.--A study released today indicates I-Pods, Apple's popular , is a lead source behind the continued decline in personal giving to the homeless. The study, conducted jointly by and , also indicates college loan interest rate hikes, increased gas prices, and the spread of elitism as potential causes.
Over the past decade, Dr. Gregory Tashek ofand Dr. Tamra Rundt-Hunter of interviewed and studied the lives of more than 16,300 homeless people. The I-Pod was named as the primary root cause in garnering less contributions by 56 percent of respondents. The results have a three percent margin of error.
"At the outset, it appeared that the downward trend in giving was due to the burst of the tech bubble in the late '90s and early '00s," said Tashek, theProfessor of Community and Homeless Studies at . "But right around the of 2001 we started seeing major correlation between the introduction of the I-Pod and the decrease in homeless giving."
The study came about after then-Georgetown University professors Tashek and Rundt-Hunter co-authored a book in 1997 titled, 'Homeless and Cold: Gaining Understanding of Weather's Impact on the Homeless.' The book was named homeless book club Box 'N Book's Best Read that same year.
"After Homeless and Cold, we realized there was this vast desire within the academic and homeless communities, alike, to understand the causes behind the phenomena," said Rundt-Hunter, who received a personal thank you letter from Oscar winner , who once lived in a homeless shelter in . "Many people say they don't give because they feel homeless people are going to use the money for alcohol or drugs, but I-Pods have had a more detrimental effect on the homeless."
The study's findings were announced this morning in front of a gray 1968 Ford Econoline van parked inside an alley just blocks from the White House and. Tashek and Rundt-Hunter said the van symbolized the detachment homeless people feel from their government and college students, the leading members of the I-Pod generation.
Although Rocky writer and star Stallone was unable to attend, he did send a statement indicating he requested a meeting with Chairman Steven Jobs to discuss the company's homeless policy. He also stated both the Rocky and Rambo series' would no longer be available on .
Singer Jewel, whose homeless experiences helped her make the New York Times bestseller list with her poetry book 'A Night Without Armor,' was on hand for the announcement.
"I lived in a van not too different from this one and if not for my music, I wouldn't have ever made it out," said the Grammy Award winner. "It's truly disheartening to think that some college kid may be listening to my platinum-selling debut album, 'Pieces of You,' and refuse to give a homeless woman a quarter. I mean, I want to ask these people, who will save your soul?"
Stallone and Jewel aren't the only celebrities concerned with the study's findings. Upon hearing the story, Homeless and Cold' was second only to 's 'Nickel and Dimed' for books that make her feel guilty about her fortune. Tashek and Rundt-Hunter also said they have been contacted by director Morgan Spurlock to discuss a documentary.said she would have Tashek and Rundt-Hunter on her show, adding '
Regardless of what comes of their research, both Tashek and Rundt-Hunter understand that their work will not be considered a success if giving to the homeless does not improve ascontinues putting out new, more detailed versions of the I-Pod during the holiday season, often the coldest months of the year.
"I don't know why everyone is acting so surprised, I've been telling people for the last few years that these I-Pods are the worst thing to hit us homeless people since automatic windows," said Marlin Jenkins, who lives in cardboard boxes in the alley where the announcement was made. "The only thing that works with people with I-Pods is to piss on myself then walk next to them until they finally reach in their pockets. One guy accidentally gave me a hundred-dollar bill. I drank good that night."
*The story you have just read is fictional. Any references to people, both real and fake, was done for strictly comedic purposes.*