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I hate penguins

Ballmer enters Bill's office. Due to our omniscience and the happy circumstance that the top surface is glass, we can see that Bill is hiding under his desk. Our view is from behind the desk, facing Ballmer as he enters.

"Bill-ee. Bill-ee boy. Time to go."

Although Ballmer can obviously see Bill just as easily as we can, he is pretending not to. Bill shifts uncomfortably under the desk.

"Not going", he says. "Can't make me".

"Well, maybe not", agrees Ballmer, "but why don't you just come on out and we'll talk about it?"

Bill says nothing and is apparently preoccupied by a spot on the floor near his left shoe. His right hand is stroking his tie nervously. Ballmer has now stepped behind the desk.

"Come on Bill - no penguins here." Ballmer laughs, but Bill's head jerks suddenly at the mention of penguins. Ballmer realizes his gaffe. "OK, Bill, it's OK". His voice has dropped and he is speaking soothingly.

"Microsoft NT is effectively Unix", Bill says quietly. Ballmer scowls. "You agreed never to say that again, Bill", he scolds. Bill lets his head sag and stops stroking his tie.

"I don't like penguins", he says petulantly. He raises his head and eyes to peer through the desk at Ballmer. "I don't LIKE penguins!" he says more loudly.

Ballmer now pushes Bill's chair aside and squats down so he is at eye level with Bill. His back is to us, but we can hear him plainly. "I don't like penguins either, Billy, and I promise you that I'm going to squeeze the life out of every one of the slimy bastards. I promise you that, bucko."

Bill has now grasped Ballmer's hand. "They are everywhere, Steve. You can't buy them out, can't steal from them, can't bully them. They are like that Lou guy in The Incredible Hulk: whatever you do just makes them stronger."

Ballmer is speaking so very gently now. "That's just a movie, Bill. Just a movie."

Our omniscience now gives us a peek into Bill's mind. His office, as he sees it, is filled with small penguins all dressed in military garb. They are armed and staring at him, some angrily, some dispassionately, some with open scorn. Some are ridiculing him, but all are pointing him toward the door.

Ballmer reaches to take Bill's hand and gently urges him out from under the desk. "C'mon, Bill, time to go. Buffet has kicked in a really big pile of cash for your foundation, so this is your excuse. It's time to GO". Ballmer is gently but firmly steering Bill toward the door.

At the portal, Bill hesitates and turns back into the room. His eyes seem misty to us, but even with omniscience it is hard to tell through the glasses. He opens his mouth one last time before turning and exiting forever.

"I hate penguins."



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