Two videos of a BlackBerry fan, Greg Kyte, have made the rounds among team BlackBerry, depicting a Fanboi willing to camp out in a tent in front of a Verizon store in near Provo, Utah. After setting up a voice and email interview, I noticed some things that got my bullshit meter going like crazy. First are the videos themselves, then came some other indicators.
First, the vids. In both videos, the same intro is used with different dates. I know, that’s not a smoking gun, but bear with me here. Both videos and the intro were also shot at night, after the store closed for the night. Again, by itself, not proof positive. Finally, both vids are listed in the comedy category. Starting to make sense yet? If not, we will move into some other reasons I’m convinced we’ve been bamboozled.
Greg Kyte is a CPA and working COMEDIAN! Yeah, he is a working stand up comic, and makes money by providing, among other things, joke and prank videos. I gotta say, the vids on his site, http://www.gregkyte.com, are pretty funny. So if this isn’t making sense yet, I’ll get into the final reason, the nail in the coffin so to speak.
Earlier today I did a little digging. I poked around Greg’s website and Twitter profile, and found out that he hails from Provo, UT. Then I studied the videos, watching the background, checking out the names of the stores, and paying close attention to details on the building. I then went on a Google Maps hunt. I checked out all the Verizon corporate store and affiliates on Streetview for a 100 mile radius around Provo.
Jackpot. I found the store at 250 East University Parkway, Orem UT, and called. The feller I spoke with said he could not comment on the story, but told me that Verizon has a policy of not allowing camping at their corporate stores. So I enlisted the aid of Shane from www.opensourcebb.com, who graciously agreed to drive by the place. He found no one in a tent, and the employees hadn’t seen or heard about anyone camping out in front of the store. While he was there, Shane sent these pics. As you can see, the store and building features are identical.
So what does this mean? Have we witnessed a cruel hoax? One that makes team BlackBerry look like fools? Well, before you light the torches, sharpen the pitchforks and plan the witch hunt, let me give you my take on this hoax. First of all, Greg is a comedian, someone who plays pranks and tells jokes for a living. It’s what he does, you know, for money. It’s his job. Second, I don’t think he set out to make us BlackBerry fans look foolish. I see it more as making fun of the OTHER fanboys, you know the ones, camping out for days in order to get the incremental hardware update that was halfassed worked on, or the latest and greatest handheld hardware that the OS can’t fully utilize.
Tell me, how many team BlackBerry members would actually camp out for 17 days, for an OS announcement? In 19F weather?
Yeah, I thought so. Me neither.
Good one Greg, that was a brilliant prank. Very well thought out, and I have to admit, when I figured it out, I laughed my ass off for a good minute solid.