Aug 29, 2005

Say Hello to CockBand

Steve sipped his magic water, brow furrowed, listening with his head cocked to the side to the blather the record execs across the table were vomiting at him. The barfing had been ongoing for the better part of three hours, and Steve was bored. As he set his water bottle down, his mind meandered from the meeting to more interesting things.

Dammit, Steve thought, this is my boardroom. It's about time they heard my speech!

Beside Steve in his stupor sat none other than Phil Schiller, mulleted and wearing his typical denim button-down, and John Rubenstein who was wearing a blue polo, collar-up, with iPod headphones snaking up over his hairy chest and pouring out the front of his collar. Not only was John the Senior Vice President of the iPod division, he was also a member.

As the meeting droned on, Phil noted the glazed look in John and Steve's eyes. Without moving a muscle, Phil fiddled with something underneath the table and a random burst of music exploded from John's neck. Before John could look down, however, the music stopped. Steve hadn't noticed and Phil looked over at John and smirked. John wondered when Phil had managed to take his Shuffle.

Clearing his throat, Steve rose from his chair, interrupting the record executives across from him. They looked up at Steve's blue-jeaned form, surprised. They watched as Steve strutted to the corner of the room and grabbed a new bottle of water out of a mini-fridge, uncapped it, and took a sip. He looked around him at all the expectant eyes, like baby birds held captive in a nest, and smiled.

"I have a little something to share with you today," Steve said, the fire coming back to his eyes. "We all do, in fact, and we're really excited to present this special Stevenote with you today."

Phil looked over to John and rolled his eyes. Having endured one too many Stevenotes, he wasn't what could be called very excited in the least. Stultified was probably a better term for what Phil was experiencing at the moment. John too had witnessed several private mini-keynotes where Steve Jobs had paraded around a boardroom and drove a point relentlessly home for hours on end.

Phil and John shrugged, helpless, and turned to Steve. At least it wasn't record company rhetoric.

"Gentlemen, today we stand here over two years after Apple and the recording industry made downloading music easy and legal," Steve began, not missing a beat. "And in two years we've grown in a really impressive way, and we've got some really impressive numbers to show you."

Without a word, Steve yanked a small device that looked like a black iPod Shuffle out of his pocket and clicked a button. Silently, metal armor appeared from the walls and covered the windows. The lights dimmed behind them, and a solid metal panel slid shut with a sucking sound over the doorway. One wall was lit by an unseen projector and down-tempo electronica started playing softly in the background.

The record executives looked around, frenzied, not sure what had just happened. Some grabbed for papers and shoved them into briefcases while others swung around in their chairs feeling for something to grab onto. They began muttering, asking one another what was going on, nerves on edge. One exec took his mobile phone out and opened it. He looked hysterical in the dim light.

"You'll see that your mobile phone's signal is jammed in here, as are all other means of external communication. Bluetooth and WiFi don't work, and the Ethernet cables to your laptops have been cut," Steve said to the executives. "You're all alone in here. All alone with just me, Phil, John, and the numbers."

Phil and John shook their heads in dismay.

Steve wasted no time in barraging the executives in an ejaculation of numbers. Tracks available through the iTunes music store: 500 million. Projected iPod sales for September quarter '05: 7.1 million. New countries the iTunes music store was available to in '05: 7. The list went on and on, the execs—as well as John and Phil—were wide-eyed and sweat-faced, drowning in the numerical overbalance.

After what seemed like years, but was actually only about sixty minutes, Steve stopped to sip his magic water and leaned on the opposite end of the board table, projector light casting charts and graphs across his chest. He pushed his glasses up onto his nose and smiled, making eye contact with the scared and helpless executives now willing to agree to almost anything just to be able to leave their prison.

"So, as you can see, the iTunes and iPod platform continues to grow at a fantastic rate. We're number one by a huge gap, and we still haven't tapped some countries' markets yet. And we're always adding better value to the platform as well. The Shuffle is selling like hotcakes, we're about to launch iTunes 5 with support for music videos, and–" Steve paused here for dramatic effect, looking around for good measure.

"And we're about to launch a totally new way to rock your cock off!" Steve shouted, smiling.

At this, John and Phil stood up and walked, wordlessly, heads down, toward the back of the room and began rummaging around in the dark. Steve joined them, their three forms busy as the room stood silent, almost painfully so, as the record execs hardly dared to breathe. There was a metal clink and a muttered curse from Phil as the fumbling stopped, and the three figures in the darkness rose.

Like a heart attack, arena lights blinded the room in a rainbow. Fog machines blasted their vapor into the air as power chords rang out, pummeling the ear drums of the executives, throwing them into chaos. It was like being at a concert, only much scarier. Steve, John, and Phil jumped up on the board table as, silhouetted by the lights and fog. The power chords stopped and all was still, save for some lingering fog.

Atop the boardroom table the three Apple executives stood transformed into rock gods. The last fingers of smoke eddied around their bodies, stark naked save for a weird series of electrodes and wires attached to their hairy penises and scrotums. The wires led back behind the three of them into the darkness. The record executives' mouths were agape. No one said a word; no one dared to breathe.

"We're proud to announce our new companion for GarageBand," Steve said, detaching the small control device from somewhere between his buttocks. "We're revolutionizing the way you can integrate an electric guitar and your Mac," he continued. He then pressed the button on his control pad, and the wall was lit by the image of a new iApp, complete with tuning dials and spectrographs. "Say hello to CockBand."

All eyes studied the screen intently, drinking in the new application's implications for the music industry. A slight draft blew through the room and John and Phil shifted their weight from one foot to another as the record execs' mouths slowly closed. Steve continued smiling, naked as a pioneer after a mountain-stream bath, as he replaced his control pad back into his butt-crack.

"The neat thing about CockBand is that it allows you to play guitar without actually having a guitar," Steve said, eyes sweeping over his captive audience. "Anyone can play guitar into their Mac so long as they have a penis and two testicles," Steve went on, his smile growing more and more leering with every word. "Thanks to a new Apple technology we like to call handJobs."

The record executives look to one another as if to ask if Mr. Jobs was being serious.

"handJobs started off as a way to control your Mac's desktop with a series of lewd pelvic thrusts and gyrations thanks to these special electrodes that attach to your penis and balls," Steve said, cradling his nut-sack in his hand to show the electrical attachments. "One day we were thinking of how to improve on GarageBand. We replaced the studio, how can we replace the instruments?"

Excited murmurs ran through the execs as the idea began to take hold on their heads. Phil's package was receding into his abdomen and he wished the air conditioning unit wouldn't run. He shivered slightly and accidentally played a minor chord. Steve strutted to the other end of the table, his jiggling cock and fun-bag producing strumming sounds from speakers around the room.

"So where handJobs was a way to replace both the mouse and InkWell paradigms, we found it to be a really neat way to implement a band without the hassle of instruments," Steve said. "We have support for lead, rhythm, and bass guitars, and we're testing support for violin, cello, and bass now. You can play drums on your thighs and eventually we'll support woodwind instruments as well."

"And now," Steve said, cupping his cock and balls in his hand. "I'll give you a proper demonstration."

Steve reached around and hit a button on the remote in his butt and a drum track started playing. Bopping his head, Steve began playing chords along with the beat, fingers strumming over his penis. He wind-milled a few times, Townsend-style, and then went into an incredibly fast solo à la Van Halen. He came to a screeching finale and started playing power chords while strutting about on the board table.

"Hey look at me!" Steve shouted, dancing around stroking his penis. "I'm playing guitar with my wiener!"

The record executives looked back and forth at one another, shrugged, then turned to Steve and stood up, thunderously applauding. A few whistles and cheers could be heard, and several execs stood on chairs and clapped above their heads. Steve grinned back at his audience. The spectrograph in CockBand came to life as Steve hit a few more power chords for good measure. The paradigm shift was beginning.

"Hey, Steve, can we put our clothes back on?" Phil asked, hugging himself and shaking. John stood next to him hunched over, teeth chattering, covering his genitals.

"Yeah, sure guys, we did it. We won't be seeing any iTunes Music Store track price hikes any time soon. These guys are going to be months figuring out what CockBand and handJobs mean!" Steve shouted back.

Phil and John slinked down off the table and into the back room, diving for their clothes. Steve turned back to the record execs, who were now all standing in their seats, jumping up and down, pumping their fists in the air. Steve hit another chord and they all went wild. He continued playing chord after chord, then went into another solo. The execs swayed lighters in the air, shouting for more.

CockBand had arrived, another industry-shaping hit for Steve Jobs and Apple Computer, Inc.

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