Saturday, September 21, 2013

No iPhone, No uFood

Hey, read this, it'll crush your very soul. No, you have to click on it, it's a link to an L.A. Times article, read it and then come back. I'll wait for yo-whoa, back already? That was a little quick, did you even-you didn't read it did you? Fine, I'll give you the broad strokes, but for real, this is the last time. I mean it.
Here's a picture of happy people joining hands, rejoicing
in each other's company and sharing their hopes for a bright future.
The story you're about to read is the exact opposite of this.
Many of these workers abandoned the
bread line when they discovered the
government had run out of goldpagne
Anyway, a new iPhone came out yesterday. Yes, again. Despite shortages every goddamn time they release a new device, Apple always seems to be caught off guard by the number of people willing to hand over $200, so fans have to line up to make sure they get one on day one. The pictures look like a Soviet-era breadline, except instead of impoverished peasants lining up for meager sustenance, it's early-adopters with disposable income who called in sick to work so they can overpay for an incrementally improved phone they're just going to trade-in in two years.

At least that's usually the case. In a sign that our civilization is due for a serious Bastille Day, some jerkface entrepreneur got the bright idea to use homeless people to wait in line for him in exchange for $20 and a meal. The plan was to buy iPhones here and then sell them overseas where they go for way more than Apple's already kind of crazy-town price.
In Australia for example, the iPhone 5s starts at $869 ($817 US),
For comparison, the average Australian makes only about $320
a month competing in the country's many Thunderdomes.
Here's a shot of the LAPD wrestling a man
to the ground for trying to earn a sandwich.
I'm sure this'll do wonders for PR.
A grown ass man calling himself Bobby told the local news that he'd been hired to organize the buy-up at the Pasadena Apple Store and that his was one of several such coordinated efforts at different stores around L.A. Almost half of the 200 people waiting in line in Pasadena were hired by Bobby, but when the staff figured out what was going on (they are, after all Geniuses™) they shut it down, kicking Bobby and his surrogates out. Cops were called, but since no laws were being broken, they couldn't really do anything, at least until the punching started.

You see when the Apple Store cut them off, Bobby was all like: 'No iPhone, no uFood,' tempers understandably flared, fights ensued and a couple of people were arrested...but not Bobby.
Pictured: 'Bobby,' (center) with an armload of $200 iPhones
explaining to a hungry man that he won't be eating today.
Not pictured: an ounce of shame or human compassion. 
Above: the confident smirk of a man
who cannot begin to grasp what a
Omega-Level douchebag he is.
While the guy behind the scam was taken away by police, it wasn't because he was charged with anything, it was because the 90 or so homeless guys he just screwed out of time, money and food were kind of upset. Yup, the cops gave Bobby a ride home for his own protection. Technically, and amazingly, exploiting the homeless as part of a scam to sell grey market cell phones overseas isn't illegal, just really, really awful. So if you live in L.A. and see Bobby, please feel free to start following him around shouting 'boooo.' Because really, it's the only recourse we've got.

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