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After the $180 wooden iPad, the $250 paper laptop (same city)

In the same town where a woman bought a $180 iPad made of wood earlier this week, two women pay $250 for a laptop that turns out to be made of paper (but at least has a power cord). What is happening in Spartanburg, S.C.?

Spartanburg, S.C., is, according to the city's Web site, a place known for its "beauty, quality of life, and friendly people."

Perhaps that is why its residents seem keen to buy gadgets that are more environmentally friendly than they could ever have imagined.

Earlier this week, a woman paid $180 for a wooden iPad in a Spartanburg McDonalds parking lot. Now, I am grateful to a Technically Incorrect reader who sent me to the news that another Spartanburg gadget bargain hunter paid $250 for a laptop in a gas station parking lot.

So imagine this laptop's made of paper. CC (F)oxymoron/Flickr

This was an excellent deal, save for the fact that this particular laptop was made of paper.

WYFF-Channel 4 reports that two women were seduced (commercially speaking) by a man who said he had laptops (as well as iPads and iPods) in shipping boxes. The laptops were, allegedly, fine laptops that he could sell to the women at a bargain price.

So the women reportedly went to the ATM, withdrew the funds, and no doubt considered the fun they were about to have. Just as in the case of the wooden iPad, these women chose to maintain their excitement at having secured such a bargain until they got home.

When they opened the box, the women discovered a low they never thought they would behold. For this was a pile of paper festooned with black tape. Oh, and very helpfully, the alleged confidence artists had the confidence to enclose a power cord.

You will be stunned into somnolence when I tell you that police reportedly believe there might be a link between the case of the wooden iPad and the case of the paper laptop. Both cases seem to have involved a man with a gold tooth (it's probably just gold paint) and a white car.

If it was the same tricky folks, they at least had the grace to place some icons and an Apple logo on the wooden iPad. There is no evidence that they drew an Apple logo on the $250 bundle of paper.

The people of Spartanburg appear to be struggling with their keenness to secure a bargain. Perhaps Apple could open a little pop-up store there in the next week or two, with, you know, real iPads and Macs.

Or perhaps the company could move the launch of its next great phone to Spartanburg, so that the locals might bathe in the difference between the fake and the real, the bargain and the full-price pleasure of owning something that you can actually plug in, turn on, and show off to your friends.