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To all the iPods I've scratched before...

Christopher Phin | April 1, 2015
In last week's Think Retro--and with my apologies to him for bringing it up yet again--I told the tale of Kenny gouging a track in the lid of his brand new 12-inch PowerBook G4 within days of buying it, and I bet you too have your own tales of woe about that first time your perfect, beautiful bit of Apple hardware got its first scratch.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus don't really get dinged-up in the same way, and of course I can't in good conscience complain about that. The black surface of the iPhone 5 and 5s easily got nicked to show the bare metal underneath, and though they were comfortable in the hand, the soft plastic rear of the iPhone 3G and 3GS doesn't age gracefully.

As so often in Think Retro, though, I can pine for the past while appreciating the present I live in, and I find myself in the odd position of missing something that hasn't happened yet; I know that even if I were to keep my iPhone 6 for as long as I kept my early iPods, it wouldn't accrete the same evidence that we'd journeyed together.

All this is the same impulse behind one of the reasons I love my wedding ring so. Wherever I've been, whatever I've done, and through the tough times and the joy since I married my wife 10 years ago, my ring has been with me, the countless scrapes and barely visible scuffs that abrade its soft surface bearing testament to all that time.

I actually have a tip for making your scratched iPod look less beaten up — and it's to carefully rub the back with a yielding sandpaper block in one direction, which gives it an astonishingly professional-looking brushed metal effect — but instead, I urge you to love it for what it is, an encoded record of everything you did and everywhere you went for the years you owned it. Go: unearth your old iPod from a drawer, and remember.


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