The iPhone: Bringing Back the Art of the Pickpocket

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Artist's conception of thief stealing my iPhone

Artist's conception of thief stealing my iPhone

April 30th, 6:35 pm. Crowded C train into Brooklyn. I finish my umpteenth round of Wurdle, failing once again to make a high score, and conclude that my former self is more intelligent than my present self. An inevitable consequence of the aging process. I drop my iPhone into my (external) jacket pocket. Two stops later I’m off the train. My iPhone has not come with me.

Obviously as a high-level PC, I’m presenting a high negative modifier to any potential thief (-5% for each level). He must have been fairly high-level himself — a sharper perhaps (7th level), or even a magsman (8th). Maybe he was a half-elf (+10% for racial ability — ah those were the days). Still he got lucky with that roll. Though God knows, I’m still in AD&D rules — he’s probably on 4th edition, could be a completely different ruleset …

 

Seriously, my iPhone got stolen yesterday. Makes you wonder if the popularity of the iPhone has brought about a revival of the old-school pickpocket’s art. I mean, this was some serious Oliver Twist stuff — that phone was on the street and fenced 2 hours later. Though honestly, the guy who bought it, what was he thinking? He had the use of it for 6 hours, tops. Though I suppose they probably unlocked it. He didn’t seem very interested in discussing it during our brief but fascinating conversation.

It wouldn’t bother me that much, except the damn thing had my Ursula K. Le Guin interview on it, which I hadn’t finished transcribing yet. Sigh.

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