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"I can't live, if living is without you - I can't live, I can't give anymore..."

Finally, that special time of year has come around when you get to give yourself a little gift just for being a taxpayer - yep, it's the annual boob-prize you get for over-paying the government for the past year. Hmm …what trinket shall you reward yourself with?

How about an iPhone? Everybody's getting them. You've played with several and they're fun, very cool and slick …but are they necessary? Would you be better served getting something else this year, something nearly as cool and a little bit cheaper?

With that tax refund check in your hand, you really have to ask yourself if the most indispensible item to have this year is the iPhone or a new Leatherman multi-tool. Well, the best way to make a decision like this is just to write out the pros and cons of each and tally them up.

1. Communication - You can make and receive phone calls with an iPhone. If you put a Leatherman multi-tool up to your ear you can seriously injure yourself, depending on the tools you have deployed. ADVANTAGE - iPhone
2. Entertainment - You can play music on an iPhone and there are new applications being released for the iPhone seemingly every day. However, you are limited by battery power... whereas you can whittle yourself a "Corky the Devilish Woodsmen" doll with a Leatherman multi-tool. ADVANTAGE - even
3. Information - You can browse the internet with the iPhone. You can check your email, re-arrange your fantasy football team, arrange for a foot massage or order flowers with the iPhone. You're kind of limited with the Leatherman multi-tool, unless Corky knows something. ADVANTAGE - iPhone
4. Handsomeness - iPhones come in many different exciting colors. iPhones are a status symbol and could very well impress a woman and get you laid. The only color the Leatherman multi-tool comes in is brushed metal (much like the DeLorean) and it would be a sociological phenomenon if there was a group of women out there who were even a little bit turned on by a Leatherman multi-tool. ADVANTAGE - iPhone
5. Handiness - You can check if things are level with an iPhone, if you're the kind of person that gets uptight about stuff like that. You can also use it to determine your portion of the bill and how much to tip because maybe you're the kind of tight-ass whose needs extend beyond balancing horizontal surfaces. Still, don't think carpenters and framers are out there trading in their levels for iPhones and heaven help you if think anybody in the rest of the group is going to ask you to dinner again. There are countless ways a Leatherman multi-tool is handy. It's a tool for chrissakes. ADVANTAGE - Leatherman multi-tool
6. Emergency use (Self-defense) - You can stab somebody with a Leatherman multi-tool. The most hardened criminal would be hard-pressed to turn an iPhone into anything more than an insanely expensive missile. There is the great hope that someday an application will allow the user to call in airstrikes from loitering Predator drones, so there is a lot of upside to the iPhone, but there's no telling how this effort may get thwarted by the government. Also, the "air strike" application will be better used against terrorists, photo radar vans and stampeding herd animals. ADVANTAGE - Leatherman multi-tool
7. Emergency use (Navigation) - The iPhone has GPS capabilities, meaning you can be located by satellite (so long as the conditions are favorable) whereas you can build a lean-to with a Leatherman multi-tool but nobody's going to find you, satellites or not. Perhaps that's the way you wanted it? ADVANTAGE - even
8. Emergency use (Social awkwardness) - With an iPhone, you can have somebody call or send an email with the stipulation that you have to respond to it 'right away', thereby removing yourself from sticky social situations. The Leatherman offers no such benefit. The most you can do with a Leatherman multi-tool is induce awkward social situations, especially if you're a "cutter". ADVANTAGE - iPhone
9. Ease of Operation - Relying on a battery, the iPhone requires you to be somewhere near an outlet at some point. You cannot use an iPhone underwater. You can use a Leatherman multi-tool underwater and you don't need to be near an outlet. Hell, you can live in that lean-to with Corky and shun the power grid for the rest of your natural life, if you're so inclined. ADVANTAGE - Leatherman multi-tool
10. Enduring Value - Eventually the iPhone is going to be outdated. It's technology and that's going to happen. The technology inherent in your Leatherman multi-tool has been around since opposable thumbs. You will be buried with your Leatherman multi-tool. ADVANTAGE - Leatherman multi-tool
11. Tie-breaker - If the situation happens to unfold where this might be necessary, you can always take somebody else's iPhone if you're armed with a Leatherman multi-tool. They don't make an application to take away somebody's Leatherman multi-tool yet. ADVANTAGE - Leatherman multi-tool

There. That settles that. While the iPhone has tremendous potential, it still has a way to go before it's truly necessary.

-William Cadillac Donovan

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