[Offtopic: joke]

Larry McVoy (lmcvoy@dnai.com)
Thu, 21 May 1998 12:29:35 -0600

Sorry to burn up a mail slot, but I liked this one enough to forward it
along. Enjoy.

Newsgroups: rec.humor.funny
From: "Bill Baldwin" <revbill@gte.net>
Subject: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" are inscribed onto the WHAT of h
Message-ID: <Sc7f.5a93@netfunny.com>
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 19:30:00 PDT

[Reposted from alt.fan.cecil-adams by permission of the author]

>Yes, but it's common knowledge that Bill forfeited his soul to Satan
>to get where he is today.

Well, that's the short story. Bill actually forfeited his soul simply
for the success that came with the first implementation of MS-DOS. And
Satan was happy for a while.

Then one day Bill said, "Satan, I want 100 million dollars."

Satan said, "Why should I give you anything more? I already own your

"That old thing?" Bill said. "Why, there are all kinds of sins that
soul can't commit. I'm thinking of plans so evil that if you tried to
get that soul to carry them out, it'd just freeze up."

"I does that already," Satan whined. "What does a soul mean when it
says 'Abort Retry Ignore Fail'? What am I supposed to do?"

"You see?" smirked Bill. "You were never really satisfied with that
soul anyway. You need the new improved version."

"But why should I pay?" whimpered Satan. "If I own your soul don't I
have the right to free upgrades?"

"You're paying for research," Bill said smoothly. "I can't afford to
just give it away. You understand, don't you?"

"But the only reason I need the new soul is because this one's
defective." Satan scratched his head. It didn't seem like a good deal

"Look!" snapped Bill. "Do you want to keep that old soul? Fine. That's
your lookout. I'll sell the new one to someone else and suddenly
*he'll* be committing sins that make yours look stupid. Do you want to
be stuck with my old soul when someone else has the upgrade?"

"It is a pretty crappy soul," Satan admitted. "All right. Another 100
million dollars."

"Oh, and you have to make me smarter, stronger, and faster or I can't
control this new soul," Bill persisted.

"Fine. Consider it done."

This scene played itself out several times over the following years.
Each time Bill got more money and became smarter, stronger, and faster
so Satan could take advantage of the new soul. Each time it seemed
that this new soul would be the right one, the one that sinned the way
a soul *ought* to sin.

Each time Bill returned, slyly insinuating that this new soul was a
piece of junk, outdated and outmoded, and that pretty soon he was
going to stop doing sins this soul supported and only conceive of sins
that were beyond its capabilities. This led, as we said, to more money
and more power.

These days the conversations go easier than they used to. Satan's lost
his will to resist. Bill strides into the office and says, "Hello,

And Satan replies, "Yes Master?"

Last we heard Satan was going to lay off most of the demons and
restructure Hell as a satellite office. He's relocating to Seattle.

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