August 5, 2002
I don't have a lot at the moment, but I do have a cat, a Subaru, a digital camera, a girlfriend with blue hair, and a G4 Titanium Powerbook. I drove that low-security Subaru across America, from sea to shining sea, TWICE, and nobody stole my Powerbook. I have a theory about that.
A friendly young girl working a Taco Bell drive through in Arkansas asked, "Is it real?"
I assumed she meant Devo, the cat, who was intently watching a thunderstorm out the passenger window. That amused me - many regular folks are surprised to find a cat lounging about in a moving car, but they always seem to recognize that Devo is a real, ACTUAL cat. Since I didn't want to seem a patronizing ass, I stifled my laugh and assured her that the kitty is a real kitty, and I told her the kitty's name.
She looked at me like I was a moron. "No no."
She pointed toward the Powerbook on the passenger seat, which was busily logging video from a previous (and equally entertaining) drive-thru in east Texas. I looked where she was pointing, thinking there might be a giant bug on the keyboard or something. I was suddenly prepared to run screaming from the car, as this had actually happened somewhere in Louisiana, at night - a giant bug on the screen, jumping off somewhere into the dark interior of the car... To my unfathomable relief, this time there was no bug, giant or otherwise. My heart racing, I asked her, "You mean, the Macintosh?"
Her face scrunched, and she pointed again. "That thing."
I followed the exact trajectory of her finger, and had to think for a second. "Yes. It's real."
I have no doubt that the Mac was exposed to people with ill intent toward my continued possession of it, had they recognized it as a thing of any value at all. The fact is that the Powerbook doesn't look like people think a laptop computer should. It looks like a picture of a computer. It looks like the lid of a box that has a computer inside. It's an impossible feat of engineering. It simply doesn't look like it could possibly be what it actually is.
Of course, any thief with sense and time will figure it out, and my heart goes out to all of you who have lost a Macintosh to thugs.