Thanks to the Internet, we have been privileged to get a rare glimpse of the behind-the-scenes lives of the extraordinary men who make cricket more interesting to listen to than to watch: the radio commentators. One afternoon during the recent Test match, as the BBC Radio 3 team handed over to their colleagues on Radio 4, somebody forgot to switch of a microphone leaving Real Audio transmissions running on several sporting Web sites. Listeners were able to thrill to the sound of gently munched sandwiches and share the commentators' excitement when fresh tea arrived. At one point some kind of disturbance appeared to be going on in the background - a scuffle over the last scone, or Geoffrey Boycott beating up a woman who strayed into the commentary box? We may never know. The message is getting through: Microsoft software can help you turn your bolshie employees into well-behaved zombies. A crossword clue from last Tuesday's Daily Telegraph could have been written by Microsoft's marketing department: "Proof I work with Windows - so simple to control (5,2,2,4)." The solution, of course, is "Putty in my hands." Just the sort of material Microsoft likes to work with. Don't take it from the Telegraph's crossword-compiler, check with Microsoft's own software. Someone who took Mole at his word and looked up "customer" in the Word thesaurus could not find "sucker", possibly because Mole made it up. However, if you drill down on the word "client" you will get the following list of suggestions: "Ward, orphan, minor, dependant, delinquent". For an alternative definition of "customer" turn to yet another Microsoft application. Go to row 95 of Excel 7.0, highlight the row, press tab, hold down ctrl-alt-shift, select help, "about Microsoft", then the "tech support" option and you will find your self in a Doom-like world called Hall of the Tortured Souls. Using the arrow keys, swing through 180 degrees until you face a blank wall, hold down ctrl-alt-shift again and type EXCELKFA. Something lies on the other side. If you find it, let Mole know. Though no one is keener than Mole to forget the distressing incident in which Bill Gates was covered in custard pie, but in the interests of good journalism he has no choice but to publish the following official transcript of the incident. Police: "Brussels police department, how may I assist you?" Bill Gates: "Uh ... yes ... I just got hit in the face with a cream pie." P: "Okay, sir. Have you called the Brussels police department before?" BG: "No". P: "Well, let me get a little information about you for our records. Your name?" BG: "Bill Gates". P: "Country?" BG: "The USA". P: "Native language?" BG: "English". P: "Okay, sir. Your police department ID number is BP31415927. Please use this number the next time you call. Now, you say you were hit in the face with a pie?" BG: "Yes, I was just about to meet with the Belgian Prime Minister. One person distracted me while another fired a cream pie." P: "We've had other customers report that they were hit in the face with a custard pie. Are you sure it was cream?" BG: "Well, I have white stuff all over my face and I don't see any custard, so I really don't think it was a custard pie." P: "Have you visited the Prime Minister before?" BG: "Yes". P: "Were you hit in the face with a pie then?" BG: "No". P: "Hmm ... have you visited any other Prime Ministers in the past month?" BG: "Yes" P: "Any pies then?" BG: "No". P: "Okay, well ... let's try something. Go outside the building and come in again. I'll wait." BG: "Just a minute." (several minutes pass) "Okay, I'm back." P: "Did you get hit by another pie?" BG: "Of course not". P: "Well sir, I don't know what could have caused the first pie, but it looks like things are working fine now. I'll make a note of the problem, though. If it happens again, please note the exact details of the situation and call us again. Thank you for calling the Brussels Police Department. (click)" Whoever wrote this - and it wasn't Mole - is clearly a genius. Anything in a similar vein can be sent to the above address.
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