But the second most common question I'm asked is, "How do you do it, Stu?" My envious groupies cluster around me, asking, "How are you so effortlessly cool?" Most of the time, I just lean back in my black leather jacket, take a drag on my cigarette, and let them bask in my presence for a few moments longer before I fix them with a withering stare and shoe them out the door. Sycophants can be so tiresome if they're left with some dignity intact.
But occasionally, when the moon is right, the beer's been flowing properly, and the proper obeisance has been paid to me, I might deign to respond. Tonight is one of those nights.
The secret of my coolness? Gadgets--God's way of demonstrating through enlightened heavenly inspired capitalism who He really favors. Because I'm feeling especially beneficient this evening, I'll let you know which five gadgets help make me so much cooler than all of you.
iPod: You see these white headphones in my ear? That's my white badge of coolness. If those dancing silhouettes plastered everywhere haven't convinced you already, I don't know what will, but suffice it to say, these headphones are the clearest sign that I'm better than you. Even the New York Times says so! And who are you, a miserable music-bereft peon, to argue with the paper of record?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
So just sit back and continue your quaint outmoded tradition of changing "CDs" every 45 minutes. I've got 18 days straight of music at my fingertips here! Your kind is being consigned to the dustbin of history here, and like the monolith in "2001," your only hope is to learn from this sleak slab of progress or be eaten by the sabertooth tigers of Apple's pristine future.
Shit, my battery is dying. Do you have a firewire port handy?
Limewire: Hand in hand with my iPod, my access to the entire library of recorded music means I'll discover the bands everyone will be disparaging months before you get off your ass and spend your hard-earned bread to buy a CD from yet another band ripping off Television's "Marquee Moon." Interpol? Please, don't make me laugh. God, the Arcade Fire? Please, just buy the damn CD and move on to the weary condescension like the rest of us plugged in masses. The Shins? Iron and Wine? Yeah, I saw "Garden State" just like the rest of you. Next thing you know you'll be raving about this fantastic new group you've discovered: Simon and Garfunkel.
As an added benefit, you can use Limewire to download movies. No need to go to the cineplex, fatty, when you can download "The Princess Diaries 2" at home and watch it in all it's 11 inch glory with PC speakers.
Oh yeah. You can also download prodigious amounts of porn, with no need to come up with an ironic reason for why you're curious about midgets and shetland ponies copulating.
TiVo/Replay TV: You feel that emptiness in your soul as you sit home watching television, deeply pondering what would change your life if you could only leave the apartment and the TV safely behind? Would you meet the supermodel fate intends for you, if only you could get off the couch secure in the knoweldge that you'd still be able to see how they vote that castrating bitch off the island in the next tribal council?
No, fatty. You're never going to meet a supermodel. TiVo can't work miracles until you get rid of that spare tire around your waist. But it can free you with enough time to convince a lowly corporate accountant to go off with you for some unsatisfying drunken sex in the bathroom of a club, without you worrying about missing the first half of "The Daily Show." And maybe that accountant has aspirations of being a hand model for some downmarket catalogue. Wouldn't that be an improvement on your drab and miserable existence?
Plus, after you get home and before you figure out that she gave you a fake phone number, you can use your TiVo to skip all the commercials. "Can you hear me now?" will come to mean nothing to you at all. Wouldn't you pay any price for that?
Gmail: 1 gigabyte of space. The ability to "label" your emails to allow them to reside in multiple folders rather than having to chose one folder to stick that forward about that homeless orphan who will be able to regrow her arms if only that email is forwarded to every hetersexual male in America. Threads of conversations to keep all related emails organized holistically. Email scanning to make sure that the unobtrusive ads help you book hotel rooms all over the world when you mention to your friends you'll be traveling to Venice--as all gmail users can afford to do. And best of all, the ability to google search your emails, so you can find every email you've ever written the word "quixotic" in, just in case you've forgotten the exact way you phrased, "a quixotic attempt to improve myself so I might one day be worthy of being loved." Or you can just search to find all the late night emails you wrote to a "friend" that you were "so fuckinng druk and lonly now."
You goddamned lush. Pull yourself together.
Gmail sounds cool, right? Sounds like it'd simplify and improve your online life, doesn't it? Well, tough shit! Gmail is offered by invitation only, and a hopleslly uncool member of the Great Unwashed like yourself has no hope of getting the nod.
Hurts, don't it? Makes you feel like you're back in college, when those guys from Tappa Kegga Brew made you believe you were pledging to their frat, but instead left you duct-taped naked to the flagpole in February just as all the classes were getting out. Rejection never gets any easier, does it? But at least this time your genitals won't get frostbite.
You still don't get a gmail invite, though.
happyrobot.net: You punks don't know how good you have it that we let you come here and hang out with us, in this oasis from all the kitty-bloggers and corporate shills out there on the internets. Look upon our works, ye mighty, and despair!
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