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Microsoft employees assault customers (with a dance)

At the new Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo, Calif., store employees perform a spontaneous (yeah, sure) dance routine in front of customers. It is not for the faint of heart.

Spontaneity doesn't come naturally to everyone. Neither is it welcomed by everyone.

So please imagine how those who visited the new Microsoft store in Mission Viejo, Calif., a few days back must have felt when store employees suddenly decided to drop their trousers, wave their Zunes in the air, and sing a couple of Maria Callas' greatest hits.

No, it really wasn't quite like that. However, I feel sure that one or two people might have preferred the trouser-dropping and Zune-waving over the spectacle that actually occurred.

As the Black Eyed Peas were forced to propel some of their entirely commercial stimulation down the sound system, the employees performed their own version of the line dance for the one-legged. Because I am consumer-focused at every moment of my waking day, I found myself concentrating more on the reactions of the customers than on the techniques Spike Jonze might have used to make this an MTV VMA winner.

As the employees line up for this troubling, tourettesy Texas One-Step, one already feels a strange squeezing sensation on behalf of some of the customers.

Around the 1.15 mark, a little girl, her hair ponytailed with a yellow scrunchy, makes as if her vicinity has not been invaded by dancing, clapping, or stray employee sweat. She sits. She stares into her screen. The adults make fools of themselves.

Yes, this is the Microsoft store version of "The Ice Storm."

Two minutes of constricting visual constipation are temporarily saved by three ladies who rush in from the mall to join in. These women, their purses held in place by a determined gravity, begin to show the employees just why Fergie's tunes are precursors to a fiery personal life.

Look, I'm lying. But they are definitely better than the tall, blond string bean of a chap whose twisted movements are rather too similar those of certain people who bought Vista and couldn't make it work.

I want to like this microcosmic flash mob of dance. I really do. However, once the balding chap holding the Brookstone bag joins the shifting knee-lifting, I find myself searching again for the little ponytailed girl staring into a very fine PC. She has not turned her neck one degree to observe these escapees from reality. She seems to have decided that this is not Miley Cyrus, this is not even Cyrus Vance, ergo this is not happening.

But it did happen, spontaneously, in Mission Viejo. That's the place where the mission is old, right?