When my best friend Rachael went through a devastating heartbreak, I was a fountain of useful advice and a rock of support. During a heart-to-heart talk over Oreos, Doritos and cookie-dough ice cream, I reassured her it was not her fault.
"You're a smart and beautiful person," I said. "Sometimes things like this happen. Some people just can't be trusted."
My friend wasn't making a lot of money then, but I convinced her that with a good attitude and hard work, she would replace her stolen iPod in no time.
Of course, nothing could make her forget her first love. But newer, thinner models were being produced, and in time, the wound would heal.
That was last summer, and I'm glad to say, Rachael has since moved on and is enjoying life with her slim, new 30GB iPod. Rachael's story had a happy ending, but her tale of tragedy is not unique.
A blog entry on our sister site Crave on Thursday examines the increasingly common phenomenon of people being attacked and mugged for their gadgets. It cites U.K. authorities as blaming the crisis on "young people carrying expensive goods such as mobile phones and MP3 players."
The blog relays the story of a GameSpot journalist named Guy who had his iTunes-compatible, Motorola L6 Slvr taken--at what he believes to have been gunpoint.
He then went on to say he attempted to chase the robbers down.
Although we're not exactly sure just how much of this story was fabricated in an effort to make him look tough, we are sure no one should have to endure such an ordeal.
Fortunately, Guy did not have his iPod, his laptop or his Archos AV500 with him, so things could've been much, much worse.
Rachael and Guy were lucky. You may not be.
We recommend using the buddy system. Remember: One nerdy gadget geek is an easy target, but three or four may make a mugger think twice.