It's hard to ignore the arrival of the iPad/iSlate/iTablet or whatever it ends up being called. Open any part of the intertubes and one rumour or another will come squirming out. So, if you're sick of thinking about it all or you just want to get out of town until the press conference has been and gone, then here are 10 surefire ways to avoid the Apple tablet announcement altogether.
1) Turn off the Internet
Not an easy thing to do given that there's no central computer nor a large on/off switch under a glass cover saying "Please never press this. Ever", but worth a crack if you're serious about ignoring what comes out of Jobsy's lips and subsequent reverberations across the Web. No Web, no reverberations. There are vast swathes of server space in places like Texas which host massive quarters of the Internet and the island of Tuvalu could probably do with a torpedoing while you're at it. Otherwise, if you can't manage it at the source, then try not paying your phone bill.
2) Go to Cuba, Burma or North Korea
Of course, if you can't stop the Internet coming to you, then you can always up sticks and ship out to where the Internet isn't allowed in the first place. Burma's a good option. It's actually illegal even to import or even use a router without express official permission, so your chances of finding a internet cafe and catching site of Apple's new device are pretty minimal.
If that's a little too tropical for you, then North Korea is an obvious choice. Just 4% of the population have access to the Internet out there and what there is is heavily censored anyway. Our personal choice though, would have to be Cuba. Good music, beaches, lovely people, fantastic architecture, the lowest computer per inhabitant figure in Latin America and the worst internet access ratio in the entire Western Hemisphere. Just kick back and enjoy the rum.
3) Kidnap Steve Jobs
A little more drastic this time and bit on the illegal side - either you or an associate could bundle the Cupertino head honcho into a transit van as he makes his way from the car park/Applecopter to the stage door of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It might not stem the tide for long as Phill Schiller would be gathering himself together for the big launch, but it could certainly buy you some time and amusement as you make Steve use a Dell and force him to listen to the Windows startup chime on a Zune and repeat ad infinitum.
4) Impersonate Steve Jobs
A more sensible approach could be to drop the charge down to impersonating an Apple officer. Don a black polo neck and some fine framed glasses and do a webcast saying it was all a joke and there is no tablet nor will there be any more Apple products ever. Announce instead that the company will turn to what it was always set up to do in the first place - sell fruit.
5) Launch a better device
If you can't join them, then you can always beat them. All the other manufacturers out there would love to stick it to Apple. So, make a few calls and get them to unite against the common enemy. Let Sergey Brin lend you a few of his top minds, give Microsoft a shout and scoop up some boffins, and from the East grab Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and the like and create a rival tablet that's even better. Then launch it tomorrow. Apple will have no choice but to cancel its event and go back to the drawing board.
The genius about this idea is that it doesn't even have to work. Just front like it does, hold up a box of cornflakes painted silver and by the time everyone figures out that's all it is, it'll be too late and someone with a real device will have beaten Apple to the punch.
6) Go Amish
We've all seen Witness and there's a certain kink about dressing up in those straw hats and pinafores, and that's just the bonus side of removing yourself from modern society by joining up with the Old Order Amish of Pennsylvannia . On top of that, you can learn how to raise a barn, milk cows, fall in love with someone you shouldn't and generally live the simple life before the men from the city come down to the farm for a shotgun shootout. Well, that's how it worked for Harrison Ford and there were certainly no Apple handhelds on show at any point during the film. Safe.
7) Spend a week at the Ballmers'
Yes, you can bet the Ballmer residence will be on total communications blackout apart from the obligatory access to Xbox Live and all news on the Microsoft Network. Relax from the comfort of the all-Windows mansion with a shiny, great firewall surrounding the grounds like a cosy blanket. There's probably even a dart board with Steve Jobs' face on it if you still can't sleep at night. The 24-hour exposure to large scale eccentricity could pose a problem to the isolation program, but by the time you leave you might well be ready to hear about what Apple had to say.
8) Hostile take over of Apple
This is probably the kind of work you need a Facebook group for and 48 hours may not be enough time, but if you can muster enough people, then how about secretly buying a majority holding in the Apple Inc stock? You'll then have the pleasure of liquidating the company assets instantly and causing one hell of show in San Francisco live on the Web. We'd be writing about that one for decades.
9) Throw something into the LHC
If destroying the company didn't feel certain enough, then you could take out the whole universe instead. Head on over to CERN and throw something chunky and metallic into the Large Hadron Collider - a lunchbox or actual spanner in the works might do the trick. The incident between the hurtling electrons and the remainder of the an orange Kit-Kat wrapper might only be enough to take out Western Europe but that should be a newsworthy-enough event to steal the limelight for a while.
10) Hibernate until spring
If you can't take the tablet out of the equation, then try removing yourself instead. We're not talking anything as drastic as suicide - just some medium-term hibernation should do the trick. Dress yourself up in some warm togs, fill a backpack full of biscuits and the odd banana, a couple of books and a cryptic crossword. Then just grab a duvet, climb into the wardrobe and shut it closed. By the time you're done, it'll be the summer. Just don't be alarmed if you awake crashing into the launch of the 4th generation iPhone.
Of course, if none of these appeal, just tune into our coverage on Wednesday night instead and take the hit full on. You never know. You might want to buy one.