The now-viral video (embedded at the bottom of this post) in which employees at the Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo, California, do the Electric Slide to a Black Eyed Peas song has reminded me for the one zillionth time why I consider myself fortunate to have had highly suggestible parents.
Back in 1983, I begged my mom for a personal computer for my thirteenth birthday. “Everyone at school is getting one!” I said. Uttered in a lower-middle-class suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan, at a time when IBM and Apple computers cost the equivalent of $5,000 in today’s dollars, this statement was a blatant lie. In fact, I knew of only three families who had ever even owned a computer—and one of those was a Commodore 64.
But it was time to graduate from my Intellivision video game system. To continue the trend of championing ridiculously unpopular tech products (later carried on with my early adoption of the Betamax-y ReplayTV digital video recorder), I needed something more exotic than an IBM PC or a Commodore or even an Atari. The Apple IIe, new on the market and retailing for over $1,300 (exactly $1,300 more than my parents could afford at the time), had been given a rave review in my favorite magazine, Electronic Games. So, despite knowing that we could never afford it, I lobbied my mom, arguing that the Apple IIe would be better for my education than other computers because Apple computers would soon be the industry standard. And she bought it! Well, entirely on credit.
Twenty-six years later, it is rewarding to note that zero Apple employees, by my count, have “spontaneously” broken into silly dance at the behest of their corporate parent, whereas at least ten Microsoft Store employees have now done exactly that.**** Check it out:
****Not that being a P.C. means you condone this sort of thing. Take a look at the comments below the blog of the dillweed who shot the video. Even fans of Windows 7 are accusing him of Astroturfing, a fairly easy claim to make, if you read even two sentences of the cringe-worthy post accompanying the video. I mean, he was just killing time on his way to a dueling piano bar.