SEATTLE, WA – An approximately two-hour outage of the Amazon.com web site forced millions of users who were unable to buy books to turn to reading some of the books they’d already purchased. “I’ve got six big boxes of books from Amazon I haven’t even opened yet,” customer Pavel Nurmski told a reporter interviewing book-laden customers in line at a crowded Starbucks. “Here’s one about making millions by flipping houses. You can have it if you let me cut in front of you.” Other customers had similar stories.
“I’ve got 27 unread books on exercise, dieting and weight-loss through self-hypnosis,” said a lady juggling two frappes, three cinnamon rolls and a brand-new cookbook. “I hope the site is back up soon. I just heard about an interesting book on coffee addiction.”
Other bookselling web sites picked up the slack while Amazon was away. Barnes and Noble reported its largest two-hour sales numbers in corporate history, and even small sites were busy. Ed Lambpost, owner of www.dustyoldbooksfromgaragesales.com, finally sold a used hardback copy of a Stephen King book. “I think I picked it up in 2003 for a buck from a blind guy who read with his nose,” said Ed. “Stephen King oughta write a book about that!”
An Amazon spokesperson blamed the outage on the huge number of orders for Scott McClellan’s book about his time in the Bush White House. “You’d think it was called “Harry Potter and The Emperor With No Clothes,”” said Geoff Sozeb, Amazon’s VP of PR. No other explanation was given for the downtime, but neighbors of the corporate headquarters in Seattle reported seeing flaming computers flying out of windows shortly before the entire facility was cordoned off by men in short-sleeved white shirts, black ties and horn-rimmed glasses. After about four hours, the men were seen leaving the facility, most covered in soot and many with bandaged hands and broken glasses. Each was carrying a gift-wrapped Kindle.