Speech #20 - October 4, 2012

I’ve told you about my harrowing experience regarding the theft of my iPhone in April, 2010. To recap: I was riding Light Rail, a Young Fool decided he would rather be in possession of an iPhone instead of me. He made off with mine, and I ended up in the hospital with a dislocated shoulder. But that was only half of the story. To tell the rest of the story, I’ve invited my long lost friend, the iPhone, to fill you in.


I’m an iPhone. You’ve probably seen many of me around. I’m pretty popular. People have been known to line up for days to get me. I pretty much defined a whole new class of portable computing and entertainment devices. I’m old and retired now, but shortly before I decided to take that long-deserved rest, I had quite an adventure. But let’s step back about a year and a half earlier. My siblings and I were part of what was known as the second generation. My older brothers and sisters from the previous year were getting a little long in the tooth, and there was that whole newer, faster telephone network to take advantage of. 3G. Third generation network on a second generation iPhone. I’m getting confused. Am I my own grandfather?

Hmm, well it appears that my friend iPhone is not really up to the task of telling his story, so I’ll have to step in here. When the original iPhone came out, just like many, I wanted one. Unfortunately, I was on a contract with my old-fashioned flip cell phone, and couldn’t take advantage of the initial iPhone offering. But a year later, I was ready, and I jumped at the chance to buy the next generation. Unfortunately, so did everybody else, and it became a difficult task to find a stock of iPhones unless you were willing to get up early, stand in line for hours and risk being told “Sorry, sold out!” just as you reached the head of the line.

I carefully watched the Apple Store web site and finally decided that a Sunday morning visit to the Arden Fair Apple Store was going to be my best bet at acquiring the treasured device. When I arrived the line was only about twenty deep, so it looked like luck was on my side. After about an hour wait for the store to open, and watching the line behind me grow, my prospects began to brighten. An Apple Store employee handed each of us early arrivals a ticket, essentially guaranteeing that we would get one of the elusive gadgets.

As I walked out of the store with my new phone activated, I couldn’t wait to try out all the features that I had been reading about. We hopped in the car, and took a drive up to Williams, to breakfast at Granzella’s Restaurant. The iPhone Maps application showed me exactly where we were, and for sake of adventure, we took the less-traveled route back home, just to see if it could keep up with us. It did not fail us.

Upon returning home, I began loading some of my vast music library onto it, and it soon became my constant companion, especially on my hour long commute to work via bus and train. Music, web, e-mail, books, video, games and other apps. It could do it all; the perfect distraction to whatever else was going on. Ah, my downfall. But you heard that, already. What you didn’t hear about was the iPhone’s continuing adventure, once it left my possession.

I’ll let iPhone tell you about it (dial tone). Hmm, it appears he’s worn out and apparently has gone to sleep. I don’t think he’ll mind if I continued.

I imagine he probably saw me through his camera lens as I fell, and he watched as the doors of the train closed and pulled away. He was on his way to parts unknown at a rapid pace.

His new master treated him roughly, punching at the screen, trying to get in some free long-distance calls. It was obvious he didn’t know his way around, and iPhone wasn’t talking.

But wait, now he was back on the Light Rail. Returning to the scene of the crime? How is that a good idea?

And now the Young Fool was back to his old tricks, harassing other passengers and generally making more trouble. iPhone had had enough, and decided to try psychic means of communication. Apparently, reaching me as I was suffering in the ER, he gave me the idea to have the phone service shut off. I asked my wife to call AT&T, she explained the loss, and they immediately cut off the phone service. My iPhone was gone, but at least I wouldn’t be accruing additional insult on top of injury.

iPhone’s psychic abilities only increased more once the distraction of listening for incoming calls went away, and he convinced Young Fool to get into a face-off with Big Burly, another passenger on the train. The two argued and exited the train, Big Burly pulled a gun on Young Fool, and shot him in the leg. Big Burly ran off into the neighborhood, and Young Fool waited for law enforcement to arrive. He was now the victim. Taking out iPhone, he stripped down his pants, and took two photos of his injuries on the back of his thigh.

When the police arrived, they noticed that some things didn’t quite add up. Young Fool was injured, but all he could talk about was “Where’s my iPhone. Where’s my iPhone?” The officer on duty recalled an earlier report about a Light Rail iPhone theft, and began putting two and two together, and discovered that the iPhone in Young Fool’s possession was not his own. Young Fool was arrested, and the iPhone was confiscated.

By this time, my wife and I were on our way home, when her cell phone rang. I answered it, and it was the Sacramento County Sheriff who recovered the phone. “I think we have your iPhone,” he told me. I was in shock. How was this even possible? He arranged to meet us at our home later that afternoon.

I called our son at home, to tell him the good news about the recovered phone. He had just seen a news report about a light rail incident in which a passenger had been shot by another. The report focused on the fact that the poor fellow was another victim of undeserved violence.

Meanwhile, iPhone was still trying to see justice served. He remembered the women from the train earlier in the day, and put it in her mind to contact the TV station and let them know there was more to the story than met the eye. Soon after iPhone reunited with me, a TV crew was at my house to hear the story of a theft, injury and recovery, and I, once a victim, was now the victor.

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