The App You Can’t Resist — ChocoL8

Now you can get chocolate delivered instantly, whenever and wherever you are! 

Who can — and who would — resist?

ChocL8 is a new app that delivers premium chocolate to the palm of your hand, instantly. It’s simple — download the app to your phone, press the ChocoL8 Now button, and remember to cup your palm to catch the chocolate, which drops into your hand within seconds!

ChocoL8’s basic free version delivers small bars of chocolate from mainstream candy makers including Mars, Hershey’s, and Ghirardelli. Set your preferences to Dark, Milk, or Both, and receive up to three pieces of your preferred chocolate type each day. Surprise premium chocolates are delivered on your birthday and other holidays. 

Paid premium versions of the app include gourmet chocolates, additional configuration options, and higher daily allotments.

ChocoL8’s Premium subscription ($19.99 monthly) includes chocolate from Tcho, Ferrero Rocher, La Mourette, Perugina, Venchi, Domori, Bonnat, Callebaut, Guittard, Gianduiotto from Carrafel, plus specialities from other fine chocolatiers around the world. Each day, you receive up to 25 pieces of chocolate selected automatically from your configuration options.

Premium configuration options include the ability to specify the percentage of cocoa for dark chocolate, inclusions (such as specific types of nuts, cocoa nibs, salt, ginger, coffee, and so forth), flavors (such as cayenne, cinnamon, or burnt caramel), country of bean origin, country of chocolate production, and options for fair-trade certified, vegan, and locally-made. The paid version also enables you to block certain brands of chocolate even if they fall within your other configured options.

For those with extreme chocolate tendencies, ChocoL8’s Connoisseur subscription ($39.99 monthly) includes all premium chocolates and configuration options, plus unlimited daily chocolates and access to limited, single-batch chocolate delights created by local-to-you chocolate makers. In-app notifications alert you to the availability of each Connoisseur batch. Due to the limited availability of single-batch items, not all items will be available to all Connoisseur-level subscribers. 

ChocoL8 has also developed a dynamic Personalized Melt Factor Algorithm (PMFA) for each piece of chocolate to ensure you can enjoy it before it melts in your hands. The higher the melt factor, the more quickly you must eat the chocolate to avoid it melting. To calculate the PFMA, the algorithm considers the specific type of chocolate; the temperature, sunlight, and humidity of your current location; and the temperature of your hand, how tightly you hold the chocolate, and whether or not you use your phone for other tasks (making videos, taking photos, or talking/texting) when savoring your chocolate. 

ChocoL8 users can rate chocolates within the app, and share ratings, selfies, and videos of chocolate tastings on various social networks. Connoisseur level subscribers also have access to exclusive in-app tasting room experiences. 

ChocoL8 is available on The App Store and Google Play. 

©2022 KM Koza

The Baptify App — New from The Vatican

Rome, February 17, 2022 — The Vatican today announced the release of the Baptify app, designed to prove that baptismal rites are performed correctly according to Canon Law of the Catholic Church. Baptify enables Catholic faithful to use a QR code generated on the app to prove they are properly baptized at all locations where proof of valid baptism is required.

“Baptify will eliminate problems like we saw in Phoenix, where thousands of faithful who thought they were baptized found they were not,” said Cardinal Giovanni Capovolto, Pontifically Appointed Director of The Vatican’s Software and Application Development Department.

The name Baptify is a contraction of the words “baptism” and “verify.”

Baptify captures baptismal data including the name, age, and date of birth of the person being baptized; the parents’ names; the date, time, place of baptism; and the name of the presiding priest. Since there is only one correct and acceptable version of the baptismal formula, no version number is required or tracked in the app. The information is visible as text and generates a secure QR code visible on a user’s phone. Information is also stored in a central database housed securely within The Vatican’s server chambers.

“Ensuring baptism was performed correctly is critical to ensuring all sacraments received after baptism are also valid,” said Capovolto. “Tracking the validity of the baptism enables followers and priests to be confident that they are acting within the laws of The Church when receiving or performing the later sacraments.”

Future versions of the app will verify the correct performance of other Catholic sacraments. As followers are confirmed, take communion, marry (or take vows to enter the priesthood or to become nuns), are freed by demons by exorcism, or are given last rites, the data within the app and the QR code will be updated. When the follower has completed all applicable sacraments, the QR code will assume a golden color. 

Negotiations are underway with St Peter to allow entrance to Heaven to all those who present a valid golden-colored Baptify QR code upon arrival at The Pearly Gates. Security angels assisting the venerable saint will use hand-held scanners to read the QR codes. 

“Automated kiosks with code scanners will not be installed, even though Elon Musk has offered to create and launch them skyward,” said Capovolto. 

Baptify is configurable in 47 languages, and can be downloaded from The App Store or Google Play.

© 2022 KM Koza

Written after reading this article on The Guardian:

The California Tourist Association Welcomes You to the San Francisco Bay Area

AKA Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire, Part III: There’s often no longer any difference between satire and reality. See the first part of Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire in the archives and Part II here

Welcome to California!

We have COVID safety restrictions in place for our stores, restaurants, and hotels, so come, wear your mask, and enjoy the San Francisco Bay Area!

You’ll be happy to know that this summer, the city and the entire Bay Area are disproving Mark Twain’s saying, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,” as we’re experiencing unusually warm temperatures!

Wear your shorts, wear your sandals, and rest assured that you won’t have to buy a fleece jacket at exorbitant prices in Chinatown in this year, as our temperatures are over 100F!

While we’re sorry to announce that all our beaches and most of our parks are closed due to COVID restrictions and wildfire damage, we offer thrills and excitement beyond the beach.

Visit us and enjoy:

  • Extreme fire warnings — Indications that wildfire possibility is very high due to elevated temperature, wind, dryness, and potential for dry heat lightning strikes.
  • Evacuation warnings and orders — Indications that you may have to (warning) or must (order) leave your home or hotel due to oncoming wildfires or other natural disasters.
  • Rolling blackout warnings — Alert us that if too much energy is used, sections of California will be blacked out for a few hours at a time to save electricity.
  • Wildfire smoke — Ever-changing winds blow thick smoke in such a way that you may or may not see blue sky, the mountains, the hills a mile away, or our spectacular waterfronts. It’s not fog; it’s smoke!
  • Spare the Air alerts — These encourage us not to drive, as car exhaust makes the air even worse. Stay in and have more time to enjoy your hotel room!
  • Traffic*— A California tradition which, in reality, is not affected by Spare the Air alerts.
  • Earthquakes — California’s historic speciality. Today we’ve had two already, both before noon: A small, 2.6 tremor and a larger, building-jolting quake (enough to rattle dishes) of 3.4 magnitude. 

Even though most state parks and campgrounds are closed, if you’re an extreme adventurer, you may enjoy camping within Bay Area cities! Bring your tent and join the throngs of homeless “sleeping rough” on sidewalks, beneath underpasses, in city parks, and the on back streets of San Francisco and Oakland! (Travel insurance is advised.)

We hope to see you soon!


The California Tourist Association – San Francisco Chapter

*Please note that as you drive into the state, you’ll encounter no delay. Most traffic is flowing out of California. Just plan to spend a few more minutes looking for parking at pee stops, as all spots may be filled with U-Haul trucks and trailers of residents relocating to other states. 


You Are But You Don’t Want to Be

This was a silly piece I wrote quickly one day and emailed (BCC) to several friends and then put on Facebook. The responses I received prompted me to post the piece here — not because it’s a masterful work, but because I found the consistency of the responses, especially on Facebook, so funny.

Most of the women to whom I sent this wrote back, “I’ve turned into my grandmother”. When I posted the piece on Facebook, I received many personal messages from women, again stating “I’ve turned into my grandmother” and “I really liked this” — yet I don’t think any one of them shared or publicly gave the piece a thumbs-up!

Perhaps I should add to the following list one more point: “You know you’ve turned into your grandmother when you don’t want anyone to know you’ve turned into your grandmother!”

You know you’ve turned into your grandmother when:

  • Your pockets are filled with tissues you used lightly to wipe that smudge off your iPhone because why waste, you just might need a tissue later.
  • Your large framed photos all have corners jammed with tiny photos of your spiritual teacher and images of your favorite saints.
  • Your windowsills and door jambs all hold small statues of a divine incarnation. 
  • Your doorknobs, rear-view mirror, and shift lever all bear rosaries or malas; the one on the shift lever usually makes its way into your hand when you drive.
  • You say prayers as you get into the car to go anywhere.
  • You swear profusely at semi-truck drivers who nearly side-swipe you on the highway, and when you’re going 92 mph in the middle lane, you both swear and flip off the kids who have the gall to pass you on the right.
  • You have to consciously control your eye-rolls when talking with males wearing the robes of ordination and/or carrying cameras with large lenses.
  • You secretly give food and money to people who need it.
  • You carry seeds and nuts to the park to feed the birds and the squirrels.
  • You’ve given names to the birds and squirrels, and they know what time to expect you — and are waiting if you’re late.
  • You worry about the birds and squirrels when planning your (frequent) trips, and have a little talk with the critters before you go so they know you’ll be coming back.
  • You’ve taken the screen off your kitchen window to better be able to lean out and feed the birds and see what’s going on up and down the street.
  • You scold the drug dealers who park on your street and tell them to skedaddle after they laughed off and ignored the Men In Charge.
  • You don’t give a S#!t what people think, yet are polite enough not to state this directly.
  • Your own version of a silent glance rivals that of Dame Maggie Smith.
  • You read stuff like this and think it’s funny.

How to Launch a Successful Startup in San Francisco

AKA Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire, Part II: There’s often no longer any difference between satire and reality. See the first part of Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire in the archives.

This overview of what makes a successful startup was compiled after many conversations with startup veterans.

Come up with an outrageous business idea and label it “disruptive”. Note that your idea does not have to be “outrageously good”; your idea needs to be outrageous, then it will be good. Your idea does not have to create a profitable, self-sustaining business, as your money will come from venture capital (VC) and your initial public offering (IPO). 

Name your company immediately. The name should be a one- or two-syllable word, spelled in a non-traditional manner to reflect your disruptive space in the market. Design a logo that looks equally good in a circle and a rounded rectangle.

Rent a historic building in San Francisco’s Jackson Square area. Emblazon your logo above the door. Avoid putting any other identifying information on or around the entrance.

Fill the office with cool minimalist furniture. Hang bike racks on the wall. Put stainless steel dog dishes of water on cute mats near the front desk. Stock the office fridge with craft beer, kombucha, and performance-enhancing water. Keep baskets of fresh fruit, kale chips, and dog treats (organic only) in the kitchen and reception area. 

Ensure the kitchen has fixings for avocado toast and energy juice, especially from midnight to 10am. Install an automatic espresso machine with four compartments for liquids, so team members can make lattes with soy, almond, coconut, or oat milk. Make certain not to have any plastic straws or cutlery in the the kitchen. 

Hire a vegan kosher caterer who sources locally to prepare in-office sit-down lunches five days a week. For nightly working dinners, schedule a rotation of trendy local restaurants to bring in buffet-style meals. Make certain you include restaurants that put a hip twist on macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches (all with vegan options). Schedule happy hour on Thursdays, with sustainably-farmed sushi and plenty of locally-crafted wine and beer. 

Work with the VC firm to hire other visionaries for your leadership team. Visionary leaders are especially important for the Marketing and Research & Development (R&D) teams. Hire only MBAs with impressive schools and companies listed on their resumes. A leader’s image is more important than their performance, and certainly more important than their morals. 

Get an attorney, a creative Finance expert, and someone to lead Human Resources (HR). Hire some software engineers. Contract out everything else. For office maintenance, use an app to find a service that comes once a week to empty trash cans and do a touch-and-go on the bathrooms and kitchen. You expect the company to grow fast, so by the time the office gets really dirty, either no one will care because they’re working too hard in anticipation of the IPO, and/or you’ll move to a bigger office with new stuff.

Think up creative names for all C-level positions, employee positions, and the requisite office dogs. The names should reflect your value statement. The value statement itself must include the words “transparency”, “inclusion”, “accountability”, “social responsibility”, and, of course, “team”.

When enticing high-performing team players to join your company, ensure them you offer unlimited time off. Talk highly of team-building days, flexibility, and your collaborative workspace. Obliquely mention that no drug tests are required. And yes, mention stock options.

Ensure you have the swag you need to present your boldly understated company image. Buy 50 grey Patagonia® Synchilla® vests with the company’s logo, and give these to your team members. You’ll only need about 15 of the vests, but you can auction the leftovers after your IPO for a good bit of cash. 

Give team members several pairs of logo socks in company colors. Give branded water bottles to contractors as well as team members to enhance your reputation for being “green”.

Encourage the R&D team to produce outstanding ideas and visions of the company’s product. Add gaming components, especially scorekeeping, to your product. Inspire the Marketing team to create compelling stories and incredible visuals to illustrate what the product will do. Make certain all collateral is written using mixed verb tenses, so past, present, and future states of the product are confused. Share the collateral produced by the Marketing and R&D teams internally and externally.

On the Engineering side, have your highly flexible scrum master lead meetings. Ensure the engineers use JIRA and lots of other cloud-based software to stay busy creating artifacts. Have managers generate productivity reports that display always-improving success metrics.

Success metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are really important. Make certain your visionary CEO presents both at industry events. The presentation should include beautifully-illustrated slides that tell the story of how your company discovered a pivotally important product for the niche market. The CEO should also tweet often and share their opinion on everything and anything. If the CEO or another TED Talk-presenting member of the leadership team is involved in a scandal, you’ll get lots of press. Plan for this carefully before the IPO. 

Continue activities to build your company’s reputation as a desirable market leader. Time your IPO to maximize your option price, and launch!

Whatever happens after the IPO doesn’t matter — you’ll have cashed in and someone else will take over. 

Don’t worry — It’s a disruptive, sharing economy and you, like everyone, need to flex for change. You have options — and they’ll support you well. 


© 2020 Kelly Manjula Koza

Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives. A discussion and two old satires I wrote.

I’ve always had a passion for satire: I devoured the writings of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and S.J. Perelman when I was a kid, and English teachers and friends often urged me to write pieces for them. For a long time I did write short satires, yet I intentionally stopped (well, mostly), long before the current political environment essentially killed the genre by rendering it nearly indistinguishable from so-called reality.

I desisted for several reasons. Writing satire puts me in a pessimistic mood: I become critical, cranky, and unappreciative of the good in the world. I’ve also increasingly believed that our thoughts influence and create our reality, so writing satire generally seems unwise: I’ve had many satirical ideas that I would NOT want to see manifest in world! In addition, the rapid reaction to a piece I wrote and sent to friends and colleagues in 2007 spooked me: Not even my closest friend — whom I thought would recognize my writing — identified the piece as satire, and she and many others began sharing the email, which I thought could land me in major hot water, possibly even a lawsuit, if I did not quickly retract the piece — which I did. (Read the piece further down this page.)

I often structured my satires as newspaper articles or press releases, and sometimes even took the first few sentences of a real newspaper article and wrote a satirical ending to it. This format combined with my extremely dry sense of humor apparently makes it very difficult for people to discern what’s true and what’s not.

The first piece below is an example of the newspaper format, based on a 2004 article found on the BBC website. The second piece is the satire I retracted.

Passion over for Barbie and Ken

Valentine’s Day is approaching, but the romance is over for Barbie and Ken. 

 After 43 years as an item, the plastic pair’s “business manager” at toymaker Mattel said they “feel it’s time to spend some quality time – apart”.

 “Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end,” said Russell Arons of Mattel toys. 

Ken will go his own way, and the new romance in Barbie’s life will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows — as will the new Barbie herself.

Barbie will be sporting pants, flat heels, and wearing a ring from her new significant other, who is dark, handsome – and a woman. 

“Woman-loving Barbie has been a long time in waiting,” says Arons. 

Lucia, Barbie’s new partner, was introduced to Barbie’s circle amidst considerable astonishment and excitement.

“The conservatives who haven’t been paying attention will undoubtedly have some strong reactions, but Barbie just couldn’t go on with Ken any longer,” says Arons. “Lucia comes with a full range of emotions, interests and talents that we just couldn’t bundle into Ken or any male doll.”

Mattel will market a full range of new accessories for the lesbian couple, including a pickup truck/camper combination, large furry dogs, and an assortment of Mikita power tools. ###

The piece I retracted (below) was written as a press release during a very snowy winter when planes were delayed and cancelled across the country, with each week bringing a new storm and a new set of delays. Vacationers as well as those of us who flew regularly for work were upset with what seemed like persistent travel difficulties and unaccommodating policies of airlines. I wrote this thinking it so far-fetched that no one would believe it, yet after people began sharing it as a real news piece, I became worried that the airline would find and sue me. 

United Announces Frequent Flier Flight Delay Program

CHICAGO, IL, February 14, 2007 — United Airlines today announced  the company will award frequent flier program miles to travelers whose flights are delayed due to weather. Elite members of the airline’s frequent flier program will also be awarded miles for any flight delays. 
“We realize that fliers, especially frequent fliers, lose time and money because of weather delays. This winter has been particularly difficult for travelers and airlines, and United wants to recognize the fortitude and loyalty of our customers,” says Bob Forappel, United public relations director. “We feel there’s no better way to do this than by offering travelers frequent flier miles.”

Travelers who are members of United’s frequent flyer program will receive 5 frequent flier miles for each minute of weather-related delay. Premier members (those who have flown 25,000 miles in the past year) will receive 10 miles for each minute of delay. Premier Executive and Premier 1K members will receive 20 and 50 miles, respectively, for each minute of delay, as well as corresponding miles for any flight delay, weather-related or not.

For more information, see ###

While I’ve pretty much stopped writing satire since then, occasional outbreaks occur. See How to Launch a Successful Startup in San Francisco, subtitled Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire, Part II

Internet Changes Coming to India in 2003

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this satire in 2002 while in Kerala, India.

Bangalore—Indian government officials today called for new polices regarding internet use in the country. Recognising that the internet has and will continue to play an important role in the development of India into one of the world’s leading technology producers, but concerned that that traditional Indian culture will be lost in the modernisation, government officials mandated the following changes designed to instill Indian tradition into the internet.

The step-by-step implementation of these polices will begin 1 January 2003. 

  • The internet will close on all bank, public and religious holidays.  
  • Lunchtime closing will be from 1.30 to 2.30 daily.
  • Foreigners using the internet in India for over six months will be required to register at the District Office, providing in triplicate the completed form FOR.INT456, along with 3 copies of the passport and visa, a list of all website addresses they plan to visit, and the address of their local ISP. If using a laptop brought into the country to access email, the serial numbers of all software loaded onto the laptop must be listed on form SOFT789, which must be provided to the local police department along with a CD copy of each software programme. An HIV test is not necessary.  
  • All email addresses will be changed over the next three years to reflect traditional Indian address conventions.
    • First, the “@” symbol will be replaced by “near to”: will become This change will be put into effect 1 January 2003, but as it will take some time to update millions of lines of code in internet servers to handle the change, a slight delay in email delivery is expected.
    • Second, so as to instill pride across the country for local contributions to the world wide web, the correct identification of the local mail server will be implemented in all Indian email addresses: will become In large cities, if there is any confusion as to the mail server, a qualifier can be added:
    • Third, the full use of initials denoting all of a person’s names will be encouraged: will become From this point, it will be natural to discard the English tradition of truncated Indian names, and add the full last name to the email address:

Each change to the email address will require completion of application INTCHANGE.3345 and a fee of Rs150 payable by cheque to the local branch offices of The Minister of Internet. Due to increased workload, applications are being taken online only. Applications containing an incorrect email address will be denied. 


@2002 KM Koza

© Kelly Manjula Koza unless otherwise noted.