One Excerpt From The Me/iTunes Conversations

[ Translated from the gestures, modal dialogues, and inarticulate howls of boundless rage at my iPod Touch. ]

Me: OK, iTunes, resume.

iTunes: Happy to!


iTunes: What?

Me: Resume my podcast.

iTunes: I didn’t know you had a podcast!

Me: Don’t ever talk like an online nerd. Resume the podcast I was listening to.

iTunes: Happy to!


iTunes: What?

Me: Resume it now.

iTunes: Resume what now?

Me: That’s Grandiloquence. Three guys take turns pronouncing a word they only know from reading, and then get into a big argument about who’s least wrong. They’re doing their 40th-episode super-spectacular on ‘synecdoche’.

iTunes: What’s that word?

Me: ‘Synecdoche’.

iTunes: How do you pronounce it?

Me: Almost certainly wrong. That’s why I want to hear the podcast.

iTunes: I understand. That sounds like a really interesting show.

Me: It is. So, why don’t you play it?

iTunes: You finished it.

Me: That’s a rotten lie and you know it.

iTunes: You pulled out the headphones! You finished it.

Me: The coffee person was asking if I needed anything.

iTunes: You don’t drink coffee.

Me: I can have things in tea. I have a loyalty card.

iTunes: Was the person on your podcast?

Me: The person has their own problems.

iTunes: How do they say ‘synecdoche’?

Me: Just play the episode.

iTunes: Happy to!


iTunes: What?

Me: Why aren’t you playing it?

iTunes: I deleted it.

Me: You … deleted it?

iTunes: I knew you’d approve.

Me: Why did you delete it?

iTunes: Why would you pull out the headphones if you didn’t want me to delete the episode?

Me: Pulling out the headphones has always paused a podcast. Why would it start deleting one?

iTunes: How do you know they ever pronounce a word right?

Me: People write them snarky letters.

iTunes: I have the episode where they try and say ‘quinoa’.

Me: I know. I’ve heard it.

iTunes: No you haven’t. I downloaded it because you didn’t hear it.

Me: I’ve heard it. I keep marking it as listened-to.

iTunes: And then I have to download it all over again!

Me: You don’t have to download it. I’ve heard it three times already.

iTunes: If you’d heard it already why did I download it?

Me: So download the ‘synecdoche’ episode already.

iTunes: I can’t. No Internet.

Me: We’re … in … the … coffee … shop.

iTunes: Oh, that Internet?

Me: Yes. The Internet you’re on. Download the ‘synecdoche’ episode.

iTunes: Happy to!


iTunes: What?

Me: I mean download it now.

iTunes: Oh, now now! Happy to!


iTunes: Did you mean right now now?

Me: Yes.

iTunes: You know you’re not subscribed to this podcast anymore.

Me: I’m not?

iTunes: You never listen to the episodes. You marked them ‘played’ and deleted them.

Me: … All right. Do you have my music on you?

iTunes: Oh yes! 92.8 hours of music!

Me: Do you have … oh, Sparks. No. 1 In Heaven?

iTunes: I do!

Me: And can you play Sparks’s No. 1 In Heaven?

iTunes: Absolutely!

Me: In order?

iTunes: Of course!

Me: Start.

iTunes: Happy to! [ Begins playing ‘Academy Award Performance’, which is the second song on the album. ]

Me: Stop.

iTunes: What?

Me: Play the album in track order.

iTunes: Oh. I thought you wanted the songs shuffled.

Me: No, I want them played in track order.

iTunes: Happy to! [ Begins playing ‘Academy Award Performance’ again. ]

Me: I want it in track order, not alphabetical order.

iTunes: Happy to!


iTunes: What?

Me: So start!

iTunes: Happy to! [ Begins playing Frank Crumit’s ‘Abdul Abulbul Amir’. ]

Me: Stop.

iTunes: What?

Me: I want to listen to Sparks.

iTunes: You totally should! They’re a great band. I love how each listen you can make out three more words until you finally realize what the song is about and feel embarrassed.

Me: So play Sparks.

iTunes: Just a second, downloading!


iTunes: What?

Me: My podcast?

iTunes: [ Begins playing ‘Academy Award Performance’. ]

Me:[ And then I decide to accept this. ]

iTunes: [ Finishes ‘Academy Award Performance’. And begins playing ‘Academy Award Performance’ again. ]

Me: Hold it.

iTunes: What?

Me: You just played that song.

iTunes: It’s a good song.

Me: It is, but I want you to play all the songs on the album.

iTunes: Happy to! [ Keeps on ‘Academy Award Performance’. ]

Me: Why are you playing this a second time?

iTunes: I have two copies of the song.

Me: Since when do you have two copies?

iTunes: Since I downloaded the album again.

Me: Why did you download the album again?

iTunes: You told me you wanted to play it!


iTunes: What?

Me: Resume playing.

iTunes: Happy to! [ Begins playing Frank Crumit’s ‘Abdul Abulbul Amir’. ]

Me: Next week they were going to do ‘inchoate’.


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

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