Please do not anger but laugh instead, Dear Owner! (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Columnist

THE PLACE WHERE I DISCLOSE THAT JEFFREY P. BEZOS, THE FOUNDER OF AMAZON, ALSO OWNS THE WASHINGTON POST — Amazon has announced it will split its much-ballyhooed HQ2 into two to find out which city loves it more.

“We will be able to tell what city really deserves HQ2 because its true home will not suffer it to be split,” Amazon said. “I read this in the Bible.”

So far, the cities still contending for the second headquarters have not responded with the anticipated gesture of selfless renunciation and have only redoubled their efforts to outbid one another. At time of writing, one mayor was frantically promising to build an entirely new Wharf Where No Wharf Was Before on Top of a Fully Man-made Lake, The Most Beautiful Lake on Earth, Open Exclusively to Prime Members and Filled Entirely With Third-Wave Coffee, Where a Restaurant Will Sell a Steak So Good as To Be Almost Suspicious, Linked via a Maglev Skytrain to the Main City, of Which the Entire Homeless Population Will Be Sealed Into Pods and Sent Elsewhere.

Another vowed he would not only give Jeffrey P. Bezos a golden apple labeled “for the fairest” but would also offer the hand of Helen of Troy, make him the wisest man on earth and give him dominion over many lands.

The third city said it loved Amazon “more than words can wield the matter, dearer than eyesight, space and liberty” and, just to demonstrate its fealty, went ahead and gutted its human services budget to build an invisible floating city with gold-paved streets that would be accessible only to Amazon employees, even if they did not wind up locating there.

“Just tell us how expensive you want housing to be, and we swear we will match it — if not double it,” one governor sobbed on a conference call while signing his firstborn’s name in blood in the Kindle of the Beast to bind him to the service of Amazon.

In the next city, several scientists announced that they had managed to bring Alexa to life and give her corporeal form, and they swore that if Amazon brought HQ2 to them, they would find a way to make her capable of love.

Another vowed, “We will present to Amazon the jarred souls of three town aldermen, and furthermore it shall have the voices of all our citizens who were trying to raise slight concerns about the lavish incentives (we have taken these voices and sealed them into a seashell that can be played at any time by speaking the right command into an Amazon Echo Dot), and furthermore we shall give Bezos a flying ship!”

Yet another city volunteered if necessary to take care of Elon Musk — “Just drop the hint and we’ll do it, we’re not serious ha ha unless you’re serious but obviously we wouldn’t actually UNLESS YOU WANTED IT THOUGH anyway watch this space.”

New York shrugged and said it was New York and did not care, but privately revealed a plan to remove all rats permanently for good and send them Elsewhere, as well as to build a gondola for only Amazon workers and to stage an annual gladiatorial contest, if that was what Amazon wanted. “I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo added. (Oh no, I thought I was making these things up, but this one is real.)

Unless all jurisdictions but one bow out to keep HQ2 intact, further escalations could include not only exempting Amazon from paying taxes but also mandating that every state taxpayer march by the headquarters with head uncovered to offer their children as tribute; having all state taxpayers do part of a shift so Amazon employees can quickly pee; and, just speaking on behalf of all state taxpayers, ensuring that if any Amazon executives need kidneys, they will definitely find them a kidney please don’t ask questions.

Another alternative considered by Amazon instead of splitting HQ2 in half was to split the headquarters into a thousand shards and place one in every city that requested it, expediting the transformation of the entire country into, quote, Employer’s Paradise, but this was rejected as “something to save for later.”

Aaaaah please don’t fire me.

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