Before I go any further, I want to make it transparently clear that this post is fictional. At no time did this conversation actually take place (or at least we're fairly certain of that).
I know that the title itself makes this point pretty clear, but there are some people who gloss over the obvious, read selective bits and pieces, and then have a cow — after all, how could we post something that wasn't the absolute truth, right? (Case in point, Jason Hiner is still getting daily e-mails from people who want to know how to turn normal displays into touchscreens.)
And that brings me to my second disclaimer. This post is supposed to be fun. I've opened up the TR Out Loud to include submissions from the TechRepublic community, and TR member dcolbert is definitely thinking outside the box with his recent editorial cartoon and this creative script.
Yes, they both focus on a hot topic in the tech world — the Apple iPad. But no, they aren't serious tech journalism. We've got plenty of that in other areas of TechRepublic, so if that's what you're looking for, please stop reading here and move along.
Now, for those of you who appreciate the lighter side, here's dcolbert's latest entry:
Al pulled his ringing iPhone from the breast pocket of his jacket, looked at the image of Steve floating above the caller ID on the screen, and hit the answer button.
"Hey, this is Al..."
"Al, Steve here. Can you talk for a minute?"
"What's up, Steve-o? It’s kinda early out there on our favorite coast for you to be up. Something worrying you?"
"It is this new device, Al. We're going to market with it, and I'm afraid it’s going to be a disaster, because it’s really just a huge iPhone, for Pete’s sake!"
Al sat for a moment, rubbing his bare chin between his forefinger and thumb. He wasn't convinced he was going to stay with this clean shaven thing. Maybe he should grow the beard back. "We'll, Steve, it’s what it is at this point. You don't have time to change it before the release event. So, if it’s a turd, it’s a turd. The only thing we can do now is put a spin on it. I've got some great people - they'll come up with something."
"You're sure Al, you think these guys can come up with something to save this?"
"Are you kidding me? Of course they can. Let me get a hold of them, and I'll call you back as soon as they've got an idea..."
Twenty minutes later, in a suburb near Livermore, California, a gaunt and haggard Steve paced nervously back and forth in his kitchen, his iPhone in his hand, wearing slippers, PJ bottoms, and a black mock turtleneck. The phone rang, but Steve hit the Talk button before the first ring had even finished.
"Whatta ya got for me, Al?" Steve blurted out as a greeting.
"You're going to love this," Al responded in his slow, easy drawl with just a hint of a southern accent.
"Ok... let me have it."
"You just keep calling it 'magical' and 'revolutionary', over and over again," Al began. "You do it at the event, you do it for the press, and you do it in advertisements. Those two words, over and over again, 'magical' and 'revolutionary' - until they believe it."
Steve paused for a long moment. "’Magical’ and ‘revolutionary’? Repeat ‘magical’ and ‘revolutionary’ until the consumers buy it? That’s all you've got for me? Who the heck came up with this, Al?"
As Al boarded his private jet to fly from D.C. to California, he chuckled on the phone. "The same guy who came up with 'Change' for Obama, Steve. Trust me on this."
"’Magical’ and ‘revolutionary.’ Huh." said Steve, with consideration in his voice.
"’Magical’ and ‘revolutionary’," Al repeated, motioning for the Stewardess to make him a drink. She knew which one, his usual.
"This just might work..."
If you'd like to submit something to post in the TR Out Loud blog, please send it to trol at techrepublic.com.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.