I swung by the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for a Saturday afternoon non-coffee ice-cream feeling drink yesterday when I found myself more interested in the man sitting in the high-back, soft-corner chair of the establishment. He was sucking down one of those vanilla-blended drinks and he was listening to an iPod.
The man was none other than Jon Cryer, these days known for the awfully generic “funny kid and two mis-matched male father figure” show Two and a Half Men (which ironically we saw when it was called My Two Dads and Airwolf). And while most people know him for his role as Ducky in John Hughes’
Some Kind of Wonderful Pretty In Pink, it didn’t really matter much because at that particular moment in time I had dubbed him “celebrity in the corner with the iPod.”
Well, he had the white earphones.
When I sat down at the table next to Mr. Cryer, I caught a glimpse of him tweaking his iPod only to notice that he (YES) had the iPod earphones but that they were connected to a lesser product in his pocket. He was quick to pull it out, flip to the next song and put it right back in his pocket. The guy even looked around the room while he did it, I suspect, to make sure no one saw the wool he was trying to pull over the coffee shop’s eyes.
Well, I wasn’t gonna let it rest. This is, of course, due to the fact that I’m somewhat insane about these things — but if you’re going to use iPod earphones I think you should actually be using an iPod. It’s like those people with those car kits — they can’t afford a Lamborghini, so they buy the outer shell of a Lamborghini and put it around the engine of a VW bug. It’s not the same thing and I don’t think you should benefit from people thinking it’s the same thing.
So I got my best passive-agressive mentality going and turned to Mr. Cryer.
Me: “Hey, you got an iPod, huh?”
Jon Cryer: “Yup.”
Literally, he didn’t even look at me. Just sorta got right back into his book without even giving me the time of day. He obviously didn’t want to talk about it.
Me: “Which one do you have?”
He looked at me like I was asking him the most personal question in the world. He put his hand over his pocket where the “iPod” was stored.
Jon Cryer: “You know,” he stumbled, “it holds like a hundred thousand songs or something a little less than that.”
Me: “The 48 gigabyte one?”
Jon Cryer: “Yeah. The 48 gigabyte one.”
He turned back to his book and I already knew I had caught him in a lie because if you know anything about iPods you know they come in even number capacities. 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, etcetera. But 48? The guy was selling lies and I wasn’t buying. I jumped on his mistake:
Me: “There’s no such thing as an iPod with a 48 gigabyte drive.”
Jon Cryer: “Oh, well whatever. It’s something like that.”
Something like that. SOMETHING LIKE THAT. The words rang through my head like, well, something ringing really loudly in my head. If you have an iPod you know very well that it’s your baby and you know everything about your baby. If you had a real living breathing kid and someone asked you how old they were or what words they’re currently saying or where they go to school — you know all the answers. If you have an iPod and someone asks you anything about it, from the color to the capacity to the battery life to what playlists are in there — you know the answers.
Jon Cryer didn’t.
Me: “You don’t really have an iPod, do you? Why don’t you just admit it?”
Jon Cryer: “Excuse me?”
Me: “You’re listening to some other crappy MP3 player with iPod ear phones so people will think you have an iPod.”
Jon Cryer: “Uh, no. I have an iPod.”
Me: “Can I see it?”
Jon Cryer: “No.”
Me: “C’mon. Just show it to me.”
Jon Cryer: “I don’t have to show you my iPod.”
Me: “So, you don’t have an iPod then?”
Jon Cryer looked at me, closed his book, picked up his coffee and swung himself up from the small table and stood over me in what, I assume, was supposed to be some kind of intimidating movement.
Me: “I’ll take that as a no, then?”
And he gave me this look like I had just asked him the most personal, most rude question in his entire life as he reached for the door and left. With his iPod earphones and his “other portable MP3 audio player” hidden in his pocket so the rest of society wouldn’t know the truth.
Really, it’s no big deal if you have one or don’t have one, but at least have the courage to not have to lie to people about what kind of audio player you have in your pocket.
(Update 12/17/05 — the “real” Jon Cryer e-mailed/left a comment on this post for us today. After some back and forth correspondence it was determined that this individual I had interacted with in the post above was NOT Jon Cryer. But the real Jon Cryer did confirm a few very telling details. (See his comment below.)
He does NOT have an iPOD. Yes, we will still mourn Jon Cryer’s lack of digital material goods, but we will not think of him as the tool I talked to who looked like him. Jon Cryer happens to be a genuine, cool, stand up guy. Thanks, Jon!)