Santa Tux Sightings

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, December 30, 1998

from the he-made-his-list-and-checked-it-twice dept.

Santa Claus' monopoly of the holiday global gift-giving industry has apparently ended. According to our Vast Spy Network(tm), Tux the Penguin was spotted around the world doling out Christmas presents to countless people. We here at Humorix World Headquarters were a bit skeptical when the first reports of "Santa Tux" sightings emerged, but after being deluged with hundreds of reports from our spy network, we're now believers.

On Christmas morning, an undetermined number of people on Santa Tux's list received Linux CDs or books in their stockings. A lucky few who had contributed to Linux development received shiny new Alpha 600Mhz computer systems. One Santa Tux beneficiary told us, "It's about time I got something decent for Christmas. Forget cookies and milk, I'm leaving out raw fish next year for the new saint of gift-giving, Tux the Penguin."

Details are still sketchy about the logistics behind Tux's gift-giving operation. "How does a single penguin deliver thousands -- if not millions -- of gifts around the world in one night? I can't figure it out," said one Linux hacker. An anonymous source told us that US military radar picked up "something wierd" coming back and forth from the South Pole during Christmas Eve. When we pressed the government for confirmation, a military spokesman said simply, "It was a weather balloon." Needless to say, we're stumped.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about Tux the Penguin's latest endeavor. Wrote one Ziff-Davis columnist, "This is just plain stupid. You expect me to believe that a penguin in a British zoo is able to deliver thousands of Linux CDs and books to people all around the world in one night? Preposterous!"

[Brief unsolicited editorial rant: You expect me to believe that a Ziff-Davis pundit in Silicon Valley is able to deliver a well-written, thoughtful commentary to thousands of people all around the world every day? Preposterous!]

The Ziff-Davis columnist's tirade continued, "This is obviously a hoax initiated by Linux zealots for publicity. Those crazy Linux advocates will do anything for attention. Now, changing the subject to a more realistic topic, I've been told that Microsoft plans to release Windows 2000/NT 5 in the first half of 1999..."

Bill Gates is reportedly not too thrilled about Santa Tux, either. In one internal Microsoft memo obtained by Humorix via secret channels, Bill Gates wrote, "Thousands of people (or more) received FREE Linux CDs and books from a benevolent penguin! Of course, I'm sure the Justice Department won't investigate this obviously anti-competitive practice of dumping free software in an attempt to steal hard-earned market share away from us. This makes me sick..."

In another memo, Steve Ballmer notes, "This 'Santa Tux' scheme is brilliant. We need to embrace and extend this concept. I propose we fund our own holiday gift-giving venture ('Santa Bill' perhaps?) and give away Internet Explorer and old Windows 95 CDs to children all over the world. We get good publicity and ensure a quick demise of Netscape and Linux."

If Ballmer gets his way, the old "Microsoft Acquires Christmas" jokes that have been circulating around the Net for years might not be a joke for much longer.

Santa Claus and his parent company, Claus & Co. Gift Givers, Inc., were unavailable for comment at press time.

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