The internet has completely disrupted the business models of a number of industries, including newspapers and taxi cabs. Now, if you're a top executive for a major fly swatter manufacturer, you're probably resting on your laurels, thinking you're immune from such disruption. After all, who could possibly improve on the time-tested design of the fly swatter?!
Enter The Amazing Flygun. It's a small plastic gun that shoots out a web-like swatter to kill flies. Basically, someone took apart a web-slinging Spiderman toy and is marketing it as something else.
The website, which apparently hasn't been altered since 2003, is sort of charming. There are little flies buzzing around that you have to click on to enter the main site ... if you're fast enough on the draw, pardner. There's also a delightful little animation of killing a cartoon fly. Still not convinced? What if I told you you could "Become a hunter in your own home"? Imagine yourself crouching behind your couch, steeling your nerves as you aim a child's toy at the world's most dangerous game, a pesky housefly.
The FAQ, which pitches The Amazing Flygun as a "'FUN fast 'new millennium' way to get rid of flies," tackles any questions you might have, from "does this product you're selling work?" ("YES!!") to "what is the most effective shooting position?" ("directly above the fly at a distance of 30 - 60 cms ... now gently squeeze the trigger ... goodbye fly!!"). Then there's a bizarre call to arms against the fly menace:
Yes, we have heard your cries of help and our message is don't despair ... together we can fight this scourge ... we may be outnumbered ... there may be millions of the buggers for every one of us ... but together we can fight back... To all those flies out there we have a simple message - No more Mr nice guy .. be afraid .. be very afraid .. !!!
To help you defeat this insidious threat, they've created a dossier labeled "Know the enemy," so you can plan your attacks accordingly. Some of these "fly facts" border on weird, anti-fly propaganda:
Despite years of trying, no researcher has ever been able to teach flies anything - fish learn, ants learn, snails learn, cockroaches learn, even worms learn ... but never flies
"You must pay for your ignorance!" might be a cool thing to yell as you snuff out a fly's life. Welcome to the fight, solider!
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