iPhone turns average Joe into rock star

Published 12:51 am Friday, July 13, 2007

I have never been a rock star.

And even though I may have craved the same attention as those celebrity bands of my youth, I never really saw myself as being in the same league as the lead singers from Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, White Snake or Guns N Roses.

Like most high school guys, I sometimes dreamed of being chased by the screams of beautiful women.

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But, like most of my friends, I knew the difference between dreams and reality.

I didn’t have long frizzy hair. I didn’t know how to play the electric guitar and I never found myself in the situation of having a buxom bombshell drape herself over my car like Tawny Kitaen did in that famous White Snake video.

It may have been a high schooler’s dream straight out of MTV, but I realized that I probably would never garner the same attention as those rock star idols.

That was until Tuesday afternoon.

Most of the day had progressed smoothly. It was my 39th birthday. With the exception of a special lunch and a large pan of birthday banana pudding the day was pretty quiet.

Then 4 p.m. rolled around.

Returning from my wife’s office, I walked quietly and discreetly into The Natchez Democrat newsroom holding a small black box disguised in a white plastic grocery bag.

It was hard not to pull the Apple iPhone from the bag, wave it in the air and say, “Look what I got for my birthday.”

But a deadline was looming and there was little time to show off my new gadget.

So I set the box to the side hidden from the rest of the newsroom.

And there it sat like a time bomb ready to go off.

And then Managing Editor Julie Finley walked up to ask some questions about the section I was hurriedly putting together.

And, well, I couldn’t help myself.

I motioned to the box beside and mouthed the word, “iPhone.”

Julie looked up and went to the box to open it.

The next few seconds are a blur so my recount of the events may not be very accurate.

The box opened. Julie said something like, “Can I show Kevin?”

Then intern reporter Grafton Pritchartt caught a glimpse of the gadget from the end of the newsroom, shrieked and then began to shake with excitement.

“I want to see it,” Grafton said.

Any deadline at this point seemed futile.

After finally convincing Grafton to finish the story she was writing, Julie then took the phone out of the newsroom to show our Publisher Kevin Cooper.

Two steps into the classified department, the calm deliberate walk to the publisher’s office turned into a chase.

“She’s got an iPhone,” one of the newspaper’s classified sales reps said. Heads quickly whipped around to gawk.

By the time Julie reached Kevin a small mob of onlookers was forming, all giggling and trying to crane their necks to get the best vantage point.

When Apple announced it was working on a revolutionary cell phone, I knew this was the device I craved.

I have been trying to convince my wife and others that the phone is worth its high price tag. For the past few months, I have been looking for one device that can make phone calls, get e-mail, keep a calendar. This phone could do that and play music.

Little did I know that it carried with it rock star status, as well.

I am fine with that as long as I don’t have to wear sequin shirts, tight leather pants and women’s makeup.

But if a buxom bombshell wants to follow along as I play music on my iPhone, I don’t mind.

Just don’t tell my wife. I am living out my high school dream.

Ben Hillyer is the web editor of The Natchez Democrat.