Friday, January 28, 2011

Podaholic Seeks Redemption

Hello. My name is Richard and I'm a podaholic.

While we were down south on vacation, my wife bought me an iPod for my birthday. The purchase was innocent enough, which, I'm sure, is how the story began for most of you in this room tonight. As soon as we got back home, I began transferring my compact discs onto the new iPod so that I could listen to my favorite songs during my daily train commute.

I would occasionally pester Tristan to download a few songs off  iTunes. His reluctance to find me songs taught me to be selective in my song choices. Consequently, I would only ask him to find me songs I was sure I really wanted.

At that point, I was still in control.

Things began to quickly spiral downward over the holiday season after I opened my own iTunes account. I no longer had to be selective. Suddenly, it was open season on every song that had ever crossed my path. I wouldn't buy an iTunes card and let it sit there; I would buy a card and, in one brief sitting, shop until it was completely spent. Then, panting and mumbling incoherently, I was immediately compelled to frantically buy another one, redeem it and shop until it was spent.

You know how it is; you justify everything. You rationalize. I've been looking for that Herb Alpert Christmas album for decades! Way back when, I remember thinking "Autumn" by The Strawbs was an awesome song! Oh look, they have a song titled "Canada"; I wonder what The Strawbs say about Canada? I must be familiar with some of these one-hit wonders; I like this song by England Dan and John Ford Coley! I remember "Crazy Love" by Poco; it's pretty, I'll buy that, too! "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace? Why not!

My maniacal obsession has drawn me to songs as obscure as Lorne Greene's "Ringo" and as forgotten as "Man on the Silver Mountain" by Rainbow, or Snow's "Informer".

It's also led me to some terrific discoveries, including The Propellerheads.

Now I can't stop myself. I go to buy bottled water and I throw-in an iTunes card. If we need something at the drugstore, I'll choose a pharmacy where I know they sell iTunes cards. I get off the train downtown, buy a paper at the newsstand and, lo and behold, the clerk's totalling up an  iTunes card. I've begun hiding my card purchases from my family.

I'm at the grocery store almost every day. I just realized there are iTunes cards at the top of the pasta aisle! Now, I twitch and drool when I walk in to buy groceries. I have 4713 songs on my iPod, yet I twitch and drool when I see it still has 110 gigabytes free.

If I'm scanning satellite radio stations in the car, it's to discover new songs that I can buy off  iTunes! If you see me browsing at a record store, don't for a moment believe that I'm about to purchase a compact disc; I'm there solely to come up with ideas for iTunes song purchases!

Driving home from the train station tonight, an unsuspecting Susan made the mistake of telling me $25 iTunes cards are on special for $20. Breathless with craving but sounding as casual as I could, I asked, "How long does the special last?" Yeah, I'm keeping the phone number for Podaholics Anonymous on speed dial.

I can always listen to "The Gambler", so I redeem an iTunes card!

Honestly, can anyone's music collection be considered complete without the Atlanta Rhythm Section's hits? Redeem!

Moe Koffman's "Swinging Shepherd Blues" has such a catchy melody; redeem! Will you look at that, Herbie Mann does a groovin' version of the same song; redeem!

The first song I ever danced to, "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas, has been re-mixed by Dave Ruffy and Mark Wallis; redeem!

As I sit here in search of restraint, with a shiny new iTunes card in my trembling hand, you know I'm all about redemption.

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