Where have all the flowers gone?
Not through this E-tailer.
Now the only scent it knows
Is the floral musk of failure.
With coupons and sock puppets, Super Bowl ads,
Our pets they tried to wow.
They only forgot one immutable fact:
Rover wants it NOW.
Putting the "e" into "Laz-E,"
These errand boys worked round the clock.
Turned out the only real lackeys
Were those who got paid in stock.
Web-based market research?
An idea consigned best to scorn.
When all that you need to get data
Is to launch a site offering porn.
Another place to bitch and moan,
Just what the menfolk need.
But seems the angry demo here
Would rather rant than read.
From spoken word to books on tape,
From magazine to raps.
For now, though, just descriptions
Of a bugler playing taps.
Financial info source,
Today a Wells Fargo wagoneer
Who had to eat his horse.
The last time cows and fire
Had a synergy so bleary
Was in 1871
In the yard of Kate O'Leary.
Was their product, so we heard.
Our only lack of interest?
In the second word, and third.
This beauty site went under;
Its business plan went moot.
Perhaps because it sounds like
A bushman's favorite fruit.
Attaching ads to E-mails --
The premise sounded funky.
Too bad the name suggested something
Started by a monkey.
They told you when the IPOs
Could make you filthy rich.
The irony was richer when
"No payback" was the bitch.
Some start-ups have bad timing.
Some simply have bad luck.
Some fail because you can't go on-line
When you're driving a friggin' truck.
A good idea on paper
That couldn't hack the game:
The more it tried to broker,
The broker it became.
This high-end merchant took a dive,
Perhaps 'cause we mistook
Its misleading URL
For a William Bennett book.
The vulture of the dotcom dead,
It didn't crack so wise
When the superhighway made of it
A morning snack for flies.
A site designed for teenage girls:
The boldest of endeavors.
But no match for the mighty force
Of millions of "Whatevers."
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Kurt Mitchell.