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    20th September 2013

    The iPhone Line, or the heart of darkness

    Uncategorized By 3 years ago

    Today was a big day for me.

    Today I attended my first ever Apple launch. The arguably sacred ritual of lining up to get your hands on the latest Apple product, which in this case was the choice of either the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.

    To give you some insight into how this revered process works, here is a semi-accurate timeline of my morning.

    7:25 AM – Leave to go the Chadstone Apple Store

    7:40 AM – Realise all the car-parks are closed and park illegally by driving over a rope blocking off one of the entrances

    7:50 AM – Run through the empty shopping centre in pursuit of the Apple Temple.

    7:52 AM – Find a line 200 people deep, with many sitting on camping chairs and sleeping bags from the night before. I am placed around 2 meters parallel to the front of the line but considerably further away once you take into account the snaking going around the centre. Sigh.

    7:53 AM – “Just to let you guys know: the gold iPhone 5s is sold out. The gold iPhone 5s is sold out.” Staff member becomes most hated person in Melbourne.

    7:53 AM – Same staff member- “Anyone here to buy a 5c? Anyone??” Silence, followed by a tumbleweed slowly rolling down the corridor.

    7:54 AM – I try persuade same staff member, who looks strangely awake this early in the morning, to tell me who else sells the new iPhone outright. Contemplate leaving as he tells me I should reach the front of the line by 11 AM. I cough loudly in anger.

    7:58 AM – Countdown, lots of screaming coming from the Apple store, the prison gate rises and out comes a swarm of blue t-shirt wearing Apple staff who are cheering, shouting and enthusiastically slapping willing hands as they run past the entire line. 2 staff members are wearing ironic hats, 2 are holding Go-Pro cameras, 200 people in the line are capturing the end of hibernation with their soon to be outdated iPhones.

    7:59 AM – One staff member standing near us doesn’t stop shouting: “Are you excited guys! Are you excited!!!!!!” No one responds. Ever.

    8:00 AM – Ding Ding Ding! Let it rain! The iPhone is available! Staff members form a human fence on either side of the entrance, cheering and congratulating people as they are slowly ushered in.

    8:01 AM – People lining up from the night before walk in. They look awful.

    8:05 AM – A man wearing a cap and a trench-coat walks past the line offering people a white iPhone 5s reservation card in return for a gold iPhone 5s reservation card. He then tries to sell it to us. “How much you got!”

    8:20 AM – Line moves slowly, I befriend the lady in front of me who is buying two phones for her parents. She is livid there is no gold iPhone. She lets me run and get a giant coffee. Bless her.

    8:30 AM – Enjoyed this article http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/09/gangs-of-social-media/all/

    8:40 AM – Also Enjoyed this article on a psychedelic mushroom murder-mystery story http://harpers.org/archive/2013/07/blood-spore/?single=1

    8:50 AM – I AM IN! Congratulated by the staff for being here. Not sure what I have done but I insist on shaking all their hands! YES APPLE!

    8:51 AM – “Okayyyy lets get him that 16 GB Space Grey iPhone 5s! Well done!”

    8:52 AM – Congratulated for buying the new iPhone. Shake everyone’s hands again. I walk out with a brand new iPhone in my pocket.

    8:53 AM – Cool phone. Life goes back to normal.

    Loyalists and puritans alike have told me I took the cowards way out and didn’t line up all-night. What fun.

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