Barney Attacks Tux Penguin

Fake News written by James Baughn on Friday, December 4, 1998

from the that-purple-dinosaur-must-be-eliminated dept.

REDMOND, WA -- Microsoft confirmed today that a 'known issue' exists with Microsoft ActiMates Barney toys produced before September 1998. This 'issue' causes Barney to behave erratically -- even violently -- when in the presence of any item resembling a penguin.

One parent, Susan McElrath, caught Barney's 'known issue' while taping her two sons, Jason and Timmy, as they played together one day last March. The shocking videotape of the incident will be aired next month on the FOX TV network special "When Toys Attack III".

The two children were playing with their "interactive" Barney toy while watching a Barney videotape. Meanwhile, Timmy was clutching his stuffed Tux the Penguin toy he had received as a birthday present the previous week.

While singing along with the song "I Love Bill. Bill Loves Me...", the Barney toy suddenly, as Susan later described it, "came to life". It jumped up and attacked Tux the Penguin while shouting "Die! Die! Die!" Thankfully, before Barney was able to rip Tux to shreds, it uttered 'Fatal Exception Error' and froze in place. After Timmy hit the purple dinosaur toy on the left side several times, it came back to life and returned to its normal, non-penguin-attacking behavior.

Since then, both boys have been seeing a child psychologist to try to overcome their new found phobia of purple dinosaurs and Microsoft products. "Barney is evil," Jason frequently says.

The McElrath incident is only one of many. Several months ago the anti-penguin 'known issue' also surfaced in the ActiMates Barney PC software. Bob Jenkins was using the Barney software to draw and print out a picture of his house. However, the software printed out something else -- a picture of a mutilated penguin with the caption "Die, Tux, Die!" along with a whole string of expletives. Computer experts believe the 'known issue' was triggered when the software detected a Linux installation, used by Bob's father, in another partition. "Where do I want to go today? Back to the store for a refund!" the enraged father exclaimed.

Another incident occured just last week involving a "Don't Fear the Penguin... Fear the Slashdot Effect!" T-shirt. John Barlow was attacked by his son's Barney toy, which latched on to his penguin shirt and refused to let go. John had to disable the bezerk Microsoft product by prying lose its batteries. The toy is now buried under 20 feet of dirt at the local landfill.

While Microsoft has acknowleged the defect in the Barney toy, a recall has not been called. Concerned parents may trade-in their current Barney toys for the new version 2.0 Barney (at a $24.95 expense) which does not contain the 'known issue'. Call 1-800-PAY-BILL for more information.

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