Steve Jobs and the Seven Geniuses

… or how I amused myself while waiting in line at the Apple Store.

Over the past ten days, it feels like I’ve spent more time in the local Apple Store than asleep, buying new hardware, dealing with data transfer, learning that an iPad re-boot may require pressing the Home+On/Off buttons for up to 30 seconds(!), and realizing I needed a video adapter and then a different one and then a stylus. All in all, multiple opportunities to stand in line and watch the goings on. It was always a mass of stationary, puzzled customers, unsure where to go for their particular purpose, interwoven with the Brownian motion of the staff in their Apple Blue shirts.

Perhaps it is not universal, but in my Apple Store, right there above the service counter — the “Genius Bar” in Apple-speak — were two big monitors (see back wall in photo, right). They constantly cycled through announcements of store events, did-you-know tips, product features, and lists of customer names showing our place in various queues, all in white text on quasi-Apple Blue. Nice touch, although a minimal reduction in boredom.

Instead, I found my mind wandering to some what-if scenarios. My favorite was this germ of an idea for a piece of performance art that might be crafted around the IKBlue-ian motion of the staff through the “audience”:

Title: ‘Steve Jobs and the Seven Geniuses’ – a drama in noh parts

It is easy to imagine some other, less flattering substitutions for “geniuses,” including one that would be remarkably consonant with the original from the Brothers Grimm. But I think it is appropriate to pay homage to these very helpful, knowledgable people by keeping their official job title.

Dramatis personae:

  • Steve Jobs
  • Dock
  • BASHful
  • caMi
  • snooTi
  • daPi
  • doPi
  • attPhony

    Steve Jobs would be, well, Steve Jobs.

    Lest you have forgotten, the Seven Dwarfs were, respectively, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Dopey, and Grumpy. Five of these seem pretty obvious, with some “reverse engineering” or other consideration of the Apple product line, but two might need a little clarification. For ‘caMi’ as the surrogate Sleepy, think “chamomile,” as in chamomile tea. A stretch, I know, but it works for me. The only other puzzle will be the last entry, the stand-in for Grumpy. It’s pronounced “phoney”; the “att” is silent.

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