Trick-or-Treating, Nerd Style

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, October 31, 1998

from the whatever-happened-to-giving-out-candy? dept.

What kind of goodies did Bill Gates give away to trick-or-treaters at his mansion gates this Halloween? Humorix sent out a vast network of children to go trick-or-treating at the houses of well-known computer industry figures across the US. The results were quite surprising.

First up, Humorix sent a group of kids dressed like Tux the Penguin out to Silicon Valley. They stopped by Linus Torvalds' house, where they received Red Hat Linux CD-ROMs. We also dressed a group of kids as Bill Gates, complete with bad haircuts and pockets overflowing with paper money, and sent them to trick-or-treat at Linus' house. Linus nearly had a heart attack.

Next, Humorix dispatched several children dressed as Bill Gates to Richard Stallman's residence in Massachusetts. Huge posters saying "I Hate Linux" were affixed to the children's costumes. RMS was not pleased. Furiously, he took a large magic marker and wrote "GNU" on each child. "It's GNU/Linux, dammit!" he shouted, and then shoved 300 pages of hardcopy printouts from the www.gnu.org website into the children's hands. "Read these you little adolescent punks!" he yelled and then slammed his door.

The next location was Silicon Valley again, where a group of children dressed like stereotypical nerds (complete with pocket protectors) stopped at Steve Jobs' house. Jobs handed out red delicious apples to each child, and said, "These are insanely great! Now excuse me, I've got a whole load of work to do as Apple's CEO. Oops... I mean interrim CEO.

The Holland, MI "Geek House" was the next stop. This time the children were dressed like Wesley Crusher, complete with cheesy Star Trek garb. Rob Malda screamed, "I'm not Wesley Crusher!", handed the children some leftover merchandise from the Atlanta Linux Showcase, and shooed them away. For the record, Rob was wearing pants.

Finally, Humorix sent two groups of trick-or-treaters to Bill Gates' mansion on Lake Washington. The first group was disguised as Justice Department lawyers. Needless to say, they were turned away empty-handed by the night watchman at the end of the Gates driveway. The next group, dressed in Bill Gates costumes, received a warmer welcome. In fact, the night watchman buzzed Gates, who was quite enthusiastic. "Those kids have good taste!" he said to the watchman. "Give them some Internet Explorer CD-ROMs! Hell, let 'em all in... I'll give them a quick personal tour of the mansion!"

During the tour Gates was interrupted twice by ecstatic phone calls from his lawyers. Apparently some juicy evidence in Microsoft's favor had been found and could be used in the antitrust trial. "I can't wait to see the looks on the government lawyers' faces when they find out about this!" Gates shouted at one point. The children were escorted through several rooms of the mansion, but Gates avoided the room housing the many Windows NT servers that run the mansion. Finally, Gates herded the children back to the mansion's front gates and said, "Since you guys are so cool, if you ever want to get a job at Microsoft when you grow up, just email me at my real address, bill-rules@microsoft.com."

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