The personal computer, the notebook computer and the personal digital assistant were arguing about which was the most indispensable device in their owner's life.
"I do all the really crucial work, the heavy lifting, if you catch my meaning," said the PC. "Spread sheets, 3D graphical interface, unrestricted multitasking, scientific analysis. Plus, I'm the one she trusts for her critical personal number crunching accounting, tax returns, et cetera. Without me, she'd be in a world of hurt."
"Oh, puh-leeze," answered the notebook, "I'm the one she leans on these days. My portability means she can take me on business trips, to the beach, you name it. I give her whatever she wants wherever she wants it, and she sacrifices about zero in the way of power or memory compared to a desk jockey like you. With me, she minimizes downtime, maximizes flexibility and, overall, optimizes productivity."
The palm-held unit chimed in, "Sorry, boys, but if I go down, she's way SOL. She wouldn't be able to keep her schedule straight; she wouldn't know how to contact her contacts. She'd start missing important meetings, flights, calls. Then, bang! Next thing you know, she loses all her clients and her life goes down the crapper."
This argument went on and on, with much rage and without resolution, until the next day, when a big breakthrough in chip technology was introduced, the three units were all instantly rendered obsolete and before -- you could count Pentium I, II, III -- they'd been unceremoniously hauled off to the landfill.
The Unattractive Video Game
One snowy Christmas morning, six shiny new 128-bit video games, tied gaily together in shiny gold ribbon, lay under the tree. Five of the games looked very much alike, had sounds that were very much alike and played very much alike. Their titles were Doom, Tomb, Gloom, Ka-boom and DeathRheum. The sixth game, however, was not like the others. Not in looks or in sound or in play. Because the sixth game was a free, supplier-bundled add-on. Its title was Elton John's Super Shoe Shopping Adventure.
All Christmas day, and in the days that followed, raucous shouts and epithets filled the air as the two teen-age boys of the house played the five graphically violent games over and over. But Shopping Adventure went untouched, unplayed and, before long, was inadvertently kicked under the couch where he stayed for a long, long time.
"I would rather stay here forever," EJSSSA told his dust-bunny neighbors, "than indulge such horrid juvenile bloodlust."
Then, one afternoon, a hand was thrust under the couch. It patted and groped, searching, searching, searching the cramped space. The hand did not stop at the dirty sweat sock. Or the stale Nacho Cheese 3D Dorito chip. Or the dog's squeaky soft rubber anthropomorphic taco with the sombrero and handlebar mustache. But when the hand landed upon the long-lost video game, it did stop. Then grasp. And as EJSSSA was dragged from its dark, dusty haunt, the last words the other sub-couch dwellers heard him say were, "Finally, the boys have come to their senses. Now, they will be properly occupied. Wholesomely entertained."
Actually, though, the two boys were in the middle of a fistfight over which of the five violent games to play next and the younger lad, pinned to the floor, had reached under the couch in hopes of finding some kind of weapon. Since Elton John's Super Shoe Shopping Adventure was the only solid object within his reach, he grabbed it up and slammed it hard into the side of his brother's face. On contact, the hard plastic cartridge shattered, a jagged edge tearing off most of the older teen's eyelid and lacerating his cornea. The blow left EJSSSA broken and lifeless on the living room rug, never having seen the inside of a game console.
But death did not preclude a happy ending for the game. Because when a more-sensational-than-accurate Dateline segment reported that Elton John's Super Shoe Shopping Adventure was at the center of a bloody fraternal mutilation/blinding, thousands upon thousands of dead-eyed, emotionally numb young gamers, in their doomed pursuit of some correction, any sensation, soon made the title the No. 1 best-selling video game in the whole wide world.
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