Jessica Mellow

17 days in the iPhone line: Wet, cold & smelling like Cheetos

October 13, 2011: 4:07 PM ET

Life-lessons learned on the sidewalks of New York City

Keenan and Jessica on day 17. Photo: PED

Want to know what it's like to spend two and a half weeks in an iPhone line?

If you've ever considered such a thing, Keenen Thompson, 21, and Jessica Mellow, 26, have done you -- and the rest of the iPhone-lovin' world -- a favor: they have teamed up to record their experiences for posterity, Keenen on Twitter (@iPhoneWhatever) and Jessica in a sprightly, funny, clever and occasionally heartfelt blog by roughly the same name (

We've had Apple line-sitters before. Greg Packer, a semi-professional "man-on-the-street," was first in line at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store for the original iPhone, the iPad and the iPhone 4 (he's No. 4 in this line). A group called the WhoFarm camped out for a week to get the iPhone 3G (but mostly to draw attention to their environmental causes, including a scheme to turn the White House's 17-acre lawn into an organic farm.)

But we've never had observers as sharp-eyed and generous as these two. Jessica, especially, is a joy to read as she experiences (and describes in detail) the effects of wind, rain, sleep deprivation, Cheeto-flavored body odor and a painful crack on the skull. ("Ugh! Leave it to me to get through 17 days of camping on the streets of NYC only to slip in the bathroom and hit my head off the corner of the wall? It does make sense…I tend to get injured in the dumbest ways possible.  Somebody bring me a Vicoden, or better yet, cut off my head.")

The two are not a couple, but they have been best of friends since they met three years ago doing promotions for movie screenings (Ironman 1 and 2, Transformers 2 and 3, Kickass, Jackass 3D, etc.). Keenen worked two and half years for Apple (AAPL) in retail, both in Queens and in this store. Jessica does various kinds of freelance promotion tasks, but her real love is body art, both as a model and as an artist. Her ambition is to do the kind of work that put Demi Moore in her birthday suit on the cover of Vanity Fair. You can see Jessica's art (and body) on Facebook, if she deigns to friend you.

Things were pretty quiet for Keenen and Jessica for the first week or so. Then, on day 9, Steve Jobs died. Jessica's account of what happened next follows below the fold.


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