Across the country, cities big and small are vying for the chance to win Amazon’s second headquarters and the company’s expected 50,000 jobs. Boston’s bid was generally praised as thoughtful and pragmatic, stressing our educated workforce, diverse international community and strong infrastructure. Also, we have “a wicked huge old pony track out by the airport”—I’m quoting the bid right there—and, as a city, we’re “not above ordering a single tube of toothpaste on the internet instead of walking down the street to CVS.” Overall, our pitch was solid, unlike New Hampshire’s, which was all about how Amazon employees could wear bandanas while riding their Harleys to Weirs Beach to buy tax-free fireworks. But that’s not to say that Boston’s bid couldn’t be improved, so allow me to improve it.
First of all, we know you Amazon folk love Seattle. Well, if you want a drizzly city on the ocean, have we got the place for you! Except, our drizzle does this thing where it freezes and—oh, we don’t want to spoil the surprise. You’ll see. In other similarities, both of us have NBA teams. How about those Sonics? (We haven’t paid attention to the NBA for a while but we assume that nothing bad would happen to a team as beloved as the Sonics.) And your hugely expensive tunnel under the city isn’t done, but ours is. Come try it out. If you’re in a convertible, remember to put the top up! Why? Oh, no reason.
Like Seattle, Boston is centrally located. Get on a plane at Logan and you can be anywhere in the country within 17 hours. We enjoy special proximity to underserved Amazon markets such as Iceland, which is literally closer than San Diego, and no we’re not joking about that—we just looked it up. As for traffic, bah, what’s 50,000 more people? You can just dig one of your Hyperloop tunnels and blast those employees into the office at 300 mph. What, that’s Elon Musk who has the Hyperloop? Well then he can come to Boston too. We welcome everyone, except Chick-fil-A.
As for your business plan, we love it. Sell books, then sell everything, hardly ever make money. A lot of people don’t know this, Amazon, but your company’s founder had the very first Alexa back in the ’90s. And the first thing Jeff Bezos asked is, “Alexa, how do I crush my enemies?” She told him: Free expedited shipping on all Prime orders. People love that. I never even consider any product that isn’t Prime. The Louvre could be hard up for cash and put the actual Mona Lisa on Amazon for $100, but if they charged extra for shipping I’d be like, “Sorry, I’ll just buy this other Mona Lisa from seller Guangzhou Excellent Arts LLC and get it by Wednesday.”
You may have noticed that our official bid was light on the bootlicking. But really, we’d love to have you here. We’re not desperate or anything, but you can put your headquarters at Suffolk Downs or on the waterfront or actually, now that we think of it, right on the Common. We’ll tear down Fenway. We’ll build a bridge to Nantucket. We’ll stage daily flash mobs where we’ll twerk for your amusement! But only if you want. How about we rename Southie the Ama-zone and we’ll make all the triple-deckers look like giant cardboard boxes with Prime stickers on them. And all the runners in the Boston Marathamazon will be required to deliver a package from Hopkinton to Copley Square, with Prime runners continuing all the way to the Ama-zone. We’ll even read books on Kindles. OK, maybe not that last one. We all have limits.
Like we said, we’re not desperate. After all, we’ve already got GE and Gillette and shoe companies and universities and hospitals and the national headquarters of the 99 right there in Woburn. Much like Amazon, Boston’s come a long way. Forty years ago, our economy was 39 percent based on Aerosmith. In the ’90s, we suffered a crushing recession after the breakup of NKOTB. But we learned our lessons and diversified our local economy—when LFO failed to follow up “Summer Girls,” we were prepared. Now we have multiple engines of job creation, from supplying extras for Ben Affleck movies to cleaning up confetti after championship parades. We guess you know all about that last one, since the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2014. Good for you! Winning the Super Bowl is hard to do, and you should be proud of yourselves. Even if you lose a Super Bowl in crushing fashion, it’s still cool that you got there.
You’re probably aware that Boston has a long tradition of telling people to go away, from the British to the Olympics. So you should appreciate the fact that we’re actually being friendly for once. In the event you spurn our generous offer, trust us, we’ll get over it. But remember that we hold a grudge. We’re ready to go on this headquarters. But we’re also ready to walk down the street for that toothpaste. ◆
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