iReel: A User’s Guide.
Congratulations on the purchase of your new iReel! You’re about to experience the latest in Reel-to-Reel technology, conveniently packaged into one 70 lb. console and powered by state-of-the-art metal-wire auditory recording. Your new 4B model comes equipped with our patented “take-up reel,” first implemented in motion-picture technology, harnessing the awesome power of friction to play back your favorite tunes. If you’ve also purchased the iReel-a-Go-Go accessories, you can take this auditory wonderland anywhere within a designated radius depending on your county’s zoning laws! Just follow these few simple guidelines.
Attaching your iReel is a snap! That is, it’s easy and straightforward. If you hear an actual “snap” when mounting the iReel, please check the control casing and consult a chiropractor. Otherwise, simply lace the vinyl straps over your shoulders—lift with your legs!—and balance the iReel at the center of your back.
Oh, but wait! Don’t stand up quite yet. If you have any previous recording devices, you’ll be happy to know that the iReel is backwards-compatible with most wax cylinders and Magnetophons, attached via the optional iFortyFootCable and iGroundLineInterferenceIsolator.
After you get accustomed to your iReel antenna and find a space for the 7-foot clearance, you’ll probably notice the gazes of admiration from your fellow audiophiles. Don’t worry, their stares do not reflect the pangs of envy and primal class resentment. Don’t think for a second that they are, say, underpaid technical manual writers who could never afford such a luxury. Your conspicuous consumption does not in any way make their stomachs turn with a muffled, sublimated rage. Rather, all those stares you’re getting are simply the stares of deep admiration.
How should you respond, then? Just keep on rocking out, my friend. Keep your knees bent, your lumbar hunched, and your teeth clenched in concentration. Yep, that’s the recipe for a precise air-guitar rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama.” Tell the ladies that the line starts behind the van!
As explained in iReel FAQ number 27, you may eventually find yourself struggling with the “Turtle Syndrome.” Perhaps you’ve already found yourself stranded on your back, arms and legs flailing in the urban air. First of all, relax. Like many features in the iReel’s design, this gesture is a call for attention. Since you’re an iReel user, you must also be rich and have many lords and ladies attending you, ready to flip you over and massage your tender shoulders at a moment’s notice. But what if your attendants are out? Maybe you’re just getting curious stares from passersby—again with the stares. If you find yourself helpless, congratulations! Admitting it is the first step. And some psychoanalysts may tell you that those stares of envy you keep going on about are actually examples of transference, and the real resentment is coming from your childhood.
Still stuck? If you can reach them, try to unfasten the vinyl straps and loosen your arms out gradually. Assuming you can do this and not cry like a spoiled baby, you should be up and ready to remount your iReel.
Whether you were conscious of it or not, your purchase of our product was also a gesture—a gesture that endorsed a subtle revolution. Yes! A revolution! One that rolls slowly and stretches out, slipping from the reel now and then, demanding more attention than a soft thumb and a click wheel.
Listen to us. My copyeditor Tony and I are sick of you and your petty needs. You Are Not Your Playlist. We keep congratulating you on your purchase, and yes, that promotes endorphins to assuage your consumerist guilt, but underneath it all, who are you kidding? Maybe we’re the only ones who still recognize it, but it’s obvious. There he is. The real stranger staring into your soul is YOU, my friend. Slumping and indignant, the poor kid in you wells up like acid reflux. He wants to spit in the face of the bourgeois hipsters and the dull-eyed commuters. He demands that you step back, yank your earbuds from your skull, and scream.
Stop listening! he yells.
Please. For once. Stop listening, and hear me out.
SUGGESTED READSDeath Of a Specialist
by Jeff Albers (11/2/2009)
Gertrude Stein Gets Her New iPhone
by Ben Greenman (7/15/2011)
I am the Orson Welles of Powerpoint
by Oyl Miller (9/16/2010)
RECENTLYA New York Times Wedding Announcement Shortly After the Advent of the Time Machine
by Raj Desai (5/5/2016)
Inside Witnesses: One Crime’s Many Narratives: Gina Comes Back
by Marti Jonjak (5/5/2016)
List: I’m Not Sure How to Weigh In On This, But I’m Going to Weigh In On This
by Janelle Blasdel (5/5/2016)
POPULARI Would Rather Do Anything Else Than Grade Your Final Papers
by Robin Lee Mozer (5/2/2016)
List: Titles of Bach Chorales, as Translated By My Niece After One Semester of German
by Nolan Bonvouloir (4/15/2016)
How to Negotiate a Raise (If You’re a Woman)
by Maura Quint (4/15/2016)