to my beloved discman and the pressure I am constantly under to move on to more advanced musical devices namely, an ipod.  I realize this subject matter applies mainly to me as I seem to be the last soul on the planet still using a disc player, including the 70+ year old crowd with whom I share an apartment complex.  My place of residence could be described as a cross between a Howard Johnson’s and a nursing home ( heavy on the nursing home).

I live amongst a more let us say ‘ripened’ crowd and still manage to slag way behind on advancements in the ways of technology.  I have on several occasions witnessed a smack of elderly socially gathering in the lobby, ipods….and canes in tow.  My staggering resistance to move forward in my methods of portable music enjoyment has also become all too clear at the gym.  I see the shocked looks of dismay as I pull out my archaic CD player from my bag and set it on the treadmill.  I am surrounded by ipod users and have clearly offended their sense of propriety, much like if I were to say, pull a rotary phone out of my purse and attempt to make a phone call.  I have grown very accustom to ignoring these looks of confusion and disbelief, proceeding with my antiquated CD player-enhanced run.  My unwavering mode of oblivion has worked just swimmingly….most of the time.

I would briefly like to touch upon the most likely forgotten dangers of portable CD players.  There have been on more than one occasion a few slight mishaps which lead to significant embarrassment and potential  maiming.  For those of you who do not know or have chosen to forget, portable CD players are bulky round jobs and far too large to attach to one’s person while  running.  I instead, must delicately balance it on the insufficiently sized shelf of the treadmill with the cord to my head phones dangling menacingly to the side.  As you can probably imagine, the potential for a flying CD player mischance is tremendous and combined with my susceptibility to bodily harm,  inevitable.  I have been beaned by my discman (usually in the face) numerous times, caused mainly by my spindly  arms hooking the cord and my inability to multi-task (run AND look anywhere but directly in front of me).

To date, there is only one notable incident in which I cannot take total fault.  I was well into my run, enjoying my music selection for the day when  a man tripped over the cord plugged into the back of my treadmill.  The treadmill came to a complete sudden halt, flinging me and my swinging arms forward which sent my CD player whizzing by my face and splitting apart on the treadmill behind me.   At this point, the man who caused this traumatic chain of events asked, “Did I do that?”  and followed up with, “are you finished with your treadmill?”  I am pleased to report that in the wake of this event only my pride was injured and I replaced my CD player with an identical model the following day.   The music that I was enjoying the day of that fateful running disaster was Tapes ‘n’ Tapes, a rock band with a sound that is a bit reminiscent of The Pixies and Pavement.

I just cannot let go of my  CD player and all of the inconveniences and injury potential that comes with it. There is something delightfully tangible and satisfying to me about selecting my  CD of choice,  placing it in the player and hearing the marvelous ‘click’ of closing it shut.  I recently received a free nano ipod for signing my annual lease at the den of death AKA my place of residence.   I plan to wear it as a little broach.

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