Tuesday, September 16, 2008

360's Final Journey

The viewing: Xbox 360 prepares for his final journey. Those who attended commented on how natural he looked.

On Saturday, my faithful Xbox 360 died. It was so sad...he was looking forward to seeing our new house. He never made it there.

Instead, my friend is getting a first-class memorial send-off courtesy of UPS and Microsoft. Soon, 360's remains will reach Texas, where he'll retire for eternity with other 360s who have suffered the calamity of a red ring. 360 made it very clear in his will: he did not wish to be cremated, though there would be some poetic justice in spreading his digital ashes around our new home. He was eager to settle in.

It would have been a way to include him.

Yet, it's my role to abide by 360's wishes, and if anything were to befall him, he wanted Texas to be his final resting place. I have no idea why that was the case. It must have been fate: Microsoft's repair center happens to be in Mesquite, Texas. Armed with a paid shipping label from Microsoft/UPS, I loaded 360 into the sturdiest, roomiest, most comfortable box I could find, delicately removed his power supply, and rested them together on a soft bed of lovingly-crumpled newspaper. A choir sang "My Way" and "Nearer My God to Thee" (360's favorite song and hymn, respectively) as I took upon the heart-wrenching task of covering him in more newspaper before sealing the box.

The most painful moment was our separation at the UPS store, where a nice gentlemen took my return shipping slip, looked at my red-rimmed eyes and assured me that "he'd take care of it."

On September 13, 2008...360 became no more.

On September 16, 2008...he started his journey "home."

360 will travel almost 900 miles from Indianapolis to Mesquite, Texas. It's supposedly about a 13-hour drive. You can see the route below.

View Larger Map

Whether 360 will travel by road or air, there is no doubt he will reach his destination. What he will find in that afterlife, we'll never know. Is his spirit already up high, forever processing an elaborate fantasy world in which he and those of his ilk run for all eternity without fear of red rings or faulty disc drives? Will his video chip conjure up a happy afterlife in which every child has an Xbox 360 and takes loving care of it? Will he find himself no longer shackled by the earthly realm of faulty solder and ineffective heat sinks, able to, in a sense, live without pain?

Present arms! Unfortunately, the bagpipers from Star Trek II were unavailable for "Amazing Grace." We settled for the Titanic guys and "Nearer My God to Thee."

That is my hope as 360's best friend. That he will find himself in an existence where there is no limit to his processing speed or disk space, no cap on his power consumption, no DRM, no long downloads of HD movies, no fee for Xbox Live. And perhaps 360 will, for once and always hereafter, pick which game he wants to play...and who he wants to play it for.

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