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Issue 2001-13 Tuesday, October 31, 2001

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Bill Gates died


Bill Gates died and went to get his afterlife assignment.

St. Peter looked through his great book and said, "Well, you had an awful lot of money, and that's usually bad..." he paused and looked through a few more pages. "...on the other hand, you supported a lot of charitable works with you money, and that's good."

He paused again, and spoke a few words in an ancient language into an old-fashioned telephone, listened, then put it down.

"You really are an unusual case, sir," he said. "I've been instructed to show you heaven and hell and let you take your choice."

So Bill Gates followed St. Peter into heaven, and he wasn't impressed with what he saw: Tall marble buildings, people with haloes sitting on clouds playing harps and praising the Deity.

In the Moslem section there were beautiful houris, but Gates preferred blondes. In the fundamentalist Christain zone, everybody looked like they were afraid to be happy. So Bill Gates said, "I'd like to see hell now."

Then St. Peter took Bill Gates to hell, and things were quite different that he expected. Instead of the smell of brimstone, there was a warm ocian breeze.

They were on a vast beach where everybody was tan, toned and beautiful. Volleyball nets were everywhere, and horned imps were serving tall tropical drinks all around. In the distance, a luau fire was burning.

Then, in the blink of an eye, he was back at St. Peter's podium at the entrance of heaven.

"What is your choice, Mr. Gates?" St. Peter asked.

Without hesitating, he said, "I'll take hell."

The floor vanished beneath him, and after a fall that seemed to last for months, he plunged into a lake of burning sulfur, where a twelve-foot tall demon was dunking lost souls in the flames with a pitchfork.

"Wait!" Bill Gates screamed. "Where are all the volleyball players, the drinks, the beach parties?"

The demon leaned down and grinned hideously. "Ahh...that was the beta version!"


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