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Spoofs & Satire

Pushing Your Buttons

Introducing iBox 2G, the fastest, most powerful way to satisfy your greed and simultaneously kill a complete stranger.

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome. Last year when we unveiled the iBox, a lot of people wondered if there would be sufficient demand for a simple wooden box that, with the push of its one and only button, could deliver $1,000,000 in cash to your doorstep while simultaneously killing a complete stranger. And now we all know how wrong those doubters were.

[The Moscone Center West erupts with overenthusiastic applause]

In the past year we’ve sold 26,000,000 units in 14 countries, making the eerie, otherworldly method of collecting blood money that we all love faster and easier than ever before.

[Somewhere in the middle of the auditorium, a body audibly falls to the floor]

Now that’s the sound of market penetration.

[The crowd laughs]

Today we’re introducing the iBox 2G. [Image of the device appears on a giant screen behind the stage] As you can see, the cabinet itself is sleeker and more pleasing to the eye than the original, and we’ve completely rebuilt the user interface from the ground up. A minor complaint about the original model was that the big red button on top reminded many of you of blood, that somewhere on earth someone was dying due to your vile, unconscionable greed. Now I’m happy to inform you that will no longer be a problem. Not when you’re facing a button that’s a cheerful yellow, or lavender, or turquoise.

[Another round of zealous applause]

But the iBox 2G isn’t just about improved design. We’ve also revolutionized its functionality, so that what was once a one-time-only application can now be utilized on three separate occasions during which you’re painfully torn between doing what’s right and what’s wrong, and then push the button anyway. That’s $3,000,000 and three strangers dead by way of bizarre accidents or heinous murders that will never be traced back to you. Ever. And even if this now increases the chances of your own mortality by a factor of three, I think you’ll agree that in a world of more than six billion people, those are still pretty good odds—at least until we’re able to penetrate all 70 countries we’re aiming for, which we should by next spring. So spend your ill-gotten gains quickly.

Many consumers prefer to ease themselves into new forms of technology, especially when it’s mystical and supernatural, and they’re not quite sure if Satan is involved. [A second audience member topples over]

Very quickly.

[More laughter, but not quite as hearty]

Just one more thing…

I know you’re all going to be happy with the new and improved iBox, but while I have you here, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce another exciting product we’ve been working on—the iBox Mini. Many consumers prefer to ease themselves into new forms of technology, especially when it’s mystical and supernatural, and they’re not quite sure if Satan is involved. The Mini was conceived with this type of skeptical, God-fearing technophobe in mind. One push of its single, tiny button will earn you $129.95 in loose change while somewhere in the world—boom!—a complete stranger is punched in the back of the head.

We’re so excited about the iBox Mini—and we think you will be too—and we’ve put together a new ad that we’d like to share with you today.

[The lights in the auditorium dim, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult comes over the speakers, and the screen shows multiple iBox Minis flying around, opening and closing their tiny boxes, and revealing an array of button colors. The screen goes to white and the words “iBox Mini. A Punch of Color” appear. The commercial fades to black and the lights come up to thunderous applause.]

The iBox Mini will be just $79 and is available today at our online and retail stores, just in time for the holiday season. The iBox 2G, like its predecessor, won’t be available in stores, but will be hand delivered to your door by a mysterious stranger who may or may not be Satan. [Text appears on the giant screen behind the stage, Price: Your very soul.]

Thanks for coming out today. We’ll see you all again soon. We hope.

Ralph Gamelli has been published in The Big Jewel, McSweeney’s, Monkeybicycle, and Yankee Pot Roast. This is the part where he’s supposed to put down some little joke, but as always he refuses to bow to societal expectations. More by Ralph Gamelli