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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, April 18

Gapers Block

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charlie / May 5, 2009 6:57 AM

My car

Leonard Grossman / May 5, 2009 7:50 AM

The I-pod of the person in the next seat on the EL

printdude / May 5, 2009 7:51 AM

#1: TV

mary / May 5, 2009 8:15 AM

my phone. i pretty much hate talking on phones.

spence / May 5, 2009 10:23 AM

Air conditioner. We only have 1 or 2 weeks out of the year where it gets above 90 degrees. It's a huge waster of energy...

annie / May 5, 2009 10:30 AM

I second air conditioning and cell phones. I don't own a car and I am very happy I don't, however, I don't know how I would get to certain places without the IGO so I am glad that cars exist.
I don't travel much either but I think it would make traveling more exciting if we still relied on trains...I know my husband would feel much different about this considering he travels almost weekly.

Rose / May 5, 2009 11:20 AM

Microwave. But honestly, I love and am grateful for many, many modern conveniences.

Michi / May 5, 2009 11:23 AM


crystal clear / May 5, 2009 11:28 AM

TV. radio. Don't have an i-pod, so I know I can live without one. microwave. infomercials. anything in Skymall magazine.

paul / May 5, 2009 11:53 AM

I've learned how to live without a car, although I still rent one once in awhile - I couldn't give driving up totally.

I gave up my land line phone a decade ago, and it felt very liberating. Even though my cell conversations last less than 3 minutes, I couldn't survive without a phone .

I'd love to give up my TV. I just don't need it sucking away time and sleep.

Radio? People still listen to radio?

s / May 5, 2009 12:14 PM

Car alarms! TV! Seriously, how much does TV suck? My neighbor had digital cable installed in the basement of our building, for all to "enjoy." I tried it--it's super annoying, super stupid, and super boring.

Mucky Fingers / May 5, 2009 12:20 PM

I'd give up everything except for access to recorded music. I needs my beats & grooves, the rest you can keep.

Booyah / May 5, 2009 2:11 PM

Cars. I love them but, really, they're just a convenience. The take more than they give. Car insurance. Gas. City sticker. State sticker. Parking tickets. Repairs. Sure they get us from here to there, but unless live in a small town where the general store is five miles away, you can get anywhere in the city on the bus or train. And longer distances can be made by bus, train or plane. That being said, I like having my card. Did I mention I was conflicted?

Booyah / May 5, 2009 2:13 PM

TV. I just don't need it sucking away time and sleep.

I love when people say this, like the TV is MAKING them watch it. Most modern sets do have an off switch... I sometimes think TV is a necessity that requires self-control. Like alcohol.

paul / May 5, 2009 3:18 PM

I sometimes think TV is a necessity that requires self-control. Like alcohol.

Neither of those things are necessities. I can go a whole day without either of them.

Booyah / May 5, 2009 5:06 PM

Yeah, Paul, but what about the rest of the week? :)

Brian / May 6, 2009 6:31 AM

I gave up my car 3 years ago. I could give up my iPod. I could give up the microwave. I could even give up TV. But you can't take my innernets!!

Amanda / May 6, 2009 10:00 AM

Cellphone. I hate cellphones, and find them a necessary evil for work. I'm old enogh to remember when I didn't have to listen to loud personal conversations at the deli counter, at the wine store, on the bus, in the dressing room of a clothing store.....

greg / May 6, 2009 12:01 PM

don't have/use & don't miss:
cable/satellite TV
fabric softener
air "freshener"

have but would give up:

Would keep:
in-unit laundry

daruma / May 6, 2009 3:33 PM

definitely cellphone. but it does help me win radio contests from the car

Cheryl / May 6, 2009 4:14 PM

Don't have:

1. cable tv
2. internet at home.
3. car (but I am an I-Go member, love them).
4. land line

Could get of:

1. microwave

2. Network television

Could never live without:

1. I-Go (yeah I could, but it's so convenient to not own a car and not bug my car-owning friends when I want to go to Costco).

2. Netflix

Ted / May 6, 2009 5:25 PM

I dream of getting rid of my car, but at the moment, I need it for my job. Last week, I had to go to Altgeld Gardens. Try getting there from Rogers Park on the bus.

betty / May 7, 2009 9:22 AM

*air conditioning - don't need it; cooler by the lake

*cable - who cares, don't need it

*tivo - really, really who cares; isn't that what vcrs are for?

*dishwasher - never had one; the sink works great

* car - oh wait, no, i'm keeping that baby

*blackberry - oh my gawd, get those things away from me

Bob / May 7, 2009 10:28 AM

Car, air transportation.

Get me on the right day and I'll say "electricity."

Speedy / May 7, 2009 10:52 AM

Machine politics.

It is taxing me back into the stone age, anyway.

Rob / May 7, 2009 12:15 PM

Internet porn.

Mike / May 7, 2009 12:57 PM


Mikey / May 7, 2009 8:20 PM


*car (don't have one but occasionally I-GO)
*cell phone (left the land line behind several years ago)
*air conditioner (mostly it's for my dog)
*iPod (been without for several months since laptop died)
*microwave (I really only use it to reheat leftovers)


*Kindle 2 (have only had for about a month but am addicted)*television (infinitely more interesting and therapeutic when paired with weed)
*mini laptop (I tend to be a bit of a news/internet junkie)
*dishwasher (kind of a neat freak, and this really helps)

No way:


There is no modern amenity that I positively couldn't do without. I'm fairly certain I could make the transition to neo-Luddism relatively pain-free...

Lee / May 7, 2009 9:08 PM

CAR! gave it up six years ago actually.

spence / May 8, 2009 8:12 AM

Not sure if you all realize that a dishwasher is something like 50% more efficient than hand washing when it comes to amount of water used. That's one of the amenities I wouldn't give up unless I absolutely had to.

mike-ts / May 8, 2009 8:48 AM

The trouble with modern amenities is that fact that people around you are so tied in, if you're willing to give it up, then it affects your ties with them. Give up a/c to save money, and they make a big show on how upset they are when they come over to your sweatbox, even though there is a fan over there circulating the air just fine. Give up the cell phone, and they cry bloody murder when they can't get a hold of you in 10 seconds. Remind them that everyone made it through live o.k. before all of this, and they come back with that was then this is now.

I've found that I can live as simply as the Amish if I wanted to, but any modern convenience that I am more than happy to give up has a big impact on work and personal life.

jen / May 8, 2009 9:35 AM

everyone saying microwave -- how would you reheat your leftovers?

i'm saying none, because i don't have that many to begin with (no landline, no cable, no dishwasher). i guess i could give up internet at home but then how would i look at the "NSFW" articles i see at work and want to click on but can't?!

katie / May 8, 2009 10:06 AM

Mail. I suppose it's debatable whether that's a "modern amenity", but I find mail annoying and unecessary.

Giant / May 8, 2009 10:12 AM

Regarding microwaves... which uses more power, a microwave over, a large electric over, or a gas stove?

p / May 9, 2009 9:15 AM


microwaves & Poor People. (jk LOL)

emjava / May 9, 2009 10:18 PM

my car. sold it the week after I moved here in 98. I can't imagine dealing with it and all the bs that goes along with it at this point. (I also use I-Go, so maybe that's cheating...!)

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