From: Bruce Sterling <>
Subject: Viridian Note 44 : The Viridian Service Station
To: Viridian List <>

Key concepts: imaginary products, electric cars, gas stations, electric vehicles, upscale consumption patterns

Attention Conservation Notice: It's yet another whimsical "product" that doesn't exist. We may fill a catalog yet. Even though they're not real products, this is *still* going to end up being a lot of work for somebody.

Entries in the Viridian "Fungal Typography" Contest:

This contest embraces decay on January 31, 01999. For contest instructions see Note 00027.

Concept: *** (Stefan Jones)
Ad copy: *** (Stefan Jones)

Viridian Service Station: "Get Charged!"

Starting at a single location in a former Blockbuster Video store, the "Get Charged!" chain of upscale electrical car charging stations have spread across the nation in the span of a few years.

Besides providing fast, convenient charging and routine maintenance of electrical vehicles, "Get Charged!" locations feature lounge areas whose decor, cuisine and beverage offerings are aggressively targeted at an upscale consumer who is environmentally conscious, yet unwilling to accept a diminished quality of life.

The first "Get Charged!" location in East Palo Alto, California was chosen to service both the local market of upscale consumers and environmentally hip Bay Area residents commuting between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Using clean electricity from a windmill farm in the Altamont Pass, and providing shuttle service to nearby major employers in its own fleet of electric minivans, the station quickly won good grades from the area's vocal environmentalist contingent.

However, the location did not "come alive" until the opening of its signature Greenhouse Lounge(TM).

Part indoor nursery, part art gallery, part cyber- espresso bar, the Greenhouse Lounge quickly attracted a regular clientele. Indeed, the bistro was soon overrun by people arriving at "Get Charged!" Franchise #1 in cheap, ugly, gasoline powered vehicles. Thereafter, patronage was strictly limited to the owners and passengers of electric cars. When a major venture capital firm made the location its preferred lunch spot, sales of electric vehicles in San Mateo county doubled in the space of a month....

(((Our story continues with a stirring sidebar concerning a legendary tech discovery taking place in the Greenhouse Lounge; Stamford geeks show off solar energy / biomass hack; VCs at next table immediately buy into it))))

(((Readings, signings by authors take place at Lounges)))

((((Lounge as multimedia showplace for video display, imaging hacks))))

((((Showrooms become upscale version of Greek diners that sell "starving artist" paintings right off the wall.... At other "Get Charged!" franchises: Solar, biomass, hydrocarbon fuel cells.... I'd like to write more about this, but I'm getting into a creepy, enthusiastic, MBA student sort of mood... I'll just have to stop now... You'll have to spin it for yourselves.)))