Bill Gates (PG)
Bill Gates dies in a car accident. He finds himself being sized up by God....
'Well, Bill, I'm really confused on this call. I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or Hell. After all, you helped society enormously by putting a computer in almost every home in America, yet you also created Windows'95.
I'm going to do something I've never done before. In your case, I'm going to let you decide where you want to go.'
'Well, what's the difference between the two?' Bill asks.
God says, 'I'm willing to let you visit both places briefly, if it will help your decision.'
'Fine, but where should I go first?'
'I'll leave that up to you.'
'Okay, then,' says Bill. 'Let me try Hell first.'
So Bill goes to Hell. It's a beautiful, clean, sandy beach with clear waters and lots of beautiful women running around, playing in the water, laughing and frolicking about. The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect.
He is very pleased. 'This is great!' he tells God. 'If this is Hell, I REALLY want to see Heaven!'
'Fine,' says God, and off they go.
Heaven is a place high in the clouds, with angels drifting about, playing harps and singing. It's nice, but not as enticing as Hell.
Bill thinks for a quick minute and decides. 'Hmm. I think I'd prefer Hell,' he tells God.
'Fine,' replies God. 'As you desire.'
So Bill Gates goes to Hell. Two weeks later, God decides to check on the late billionaire to see how he is doing in Hell. When he gets there, he finds Bill shackled to a wall, screaming amidst hot flames in a dark cave, being burned and tortured by demons.
'How's everything going?' he asks Bill.
Bill responds, his voice filled with anguish and disappointment, 'This is awful! This is nothing like the Hell I visited two weeks ago! I can't believe this is happening! What happened to that other place, with the beaches and the beautiful women playing in the water?'
'Oh ... that was the SCREENSAVER.
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Mundane Journeys through an Amazing World
begins with Interstate 80. Not the most engaging topic, I know, but when you think about it, I-80 runs all the way across the North American continent linking San Francisco and New York. It's not just a ribbon of asphalt, it's a portal to far away, almost magical places.
My visits to major cities like Tokyo, London and Washington DC have been business affairs. I haven't rode a lot of roller coasters or ridden in open air buses, but I have visited with senators, bought yams from the back of a truck and barely escaped complete embarrassment when I was introduced to Matt Wiener in Vegas.
As I wrote the book I realized that over the years exotic, distant places have become more like the mundane places I've called home. But, as it turns out, there really aren't any mundane places, only mundane ways of looking at things.
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