Afternoon, sir, and welcome to the Apple Store. The name’s Willy Loman and I’ll be offering you assistance should you need my expertise at all during your visit. Looking for anything in particular or—OK, OK. But speaking of browsing, did you know you could be browsing the web right out of the box with Safari, the world’s leading Internet browser, if you purchase an iMac, MacBook, or MacBook Air today? Keep that in mind as you look around.

MacBook Pro, also. Forgot to mention that one. And to an obvious pro such as yourself! Anyway, any questions, give me a holler.

I see you’re eyeing the iPod Touch. A wonderful machine. Think I’ll get one myself. After all, a man who can’t handle today’s tools is no man. Listen to this: Feist. Now that’s lifelike, isn’t it? And that screen! Funny thing is, while it’s called the Touch, you hardly have to touch at all: goddamn thing practically intuits your preference. And that’s not even the half of it! Say you’ve got a photo in portrait of, well, of a landscape, let’s say. Make it easy. And you want to view that landscape in landscape, in its correct orientation. All you have to do is—give it here a second—rotate it ninety degrees like so and … would you look at that? Flips your image for you! Really now, this machine’ll knock you for a loop! That goes for a portrait in landscape as well, works just the same, you just—huh? Oh, sure, sure. Take your time. If you need anything, anything at all, maybe some refreshing Evian water while you decide, why, you don’t hesitate to ask. Willy here’ll take good care of you.

Was that a yes on the Evian, by the way? Oh, son-of-a-bitch! I keep forgetting we dropped that amenity! It’s so hard to keep up! But listen, there’s a vending machine right outside near the escalator and I have my ten coming up. You just say the word.

Look, you seem like an upstanding type of guy, so let me be straight with you: I need this. I really do need this. For my boys. But, most of all, for Linda, my dear wife. She’s waited and she’s suffered. How she’s suffered! I’d like to bring her some good news for a change, and all it takes is you walking out of here with a new MacBook, or that Touch we talked about. Hell, even a Nano would do—now I know you can do a Nano!

The iPhone 3G? Gee, a mighty fine choice! You know, I had the idea for this some time ago. No, it’s true. When they introduced the iPhone, my boy Happy came home with one and I said, “Gee whiz! That’s really something! But I bet they could make one that’s thinner, and faster, and costs half as much. Now that’s an idea! That’s a million-dollar idea!” Yes sir, Steve—I call him Steve—really raised the bar. The man knows what he wants and he goes out and gets it. But the bottom line is: he’s well liked.

Lucky for me that sort of thing is in my blood. My father was an adventurous man, an entrepreneur. Flutes, mostly. And my brother Ben went into Silicon Valley at seventeen and came out at twenty-one and, by God, he was rich! I’ve even tried to get my son Biff to follow in my footsteps, the bum, but it’s been slow-going so far. He’s always going on and on about sunshine and the satisfaction of working with his hands. See, he’s the bare-chested, outdoorsy type. Clueless when it comes to the real world. Linda fears he’s in for a rude awakening, but—and I know from experience—some men simply take longer to find their calling. Lord knows he tries. That’s one thing about Biff: he’s not lazy. Takes after his old man that way!

Now, hold on: another salesman? Another salesman? See this blue shirt? This blue shirt is worn by Apple Store Specialists. Big difference. A salesman is someone whose family’s livelihood depends on his meeting those numbers day in and day out. And sometimes you come home without having earned a cent. Not one red cent! A salesman’s continually sucked bone dry until there’s nothing left. But let me tell you something: you can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away—a man is not a piece of fruit. Not here at Apple, anyway, funny as that sounds. That’s why I—wait, where are you going? I was just about to close!

This close, Willy, this close!