Bill Gates Grants Self 18 Dexterity, 20 Charisma

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Vol 31 Issue 21

Model Railroading A Harsh Mistress

UTICA, NY—Tom Collins, a 49-year-old data technician and father of seven, announced Monday that model railroading is a harsh mistress. "Model railroading, like the Sea, can be a kind lady, but make no mistake, she can also be a cold and angry harpy," Collins said. "In times of yore, men tested their mettle against the Sea, but in these modern times, a man proves his virility one way only: building, maintaining and running a model-railroad set-up in his garage or den." Collins advised using Testor's-brand epoxy glue for miniature trees and letting them dry for at least 24 hours.

Area Teens Find Once-In-A-Lifetime Love

VALDOSTA, GA—Despite living in a harsh, unaccepting world in which their dads won't let them have the car past 11 p.m. on Fridays, area teens Brianna Fahey and Kurt Mulroney have found true, once-in-a-lifetime love in each other. "We have something that many never find, no matter how long they look: our soulmates," the teens, who have been officially 'going out' since May, said Thursday. "No other love could ever be as special as ours." When asked what was so special about their relationship, Fahey said, "I totally love Karl. He wants to have sex all the time, and I even want to let him. That kind of connection only happens when it's true love." The couple expects their first baby in approximately eight months.

Rat Fancy Magazine Fails To Catch On

NEW YORK—Despite massive market-saturation and advance promotion, the first three issues of Rat Fancy, a new monthly magazine devoted to rats and the people who love them, has failed to generate the level of consumer interest necessary to continue publishing, editor Frankie DelGabrio said Monday. "Despite being packed with rat photos, true-life stories about rats, and helpful rat-care tips, it somehow hasn't found its audience," DelGabrio said. "The June issue, which features a precious, full-color centerfold of a hungry rat family approaching a sleeping baby in its crib, will sadly be the magazine's last." Added DelGabrio, "I love sweet, cuddly rats with all my heart."

Rupert Murdoch Acquires Cable

LOS ANGELES—Media-industry giant Rupert Murdoch made perhaps his most significant move ever Monday, acquiring cable for his L.A.-area mansion for an estimated $35 a month. "This puts me in strong TV-watching position well into the next century," said Murdoch, who, according to a Wall Street Journal report, also paid a $50 hook-up fee as part of the deal. "With some 50 channels now in my possession, my vast media empire cannot be rivaled." Murdoch acquired the stations by using his vast holdings and market influence as leverage against his local cable provider, who, sources say, approved the deal within four to five seconds. Murdoch promised that the cable acquisition will pave the way for "a historic ass-couch merger."

U.S. Anachronism At 'All Time High,' Says Truman

INDEPENDENCE, MO—At a press conference Monday, former president Harry S Truman declared that U.S. anachronism levels are at "an all-time high." Responding to the recent rash of jitterbugging, British taxation without representation, and talk of the Teapot Dome scandal, the deceased leader called on all citizens to "join me and Bess in saving up scrap iron for the war so our boys over there can drive the Spanish back." Truman also urged citizens to use caution when using whale-blubber-burning oil lamps.

Military Sex Scandals

In the past year, several military officers have been involved in major sex scandals, ranging from adultery to sexual assault. What do you think about sex and the military?
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Bill Gates Grants Self 18 Dexterity, 20 Charisma

REDMOND, WA—Microsoft head Bill Gates, already considered by many to be among the most powerful men in the world, further increased his powers Monday, augmenting several of his key statistics to near-immortal levels.

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, one of the most powerful businessmen on the Prime Material Plane, recently granted himself powers normally available only to deities and demigods.

Among the most striking increases were a +2 raise in dexterity to 18, and an overwhelming charisma increase to an above-human score of 20, placing Gates in the realm of deities and demigods.

"I am pleased to announce that I have boosted my already impressive statistics," Gates said in a statement to shareholders Monday. "As we develop the technological framework that will dominate the 21st century, these augmentations--and others to follow--will be powerful wards against competition from the likes of Netscape, Oracle and Melkor who is named Morgoth."

"Microsoft is the software-industry leader today, and tomorrow it will also dominate the realm of information access, as well as the content being accessed," Gates said. "The continued growth of our Corbis Media archive, the successful development and launch of MSNBC, and my mastery of the shield spells of the Elven King Lagolin are only the beginning for Microsoft."

Gates, who raised his intelligence to 20 in 1990, is fast becoming the most powerful CEO in American media. Experts place him above Fox's Rupert Murdoch and Disney's Michael Eisner, both of whom hold over 1.2 million hit points. Gates is also rumored to be in possession of a bag of holding containing one terabyte of information, as well as over 100 billion gold and silver pieces.

Analysts see Monday's statistical boost as extremely beneficial to Gates in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

"This is a very shrewd move on Gates' part," PC Magazine columnist John C. Dvorak said. "His vastly increased charisma--the prime stat of a chaotic evil executive--will help him tremendously in his ongoing struggle to convince skeptical Microsoft stockholders that his ventures into television and his massive content-buying spree will pay off in the long run. The extra CHR will also assist him greatly in dealing with wary CEOs of companies he wishes to invest in and cast spells over, like Comcast."

"It hardly seems fair, but he will now be capable of near-invisibility in behind-the-scenes business dealings," Dvorak added, referring to the stealth augment which comes with a dexterity gain. "And at the same time, he'll wear Mordekainen's Spectacles of True Sight, which provide +6 insight gains into long-term Windows marketing strategies."

Bill Gates' revised character sheet.

While few question the wisdom behind Gates' stat increases, there remains a possibility that the Federal Trade Commission, which in 1996 ruled his licensing agreement with computer manufacturers to be in violation of anti-trust laws, will challenge the move. Even if the FTC rules against Gates, however, industry analysts believe that he should easily recover, thanks to his above-average 15 constitution.

Gates' rivals expressed frustration over his ability to achieve invulnerability in a supposedly competitive market. "Combining this augmentation with last month's purchase of the Polo Shirt of Thalkettoth, which grants a +5 saving throw against anti-trust litigation, Gates should now be seen as operating outside the law," Apple CEO Dr. Gilbert Amelio said Tuesday. "One more sorcerous potion of Gain Market Share, and we might as well declare bankruptcy."

"Anyone can be a Santa Claus DM and give out unearned stats," Oracle president Larry Ellison said. "I'm surprised he didn't just go ahead and give himself a 20 in everything."

With overpowering statistics in all six ability categories, with the exception of strength, Gates is widely considered to be primed for the Kingship.

"Certainly his campaign could be crushed if he made a mistake," ABC computer correspondent Geena Smith said. "But let's be realistic. He's got 40 million experience points dating back to when he dropped out of Harvard. His party has done nothing but kill and acquire for 22 years. He knows when to cast versus when to hack-and-slash. He will be the emperor lich of 21st century media."

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