(SCENE: a strip mall Radio Shack with a single Radio Shack EMPLOYEE standing behind the sales counter. CORY DOCTOROW enters.)SFX: electronic doorbell goes “Dooo-weee!”
CORY DOCTOROW: Hmmph. I certainly hope that doorbell isn’t keeping private records of who enters and exits the store.
EMPLOYEE: Um, I’m fairly sure it doesn’t. What can I help you with today? RCA cables, perhaps?
CORY DOCTOROW: No, thank you, I’m actually here to purchase a cell phone as you see I am the keynote speaker at a vitally important Web 2.0 conference this week and apparently my current cell phone does not get service in this backwater area… most probably due to the total asshats at the MPAA and RIAA.
EMPLOYEE: Yes, well, we have many excellent phones and plans —
CORY DOCTOROW: Listen. Before we even get into this, let me ask you something. Will I be able to transfer all my existing cell phone ringtones to my new phone? Because on my cell phone, I have a hilarious mutant hybrid remix of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” and the side-splitting “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” internet meme.
EMPLOYEE: That can depend on the hardware of your existing —
CORY DOCTOROW: I also have a community flash mob created hip-hopera version of the Dr. Who theme and M.I.A.’s “Galang” released under the Creative Commons license.
EMPlOYEE: I can’t say for sure but I doubt —
CORY DOCTOROW: And I have a background wallpaper skin of the Ontario subway system with all the stop names cleverly rearranged to spell out the names of the characters from “Harry Potter”.
EMPLOYEE: I’m not entirely certain that the phone actually has a Bittorrent client. This brochure —
CORY DOCTOROW: You’re not certain? I guess you’ve forced me to ask: is the source code available for this phone? Not that I plan to do anything personally right now with the source, but I’d like to see it. Now, if possible, my good man. Chop chop!
EMPLOYEE: Oh look! I have an informational PDF brochure I could print out for you.
CORY DOCTOROW: Ahh, PDFs are DRM-encumbered as per secret instructions contained in the Patriot Act!
EMPLOYEE: But I could still print it out for you. Listen, let me know if you have any more questions; now I have to get back to my other customers.
CORY DOCTOROW: There’s no one else here.
EMPLOYEE: Oh, I thought maybe there was.
CORY DOCTOROW: Google maps 37Signals with Flickr iPod.
CORY DOCTOROW: I didn’t say anything. Now, about this cell phone…
EMPLOYEE: Are you sure you wouldn’t be happier with perhaps a remote controlled buggy? This one goes forward and backs up while turning right. I’ll throw in the “D” cells.
CORY DOCTOROW: No, no — intriguing — but I do need a cell phone. Internet sensation and total hottie Xeni Jardin might be calling me right now!
EMPLOYEE: Well, now I understand the urgency. How about a Sprint flip-phone? $99 with three year contract.
CORY DOCTOROW: Does it have a always-on, 802.11g wifi connection to the podcasted RSS reddit digg instapundit blogosphere?
EMPLOYEE: Uhm, sure. It really does.
CORY DOCTOROW: That will do nicely.
EMPLOYEE: Could I please have your phone number, area code first?
CORY DOCTOROW: …
(thanks to w for the epilogue)