Weirdest of 2015: This year’s most dedicated iFans

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Apple fanatics got up to some strange stuff in 2015.
Apple fanatics got up to some strange stuff in 2015.
Image: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's Best of 2015Apple fans are some of the most dedicated in all of tech (some might even call them a cult), but a few enterprising and/or desperate people really outdid themselves this year.

Not that we can really blame them. Cupertino brought the heat this year with the Apple Watch, a cool new Apple TV, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and the massive iPad Pro. We can forgive the superfans for really going all out to get their hands on the latest iGear. But some of their efforts might have been a bit too enthusiastic.

Here are some times when people’s love of Apple outweighed logic this year.

College students forget how biology works

access-case-2-iphone-6s - 4 2
Pay attention, Apple PR: Your phones might be better than sex.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

We’ve seen a lot of dumb college kids do a lot of dumb things, but we can usually depend upon them to put drinking and sex above everything else. That’s why we were surprised to see this study in February which concluded that both the iPhone and iPad were more “in” than drinking beer, hooking up, going out to clubs and bars, and college football.

Not that we can really complain; we’re just a little bummed we went to school with the hard-drinking, sportsball-loving crazies that we did. These kids sound like our kind of (boring) people.

That guy who wants the Internet to buy him an Apple Watch Edition

Apple Watch Edition
We know it’s pretty, but you don’t have to beg.
Photo: Apple

Our excitement at learning about the super-fancy, gold-plated Apple Watch Edition was almost as big as our crushing disappointment at how ridiculously expensive it is. The most basic, “affordable” version of the wearable — one with the smaller 38mm face and the cheapest Sport band — starts at $10,000. The $1,500 AppleCare+ add-on alone is well outside of our budgets over here. But one enterprising and shameless man didn’t let that stop him; he immediately turned to the Internet to buy a device for him.

The guy, Roland, isn’t just asking for a handout, however. He’s taken out a 10,000-space online billboard and is charging a dollar per pixel to subsidize his precious. That was back in March, and a look at the site now reveals that he still has plenty of space remaining. And he seems to have garnered sponsorships from across the tech web, including The Verge, Gizmodo, Engadget, and … wait, Cult of Mac? Who put us on there?

The other kind of ‘G-mail’

Pope Francis' iPad
The Pope’s iPad was a 32GB iPad 4 WiFi + Cellular. Who knew?

It’s cool that the tech-savvy Pope Francis has an iPad. And it’s not surprising that some devout fans with a lot of money might pay a mint to own a device that once played host to the Vicar of Christ’s copy of Angry Birds. But when the Holy iPad went up for auction in April, we were still a bit surprised that the thing went for $30,500, especially since it was just an iPad 4. Apple discontinued those things in October 2014. That’s probably why His Holiness felt he was ready for an upgrade.

And the proceeds all went to a school in Uruguay, so it’s not like Pope Francis blew it all on an Apple Watch.

$10,050? You could buy almost a third of the Pope’s iPad for that.

Steve Jobs' business cards
So, do they do anything, or … no? They just sit there? Well that’s cool, we guess.
In May, another deep-pocketed fan coughed up a roll of cash big enough to choke a hippopotamus, but this time, the goods in question were three of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ old business cards (right).

And who’s the proud new owner of the coveted bits of cardboard from Jobs’ days at NeXT, Apple and Pixar?

None other than digital-contact company Stacks.co head Tim Knowles, whom TheNextWeb quoted as saying, “If there was ever a business card to have in your Rolodex – it would certainly be Steve’s.”

Shhhh … nobody tell him that those numbers don’t really work anymore.

No dog is that good

Apple Watch Edition dog
Above: The oblivious new owner of two new Apple Watch Editions.
Photo: Wang Sicong

How do you think our panhandling friend Roland up there felt when he saw this? Not only was there someone in this world who had two golden Apple Watch Editions just handed to him for free, but that “someone” was an adorable Husky who probably spent the rest of that day wondering why gold doesn’t chew so well.

Wang Sicong, the son of the richest man in China (real-estate guru Wang Jianlin), is not just the kind of person who would spend so much money on a creature that would rather smell another dog’s butthole than know what time it is; he’s also the type of person who will then write a bragging post about it on the animal’s social-media profile. In the dog’s voice.

“I have new watches!” the post on China’s Twitter-like site Weibo read (the link from our original post no longer works). “I’m supposed to have four watches since I have four long legs. But that seems too uncouth, so I kept it down to two, which totally fits my status. Do you have one?”

We’re really glad that 2015 gave us the emoji we need to express our feelings about this story.

The Indians know they have to make the most of this while it lasts

Cleveland Indians ransom
Give us an Apple Watch, or the baseball gets it.
Photo: Cleveland Indians/Twitter

Even the camaraderie between teammates is no match for iLust when the opportunity presents itself.

When the Cleveland Indians’ Brandon Moss hit his 100th home run back in June, it landed in his own team’s bullpen. The pitchers took the ball hostage, scribbling a ransom note that instructed the outfielder to give them thousands of dollars’ worth of Apple gear (and one other thing), or he’d never see the token of his monumental accomplishment again.

“Ricky” on the note — we assume it’s bullpen catcher Ricky Pacione — is flexible in his demands, asking for either “$5,000 cash or [an] iPad.” We conclude that either Pacione really wants that iPad, or he has no idea how much they cost.

Pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (“Zep”) has something else entirely in mind, apparently. His demands are “Apple Watch/50 gallon drum of lube.” Traditionally, the slash would mean “or,” but we assume Rzepcynski just expects that he might have a lot of trouble getting his Apple Watch on and off. Either that, or …

Oh.

Regardless, Apple head Tim Cook announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference the following week that the company would meet all of the bullpen’s demands (excepting, maybe, the lube, which Apple excised before posting the list on the huge screen at the keynote). So, Moss gets the ball he clobbered out of the park with his considerable skills, and the Indians bullpen gets a lot of stuff for free that it very well could have afforded on its own.

Everyone loves a happy ending.

Scooters are valued forms of transportation in Indonesia

Piaggio Liberty for Apple Watch
The Piaggio Liberty S.
Photo: Piaggio

Our headline on this story was, “Unimpressed Apple Watch owner trades up for a scooter,” but it could have also been, “Enthused fan buys Apple Watch for $150 and a scooter.”

It depends on who you think won this transaction, really. Was it the guy who scored some wheels or the one who got the wearable before it was available to buy in his country? They both seemed pretty happy about the deal, so we’ll call it a tie.

All must bow to the head of Apple

Steve Jobs bust
Steve Jobs was anything but a bust as CEO.
Photo: China News

A lot of people find inspiration in Steve Jobs’ vision and determination, and not just those guys who are willing to shell out five figures for his old business cards.

Back in July, a company in Shanghai installed a golden bust of the late Apple co-founder right next to its time cards so workers could consider “Jobs’ insistence on finding the best way to do something” every time they arrived at or left work.

Apparently what that means is swiping your time card beneath Jobs’ stern, golden gaze. We assume that this encourages productivity by being so harrowing that workers are reluctant to go back to clock out.

Dude, just buy one at Menard’s and say you got it at Pompeii

Keep your Amazon details safe with two-step verification.
Yeah, just go ahead and cause an international incident. It’s cool.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

One Dutch teen with iPhones in his eyes convinced himself that the best way to line up the funds was to swipe a tile from his visit to Pompeii and sell it online. Solid plan, kid.

Authorities caught the terracotta thief with the goods in his backpack after a witness ratted him out. The saddest/funniest part? That kid would have been extremely lucky to cover the cost of a new iPhone after unloading his wares, since Pompeiian tiles actually have very little value, so at least he got in a huge amount of trouble for a plan that wouldn’t actually work.

You’d give your left WHAT for an iPhone?

Absolutely worth a life of chronic pain and possible dialysis.
Absolutely worth a life of chronic pain and possible dialysis.
Photo: Apple

Short-sightedness isn’t just for dumb teens in Pompeii; it also extends to dumb teens in China.

Best buddies Wu and Huang had the perfect plan: They would each sell one kidney to raise the cash for their iPhone 6ses. And don’t think they hadn’t completely thought this through, either; they immediately went to the Internet to find someone to help them out. See? That’s a little thing called planning.

Their new ‘net buddy told them to go to a hospital for some examinations and then didn’t show up. This was enough to give Wu time to really think about what the hell they were getting themselves into, so he got out of there and called the police in hopes that they could talk his friend out of it because Huang was still totally on board with this idea.

We aren’t sure what happened after this; Huang ran away, and the reports say he hadn’t turned up yet. We like to think he did some thinking, though, and decided that as great as iPhones are, a full set of functioning organs is even better.

Go ahead and sell them; you’ll just make more

Sperms for iPhones
Only instead of an egg, it’s a cup. And instead of sperm, it’s … well, the sperm are pretty literal.
Photo: Thomas Breher/Pixabay

A presumably more reputable medical facility than the one Wu and Huang went to to have their inner beans checked out came up with a far better way to subsidize people’s iPhone 6s needs. Instead of painful, unnecessary and dangerous surgery, they’d just pay iFans a whole lot of money for their sperm.

Specifically, men with at least 164cm tall (about 5 feet, 5 inches) with a college degree and no genetic or communicable diseases could go to Rujin Hospital and make a deposit. Successfully passing all the screening would net a cool 6,000 yuan (approximately $925.25 U.S.) in exchange for 17mL of their “goods.”

It’s no coincidence that that works out to just about enough for an iPhone 6s; the hospital actually acknowledges the recent kidney story in its post advertising the campaign.

“No need to sell kidneys,” says the online flier (translation via Google).

It’s nice when the perfect slogan just falls into your lap like that. So to speak.