} Dear Sir,
} Thank you for your communication of the 21st inst. My Master,
} the Oracle, has asked me to respond to your letter as he believes
} that dabbling in snailmail is somewhat beneath his dignity.
} My Master would like me to inform you he is fully sympathetic to
} the fact that (and I quote) a shabbily-run Mickey Mouse outfit like
} yours will inevitably have to divest itself of some of its divisions
} from time to time to prevent the share price from plunging completely
} out of sight, and he looks forward to the opportunities offered by
} his move to Apple. He has even promised me my own Mac. This is so
} typical of my Master's boundless concern and generosity: he'd
} obviously noticed how wet I'd gotten coming in through the rain
} this morning.
} To show that there's no hard feelings, my Master has even asked
} me to convey to you a glimpse of the near future, as a parting
} gesture of good faith:
} June 1997: Apple starts up a Radical New Ventures Division, headed
} by my Master. This Division will initially concentrate on three
} new product lines.
} October 1997: Apple launches the wholly revamped New Lisa Personal
} Computer. There are riots by testosterone-crazed geeks outside
} computer stores as stocks of the laptop model run out. Morality
} groups are up in arms, and questions are asked in Congress.
} December 1997: The second product of Apple's Radical New Ventures
} Division hits the high street: WebSmacker. This is an application
} that sits on a person's PC and identifies the true sender of any
} junk email, spam or flames. It then automatically contacts the
} most muscular Oracular priest living near the sender, who goes
} around to his house and breaks his kneecaps. Apple is named
} Company of the Year.
} January 1998: An alliance is announced between Apple, Oracle (that's
} not my Master, you understand), IBM, DEC, Hewlett-Packard, Netscape
} Communications and Cindy Crawford Industries to produce the new
} Ultra-Thin Client. This is a palmtop Network Computer which
} connects the user directly to my Master who tells him everything
} he needs to know or do. The value of Apple shares overtakes that
} of Microsoft shares when newspapers reveal that Bill Gates spends
} every night with his New Lisa. Steve Jobs is initiated into the
} Oracular priesthood.
} March 1998: With the colossal revenues generated by the new product
} lines, Apple goes on a take-over spree. Amongst the companies
} bought are Unisys, Cisco, Adobe, AT&T, Rubbermaid and the Backbone
} April 1998: At his own request, my Master transfers from the Radical
} New Ventures Division to head up the newly acquired Backbone Cabal.
} One of his first actions as chief executive is to have his
} predecessor strung up by his genitals.
} Under the circumstances, my Master would like to add that, much
} as he appreciates the gesture, the golden parachute you so graciously
} offered him will not be required. He'll help himself to anything he
} needs next April. See you soon!
} Yours faithfully,
} Oracular Priest