Armed with basket cranes and baseball bats, IBM's piracy enforcers stormed into downtown Cleveland late Sunday night, bashing almost every traffic signal across the central business district. Terrified residents and local police could only stand on the sidelines as the marauding enforcement crew swiftly and violently destroyed the traffic signals that, with the help of IBM's technology, had just been synchronized to respond to the city's real-time traffic patterns.
"We finally had a bit of order around here," said Stefanie Horton, the city's transportation commissioner, as she watched the strongmen mercilessly smash the red, yellow, and green light bulbs hanging above the intersection of 18th Street and Superior Avenue. "Before it was all mis-timed red lights and extra congestion. I don't know what we'll do now."
City officials acknowledged that the IBM technology installed had indeed been pirated from a popular file sharing website. "Our population's been cut nearly in half since the '70s, we've got 8.5% unemployment and an economic model that's growing more irrelevant by the day," said an exasperated Mayor Frank Jackson. "We need any little help we can get. I know that's no excuse for pirating software, but come on. Is it really going to kill IBM if Cleveland's traffic is optimized?"
IBM officials had no comment, but one of the enforcement crew had little compassion Sunday night as he proceeded to smash the signals just across from the city offices. "You don't get to be a smart city unless we let you be a smart city!" he cried, taking one final swing before lowering the crane and driving off into the night.