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People who own IPods: they?re everywhere. And if you live or work in New York City, chances are you know a Pod person. On the off hand chance that you don?t, you?ve probably sat next to one on the bus or the subway. Maybe you?ve seen them in passing. It becomes a game after a while: spot the telltale white ear buds.
However, I?ve noticed that white ear buds do not necessarily a Pod person make. Could just be a regular FM tuner or CD player. Some Podsters have tried to throw me off the trail by donning different headphones, disguising the fact that they?re receiving transmissions from their fearless leader. But others proudly show off their allegiance like a badge of honor, IPod strapped to their shoulder bag, clipped to their pocket, strapped around their wrist. I once counted five Pod people on one street corner alone in NYC. This isn?t just a phenomenon?THIS IS A CULT.
Within my cluster of cubicles at work, I sit across from a pair of Pod people, their white-faced players leaning against their computer monitors, a mixed bag of sounds from Tom Waits to Jay-Z occurring between them. I myself rock online mixes and radio show archives. My pockets are way too lean to keep up with the IPod?s current price. It?s clearly become a luxury item at this point, not just the cool thing to have. Hipsters aren?t the only ones who have them on the hip, but older, well-to-do jetsetters have them, too. Accessories come in a bunch, including special IPod leather covers made by the likes of Gucci and Coach.
Pod people rate each other?s playlists online. If they spot each other on the street, one might look down at another?s player and jack in with their own headphones to see what they?re listening to. (While that is an actual phenomenon, I can?t see that happening a lot in Gotham?not without someone getting their face rearranged in the process.) I sit on the sidelines with a curious eye, staring at the next pair of white ear buds that pass me by, wondering if this person?s ?one of them? as well. Heck, all I want is a CD player with MP3 capability. I ain?t picky.