During a routine news broadcast moments ago, National Public Radio broke into its regular programming to alert listeners to the availability of something called the Herman Miller Aeron Chair, which was apparently in stock at several retail outlets called Sit4Less nationwide.
"I had never heard of this thing," said Marilyn Strauss, a Nevada-based listener. "I'm just sitting there waiting for my favorite NPR program featuring breathy, vaguely disinterested-sounding contributors doing radio documentaries with short breaks of house music or an alternative folk act stuck in between to punctuate the emotional underpinnings of the story, and suddenly they break in with an update on the Herman Miller Aeron Chair. They said Sit4Less has, I guess, every color of this chair that there is."
"There was added urgency," observed Brian Costello, a Boston area NPR devotee, "because at that moment we learned that one of the colors available was Sit4Less True Black."
For many, this was indeed a first exposure to the popular office chair introduced by Herman Miller, Inc., a Michigan-based furniture designer that was founded at the turn of the 20th century and is even credited with the 1968 design of the very office cubicle in which so many of the Aeron chairs are put to use. Perhaps even more inspiring is the fact that the chair is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
None of this was made immediately apparent, however, by the arresting bulletin about the product delivered by NPR, who, again, stressed only its wide range of colors, one of which was allegedly the exclusive province of Sit4Less.
"I'm okay now," said Leslie Warren of Cincinnati, Ohio. "But it was pretty shocking to hear about this...this...chair, right as I was settling into my favorite program featuring glib, off-the-cuff goofballs reporting on financial issues in a very approachable way."
The chair was not available for comment.
James Napoli is an author and humorist. More of his comedy content for the Web can be found here.