Screwtape The Third: Computing R Us

“Wormsap, you’re looking positively diabolical. What’s up?”

“Well, sir, it is that most devilish time of year.”

“Yes, yes. All those devout, sanctimonious Christians raging on about how eggs are really Lucifer’s testicles [snort!], and they can’t even figure out that the name they’ve picked for their highest holy day is that of a pagan god!

“Don’t forget all those contracts we get from people screaming at each other while they try to put together Easter shows. ‘Services’. They sure as H.E.L.L. serve us!

“Old news, Wormsap. You’ve gotten your snout into something new. Spill. Or were you thinking about your latest plot with that Printphubar demon you like so much?”

“Nono, sir, nothing like that I assure you! I went to investigate a disturbance in the Technology Terraces. Our Mr. Jobs is having a hard time settling into the routine, and the Peace Goblins were paying him another, ah, visit.”

“We are a Microsoft shop. Mr. Jobs will use Microsoft and like it, and learn to abide by our rules and regulations. His outbursts may have gotten him deified topside. They will not be tolerated here. Is that all?”

“Hardly, sir. The commotion attracted the attention of the residents in the Philosophy Pavilion, and the shade of Karl Marx came over to investigate.”

“Oh? How did that go?”

“Slowly. You see, when I saw Marx coming, I changed H.E.L.L.’s common language to Old Norse. The closest word that Marx could find for ‘opium’ was ‘mead’, which stirred the honey pot nicely. I have no idea how Jobs expressed the concept of a central processing unit.”

“I take it they managed eventually?”

“Oh, did they ever! When Marx figured out what Jobs had done topside, which was to dump boatloads of fancy toys on the market that distracted people from the overall collapse of their standard of living, while he made untold billions of dollars, Marx yelled out ‘So, now, computers are the opiates of the masses!’ and went for Jobs’s neck. The Peace Goblins had to separate them. They both got citations, of course.”

“I should hope so. Just as I hope that you’ve made suitable arrangements for Mr. Gates, when he gets here.”

“Indeed, sir. In the cell adjacent to Mr. Jobs. With Mr. Brin on the opposite side. With only paper screens separating them – and strict instructions forbidding any physical damage to the screen, or any bright lights (computer projections, for instance) or loud noises passing through them. And all of them will be paraded daily to the Philosophy Pavilion for panel discussions chaired by Mr. Marx.”

Evil, Wormsap. Evil.

“Thank you, sir. Care to join me for, ah, testicle rolling?”

“I have to write up your report for the Board. Have pain.”

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