Pleasant "L" ride last night.
Until someone tried to rob me. Then it became less pleasant, but the AC was going, so I can't complain too much.
I was listening to my iPhone, it clearly visible to anyone. I know, I know, a mistake. The guy next to me was talking on his phone. It seemed like a nice model. Everything was going fine.
But as the train pulled into a stop, he suddenly grabbed my phone. Maybe his was out of juice? Maybe he was upset by my tongue-in-cheek Google+ "review?"
Anyway, I held on. I know, I know, another mistake.
But as he stood, so did I. We were then in the middle of the aisle, each grabbing one end of the tiny phone, me yelling my brains out. I wish I'd said something cool, like, "I'm just a fly in the ointment, Hans. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass." Instead, I just screamed, "You're not taking my phone!" over and over again.
And then, as the door was about to close, he gave up and ran out. And I went back to my music.
Somehow, my finger got cut in the skirmish. Nothing big, but there was blood all over me. I looked, well, like Bruce Willis for a moment. Or at least I thought I did.
I won't be in the business here of printing past writings, but I can't resist here. My wife had her phone stolen a while back. Here's the open letter I wrote then (originally for Tribune Media Services, and it ran here in Chicago in RedEye.) I hope you enjoy.
Yippee-ki-yay . . .
An Open Letter to the Gentleman Who Stole My Wife’s iPhone Out of Her Hands on the Train:
Congratulations on your new iPhone! I just know you’re going to love it, as it’s a fantastic device with an easy-to-use interface and photos of my relatives. Heck, they’re now your relatives, too — we’re on the same family plan! That reminds me: It’s your turn this year to host Thanksgiving.
But back to your shiny new iPhone, because there are a number of things you should know to ensure it gives you so much enjoyment that you forget your shame.
For starters, it’s got plenty of room for music, but we weren’t sure what kind you liked. We were hoping Simon and Garfunkel, but if not, just sync that baby up to your PC and create your own mix. (If you don’t have a PC, they can be stolen from most homes.)
Also, we had the foresight to buy you the AppleCare protection plan, so your iPhone is covered for two years if anything goes wrong — with the exception of someone stealing it.
Speaking of which, AT&T, I believe, has a policy that if you steal one of their phones, you’re locked into their service for five years. What can I say? The cell-phone companies will beat you every time at the crime game.
Now let me introduce you to the “App” store. My wife, in the one whole month she was using your phone, downloaded some great apps for you. The Facebook app, for example, works just like regular Facebook, and should allow you to easily join the Facebook Groups “iPhone Thieves” and “People Who Make Other People Cry.”
My wife also put a great app on there to help if you’re planning to redecorate your home, another if you’re looking to get into pilates, and another that helps locate the nearest pawn shop.
Unfortunately, my wife didn’t have her iPhone’s headphones out when the two of you met. And while other headphones will work with the phone, you really do want the real deal. So, if you plan on being back on the train anytime soon, perhaps we can work out a mutually convenient time when you can steal her headphones? She’d also bring the instruction manual.
Finally, just enjoy the iPhone! Use it to enhance your life, but don’t let it rule your life. Because if you’re too busy staring down at the iPhone, you’ll miss the world around you — a wondrous world full of loose-hanging purses, wallets stuffed in pants’ back pockets . . . and people like you.