iHustle

By Tim Barber


Photo by Tim Barber

The other night my friend called me to let me know that a crazy black crackhead had just tried to sell him a brand-new G5 laptop right out in front of that huge liquor store near Astor Place. He hadn't investigated it at all, but I had been looking for a cheap computer and was in the area, so, why not?

Of course we couldn't find the guy, but as we were standing there on the corner about to give up, this really freaked-out NYU-looking kid walked by us in an erratic circle. I made eye contact with him, and it lasted just long enough for him to ask, "What's up?" in this "What's up, motherfucker? You want to throw down? I will school you, bitch!" voice. When I said I was looking for someone selling laptops, the guy's eyes bugged out, he looked me up and down, and then he lost all his steam and stared at the ground. "I got hustled" he said. "I spent $200 on this thing because my computer's a piece of shit and I really need a new one for school. Now I'm broke. Now I'm really fucked." All I could think of was to shrug and say, "It's New York City," like that would make him feel better, but he threw his bag in the garbage without looking up and walked off.

After he left we dove into the garbage to see what the crackhead used to rip him off. Was it a brick in a laptop box? That's what they used to do with video cameras. Was it a real laptop that had no insides? No, it was way better than we ever imagined. It was a real iBook box, with a bunch of Village Voices for weight and the greatest piece of shit ever made. A fake laptop made of gray garbage bag and cardboard, spray-painted platinum silver and finished with A HAND-PAINTED APPLE LOGO DONE IN WITE-OUT. Aaah ha ha ha. What did you think it was going to be, a brand-new computer with GarageBand, iMovie, Microsoft Office, and 2GB of extra RAM? What a fucking idiot that kid was, and what a work of art this is. Thank you, Crack God.




Ryan McGinley with the iBook that crack built.
 

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