The Quest for my iPad 2

I have it! I have my iPad 2. Getting it proved one of the strangest experiences in recent days. Listen if you will to my tale.

When Apple announced the iPad 2, I felt intrigued, and wondered if I should buy one despite owning an iPad 1. I read and thought and read some more, and eventually decided to. I wanted to experience the dual core processor, and wondered if it would boost VoiceOver performance. The iPad 1 always seemed a little clunky to me. The new design sounded interesting as well, and I wondered if it would have better feel appeal. Apple always does such a wonderful job with making things that feel cool to hold. I also felt very excited when I learned of the glass display. I figured I wouldn’t have a problem finding a new owner for my iPad 1, I still consider it a beautiful piece of machinery, but I wanted to move forward.

I read that Apple would make it available at 04:00 A.M. eastern time on March 10th. I knew they would sell out fast, but as it happened, one of my favorite radio shows called Over the Edge, would play then anyway, so I knew I could successfully pull this off. By 04:30 I had used my iPad 1 to purchase my iPad 2, with an estimated shipping speed of 3-5 business days. Perfect. The night owl gets the iPad! I enjoyed the show and went to bed. When I woke up, Japan had suffered the earthquake and the world had changed.

Around 01:00 in the afternoon I checked the Twittersphere to find that shipment dates on the iPad 2 had moved back to 3-4 weeks. I felt glad about my clever plan. I received the proper confirmation emails from Apple, and within a few days its journey had started from China. The situation in Japan had worsened and people wondered if this would effect the production of the iPad 2. I wondered if mine would become radioactive. I felt bad for those afflicted, but read a touching article which said that Apple stores had become rallying points, describing people flocked outside them just so they could get an internet connection. They also let people charge their iDevices, and I pictured iPhone users like myself frantically doing so. I wondered if any blind Japanese iPhone users charged theirs. With these thoughts I waited.

My order said I would get my iPad 2 by March 18th. They also shipped my smart cover in a separate package with the same arrival date. As the date drew closer I tracked the package and saw that the iPad would arrive on the 17th, St. Patrick’s day, with the cover still scheduled for the 18th. This made me feel great, and I even came up with a witty title for my article: Top of the iPad 2 ya!

I love St. Patrick’s day, even though I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me. My friend Liz comes over and we listen to Irish music and live coverage on Live Ireland. I cook vegetarian stew and we have a good time. Neither of us drink. This year, I anticipated a special day indeed. Imagine my shock when my iPad didn’t show up.

I couldn’t believe it. I had tracked the package during the whole day. The package had gone out for delivery in the morning, and I sat in my recliner by the front door, anxiously awaiting the doorbell. Suddenly, it showed as delivered and signed for. My doorbell had not rung and I had not gotten it, let alone signed for it. I paced my porch and wondered.

I didn’t know what else to do, so continued my day’s plans. I started preparing vegetarian Guinness stew. As the name suggests it calls for a bottle of Guinness in the stew. Since I don’t drink I didn’t have any, and since you can’t buy alcohol in Swarthmore I couldn’t easily get any. Fortunately I got my mom to bring me some, which she picked up at Swarthmore Pizza. They technically reside in a neighboring town, so can serve alcohol. She also scanned my porch and confirmed that I had no package. With that knowledge and a bottle of Guinness I continued, unsure of what to think.

Liz came over, and we enjoyed the wonderful stew, which worked out perfectly. We even sent Live Ireland an email, and the two hosts, a vegetarian and a vegan, wanted the recipe. Very cool! Liz left with a bunch and gave me a cake she had spontaneously bought. I enjoyed the day immensely, but worried about my package.

The next day I waited outside in the pleasant almost nice afternoon with my MacBook Air. My other package with my smart cover still showed out for delivery, so I hoped that would come and I could snag the Fedex guy and ask him some questions. He finally showed up, and I signed for the package. If they make me sign for a $39 smart cover, then surely they would make me sign for a $599 iPad. I told him the story so far and he said that they have three guys, and that one of the others must have delivered the package. He suggested I call Fedex, so I did.

Nothing they said made sense. They showed the same thing I saw, delivered and signed for… by K Seraphin? My name starts with an A, and I have an illegible signature. I began to suspect the worst, that someone ripped off my iPad. They told me they would initiate a trace, but I wouldn’t hear anything until Monday. This bothered me, but what else could I do? I could celebrate the Equinox and watch the Lord of the Rings! Before the day ended though I did call Apple, who told me to wait to hear from Fedex, and if I could not get the package they would send me a replacement or a refund. They handled the whole thing very professionally. Once again Apple came through. Now I had a cover but no iPad.

I spent the weekend listening to some Tolkien material and taking care of any loose ends so I could relax for a few days. On Sunday the 20th I began my celebration at 07:20 PM eastern time. I enjoyed the movies but wondered what I’d hear on Monday. Monday came and I heard that they would have the delivery guy go back to exactly where he dropped it off and try to retrieve it, and that I would hear them on Tuesday. I didn’t know what else to do, so thanked them and continued watching the movies, contemplating the theme of uncertainty. The movies have less uncertainty than the books, since the movie starts with the backstory. In the books the reader only learns this information at the Council of Elrond, midway through the first book.

Tuesday came. Interestingly, this correlated with 1 Ahau in the Mayan calendar, the sacred day of Venus. I put on disc one of the Fellowship of the Ring and waited. Fedex called as the Council of Elrond gathered. The lady told me that they contacted the delivery man, and he felt absolutely confident that he dropped the package off. I told her I felt absolutely confident that he didn’t, and that I didn’t sign for it, and what’s this? You have a signature release that I didn’t agree to either? The more she talked, the less things made sense. The less things made sense, the angrier I became. I stepped outside to make sure I hadn’t gone absolutely insane and missed the package, but of course found nothing. She just sat there, as dumb and silent as a paperweight, and told me to contact Apple. I felt disgusted and thanked her. I hung up right as Frodo accepted his quest.

By this time five days had passed and I had to consider the possibility of theft. I did mention it on Twitter. Could someone have ripped it off? Did someone stalk me down and wait outside my house to intercept the delivery guy and forge my signature to rip off my iPad? It seemed too complicated. It would make more sense for a criminal to just rip off a package from Apple. And what of the signature? And what of the release that I didn’t agree to? Did this iPad stealing ring even reach into Fedex? They could collaborate with a Fedex worker with access to that information to alter computer records to make off with packages. I cursed all the god damn iPad spammers on Twitter, offering their free iPad 2’s that likely fell off the back of a delivery truck just like Mine. Curse them! Destroyers and usurpers! But what of the delivery guy who felt confident he delivered it? Did they get him in on it too? Who do you even mean by They? The Russians?

I talked the situation over with my family, and decided to file a police report. I had never done this before. I called the local police, and a guy took down my information in a matter of fact way. He didn’t seem too alarmed, but agreed that at the least Fedex did not follow proper procedure. Something clearly had gone wrong. He gave me the report number and also suggested I talk to Apple. All roads seemed to lead there anyway, so I called them back. I told them that I had heard from Fedex, who told me nothing and to call Apple. Apple understood, and told me they would launch an investigation within twenty-four hours. They also deducted the price of the smart cover for the inconvenience. How thoughtful. I decided to try to enjoy the rest of the movie.

I put on Disc two of the Fellowship of the Ring. The fellowship soon met Galadriel, the Lady of Light. Suddenly, my doorbell rang. I had a strange feeling. Would it really happen? Would I get my iPad 2 while celebrating the Equinox as well as 1 Ahau in the Mayan calendar, the sacred day of Venus, and right at the moment when the fellowship receives gifts from the Lady of Light?

A woman stood on my porch. “Hello. I have this package for you.” I could hardly believe it. “They delivered it to the house two doors down. I don’t know why people do this, but instead of just bringing it to you, they called us. When we went to retrieve it the first time, they weren’t home, and they finally called back again today and I just got it. It’s been sitting there since…. I don’t know when.” “Since Thursday.” I said elatedly. I felt awestruck. I signed for the package myself for real with my wacky signature and gratefully accepted it. I thanked this wonderful manifestation of Goddess profusely. She had done it. She had come through. After all my fears, it came back to the SNAFU principle as it usually does. Situation Normal: All Fucked Up. Hobbits have such a sense of family, but I can’t even get someone two doors down to bring a blind neighbor a package.

I brought the package inside as the movie played. “My gift to you, Legolas, is a bow of the Galadhrim, worthy of the skill of our woodland kin. (To MERRY and PIPPIN) These are the daggers of Noldorin. They have already seen service in war. Do not fear, young Peregrin Took. You will find your courage.” I got out my pocketknife. “And for you, Samwise Gamgee, Elven rope made of hithlain.” “Thank you, my lady. Have you run out of those nice shiny daggers?” I battled with the pocketknife to get a blade to open the package, then decided to resort to scissors. “And what gift would a dwarf ask of the Elves?” I began opening the box. “Nothing. Except to look upon the lady of the Galadhrim one last time. For she is more fair than all the jewels beneath the earth.” I got it open and started extracting the box containing the iPad. “Actually… there was one thing.. er.. no, no I couldn’t. It’s quite impossible. Stupid to ask.” “I removed the box and cast aside the packing materials. “I have nothing greater to give than the gift you already bear.” I started opening the cellophane. “You have your own choice to make, Aragorn. To rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your kin. Nam·riΔ

Finally, at long last, I actually held the iPad 2 in my hands. “Farewell, Frodo Baggins. I give you the light of Earendil, our most beloved star.” “May it be a light for you in dark places, where all other lights go out.” I felt absolutely overcome by the beauty of the synchronicity, not to mention the beauty of the object I now held in my curious hands. I knew that I held a blessed item. It is precious to me.

Epilogue: I hooked it up to my iMac. iTunes automagically imported my settings from my old iPad, and the brand new iPad 2 came up talking immediately. Wonderful beautiful Apple! I called off the police investigation and told Apple as well. Everything worked out. It took a whole article just to tell the story of how I got it. Now I have to write my review of the actual device. By the way, I think I will give my iPad 1 to my Mom. iPads make perfect Mom devices.