Some Crazy Food Phobia? (8/31/01)

Speaking of Apple's retail stores, having only been to one so far, we can't say for certain-- but we strongly suspect that if you've seen one, in some sense you've seen them all. Sure, there are going to be variations in square footage and the size of the window displays, but based on the photos we've seen, Apple is trying hard to keep the Apple retail experience as consistent as possible. No matter which store you enter, you can count on seeing the same black shelves of Software Alley running down the center, the same giant projection screen at the back, the same hardwood floors and white countertops, etc. In fact, the QuickTime VR movies on Apple's site aren't of the Woodfield store we visited last week, but everything's exactly where we remember it. It's actually a little unsettling.

So, just as a Big Mac is pretty much the same no matter where you buy it ("Only one Big Mac exists in the world, one Big Mac with countless wrappers"), when you go to an Apple store, you'll be able to expect the same stupendous shopping experience regardless of geographical location. You'll still be able to play with iTunes in the Music section, take iMovie for a spin over in the Movies area, and sit down on a squishy black ball to play a round of Nanosaur in the green-carpeted Kids area. And no matter what, those two glowing white Apple logos will warmly beckon you from across the mall. That is, unless you're in Germantown, Tennessee.

Regular viewers will recall that Germantown's draconian sign ordinances prohibit both illuminated signs (partially understandable) and images of food items (just plain wacky). Unfortunately, that means that Apple's Big Glowing Logos fail on two counts, if not more. The last we heard, Apple was applying for a variance so that it could at least keep using its food-themed corporate logo, even if it wouldn't be able to light it up-- a reasonable enough request, we figured. However, faithful viewer Aaron Drown (who would like to make it clear that he's "very much a non-native resident") reports that the Germantown City Board just denied Apple's application for a waiver. It's third-hand information, so we can't exactly vouch for its validity, but if it's true, then the Germantown Apple store will differ from all the others at least in its signage.

So if Apple can't use its own corporate logo to identify its Germantown store, what will it use? Well, obviously the company has no choice but to change its logo companywide to something less food-related all because of one little town's fascistic bylaws. (That's a lot of company stationery out the window.) May we suggest the stylized image of a self-important city bureaucrat being clubbed with a sock full of quarters? If not, perhaps Apple would care to negotiate a deal to use the AtAT logo, which, while suggesting the general shape of an apple, can simply be misrepresented as a devil's tail to thwart Germantown signage laws. If so, someone at Apple should give us a call; we're sure we can come to some sort of "arrangement."

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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 8/31/01 episode:

August 31, 2001: Tomorrow marks another Apple retail store grand opening-- and AtAT will be there making history. Meanwhile, word has it that Germantown, Tennessee has denied Apple's request for a variance allowing the company to mark its store with its own corporate logo, and Henrico County, Virginia learns what it takes to get Steve Jobs to drop by for a visit...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3278: The AtAT Retail Tour 2001 (8/31/01)   Another weekend, another shiny new Apple retail store... but, of course, this latest one's special to us, because it's going to be the AtAT staff's "local" location for a few months at least...

  • 3280: After All, It's Only Money (8/31/01)   You say it's your lifelong dream to meet Steve Jobs face to face, and maybe have him drop by for dinner one night? Well, giddyup on the Fantasy Horse, pardner, because we know exactly how you can make your dream come true...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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