The other day, I was having dinner with my grandmother and heard, for about the 187th time, the story of her trip to North Dakota. It’s the story about the time she saw a deer crossing the road and, well, I don’t remember the rest. I zone out pretty much every time she says “deer.” Because if I actually listened to the story again, I’d have to rip her pace maker out and beat her to death with it. And I don’t want to do that, because she’s an extremely sweet woman with a good heart. Plus, she happens to have amazing playback functionality.
Now, understand that I’m not dogging technology. I love my MP3 player and use it everyday. It’s just that old people are nature’s IPOD, and, despite technological advancements, they’re better than anything Best Buy sells.
For starters, with old people you don’t have to fuss with confusing menus or dodgy controls; no, your grandparents are completely voice activated. Say, for instance, you want to hear about the time your grammy had the best burger ever. All you have to do is ask: “Hey gramms, want a burger?” Without hesitation, she’ll launch into the time her and aunt Edna were shopping in Sedona, got hungry, and…
Needless to say, the level of highly detailed but useless minutia grandmama packs into her playbacks is as eviscerating as castration by toothpick. Pretty sweet, huh? But the wonders don’t stop just because the story does.
Let’s say, for some sick reason, you want to hear that story again. Immediately. No problem. When she’s done with the story, just wait five seconds and ask: “Where can we get a good burger?” Amazingly enough, she’ll tell your ass. Again. And again. And a-fucking-gain.
No scientist could pack that kind of mind numbing responsiveness into a little piece of plastic.
“But Mike,” you protest, “what if I want to skip through all the tracks until I find something I’m in the mood for?” Never fear, gramps has got your back. He comes with a built-in pause mode, during which he’ll tilt his head to the left and look confused–you know, the same expression the rest of us get when we think there might be a spider crawling up our ass. When grampa slips into this mode, just shout out “I love the union.” Bam, he’ll regale your ass with the time he marched on GM.
That story not doing it for you? Don’t worry. At any point in the conversation, announce that you “want to join the army.” Without skipping a beat, he’ll say: “You know Edna’s brother Paul? When he was in the Army, they made him eat raw sausage. Raw. Not even good sausage, like Jimmy Dean.
“You remember Jimmy? Used to drive that Dodge?
“Like all those hippies that ran to Canada during the ‘Nam. Why, when I think of it, it just appalls.
“Speaking of Paul, did you know they made him eat raw sausage? Did I ever tell you about that?”
Hear whatever you want simply be shouting out “Wal-Mart,” “taxes,” or “these kids today.”
Instant, continuous playback? Voice activation? A battery life limited only by power of attorney? Eat your heart out IPOD. Old people are by far the best way to enjoy, over and fucking over again, such timeless classics as “I found a quarter” and “Bobby has six toes.”
To be fair, most MP3 players do outperform the Alzheimer’s IPAUSE in a few key areas. Of most concern to today’s consumers is storage capacity. Whereas upper-end MP3 players can carry from one to 10 thousand songs, grandmamas are generally limited to eight or nine tracks. Some models, however, can hold up to 12.
Also, some may favor traditional MP3 players for their various audio settings. Sadly, the elderly offer only one volume setting (freaking loud), and they can’t be tuned in any way. That is unless your model of grandpa smoked and comes equipped with an electronic voice box.
In which case, I’d love to have him DJ a party I’m having Saturday night…