Sunday, December 25, 2005

Jingle Gates

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, except Papa's mouse.

The computer was humming, the icons were hopping,

As Papa did last-minute Internet shopping.

The stockings were hung by the modem with care

In hopes that St. Nicholas would bring new software.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of computer games danced in their heads.

Dark Forces for Billy, and Doom II for Dan,

And Carmen Sandiego for Pamela Ann.

The letters to Santa had been sent out by Mom,

To santaclaustoyshop.northpole.com --

Which has now been rerouted to Washington State

Because Santa's shop has been bought by Bill Gates.

All the elves and the reindeer have had to skeedaddle

To flashy new quarters in suburban Seattle.

After centuries of life that was simple and spare,

St. Nicholas is suddenly a new billionaire,

With a shiny red Porsche in the place of his sleigh,

And a house on Lake Washington that's just down the way

From where Bill has his mansion. The old fellow preens

In black Gucci boots and red Calvin Klein jeans.

The elves have stock options and desks with a view,

Where they write computer code for Johnny and Sue.

No more dolls or tin soldiers or little toy drums

Will be under the tree, only compact disk ROMS

With the Microsoft label. So spin up your drive,

From now on Christmas runs only on Windows 95.

More rapid than eagles the competitors came,

And Bill whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, ADOBE! now, CLARIS! now, INTUIT! too,

Now, APPLE! and NETSCAPE! you are all of you through.

It is Microsoft's SANTA that the kids can't resist,

It's the ultimate software with a traditional twist --

Recommended by no less than the jolly old elf,

And on the package a picture of Santa himself.

Get 'em young, keep 'em long, is Microsoft's scheme,

And a merger with Santa is a marketer's dream.

To the top of the NASDAQ! to the top of the Dow!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away -- wow!"

And Mama in her 'kerchief and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

The whirr and the hum of our satellite platter,

As it turned toward that new Christmas star in the sky,

The SANTALITE owned by the Microsoft guy.

As I sprang from my bed and was turning around,

My computer turned on with a Jingle-Bells sound.

And there on the screen was a smiling Bill Gates

Next to jolly old Santa, two arm-in-arm mates.

And I heard them exclaim in voices so bright,

Have a MICROSOFT CHRISTMAS, and TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.

Discuss this essay and more over on the Science Musings Blog.