Bill Gates heading for Skid Row

I wrote to Bill Gates three or four years ago after he was bumped into second place on the World’s Richest People list. I predicted trouble back then, so it came as no surprise to hear that he and Melinda are divorcing. Bill is currently languishing at number 4 on the rich list. Four! Obviously this was going to happen. Here’s what I wrote back then:

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Dear Bill Gates,

Please accept my heartfelt condolences. The news must have come as a terrible shock and my prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Nobody deserves to wake up in the morning and discover that their world is crashing down around them before they have even had a chance to dip into a simple breakfast of grilled Coelacanth drizzled with ambrosia.

When I saw the headline, “Gates No Longer World’s Richest Man!” I wept at the injustice of it all. How are the children bearing up? It can’t be easy for them. On Tuesday little Phoebe, Jenny and Rory are the most popular kids in school and by Wednesday they’re wearing oil-stained rags and mugging pre-schoolers for their lunch money.

You once said that when you die you don’t want to leave your children the burden of tremendous wealth and that’s why you would only bequeath them $10 million each. Please let them know that if they ever run short they can call on me any time. What’s mine will always be theirs. And I hope there is no reason to think the reverse doesn’t apply.

Melinda must be taking it hardest of all, what with people coming up to her in the street and saying cruel things like, “Aren’t you married to that loser who is no longer the richest man in the world?”

A word of advice, Bill. Keep her close. Even though money might be tight, buy her shiny baubles and fresh flowers now and again. Not garage flowers. She is nine years younger than you and I expect her eye will begin wandering now that you are on the skids. You don’t want to be fending off packs of salivating divorce lawyers.

But let’s get back to what is really important here – the imposter who has usurped the richly deserved title that you have held for so many years. Jeff Bezos? Who does this interloper think he is? And what the hell is Amazon besides a glorified courier service?

Did you learn nothing from 2008 when Warren Buffet briefly knocked you off your perch? And what the hell kind of name is Buffet, anyway? It’s not even a name – it’s a cheap method of feeding large numbers of people without having to hire waiters.

Also, Buffet made his money by selling ice cream and razorblades to diabetics and manic-depressives. You at least gave us computers. For god’s sake, don’t let him overtake you again. Second place is okay, but if you drop to third it’s all over, my friend.

Quite frankly I’m not surprised you got bumped from the top spot. You make hardly any money at all these days because everything is pirated. Millions of computers get sold each year in China alone and you don’t see a blue cent. A few years ago you spoke at the University of Washington and said, “As long as they are going to steal (software), we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Meth dealers use a similar strategy when targeting primary schools in the Western Cape.

Then again, you’re probably going broke because you resigned from Microsoft four years ago. What were you thinking? Middle-aged white men like you and me need to hang on to our jobs. Actually, I got fired the other day. We’re in the same boat now.

I believe you deleted your Facebook account because nobody wants to be your friend anymore. Screw them, Bill. If they don’t want to know you because you’re down to your last $95 billion, they were never real friends in the first place.

Let me know if you need a loan.

How not to score a birdie

In the interests of balance and gender equality, it’s only right that I reproduce my letter to Tiger’s ex-wife Elin Nordegren. After this, I will never mention Tiger Woods or his family ever again, I swear.

 

Dear Elin,

First, let me offer my condolences on your recent divorce. Second, let me offer you my downstairs bedroom. I’m not sure if you have a place lined up now that you’re no longer Mrs Tiger Woods and I would hate to think of you and the children roaming the streets at night with all your possessions in a shopping trolley.

If you are interested in my offer, it would only be fair if you put some of your nannying skills to use. I have a problem child that needs looking after. Don’t worry. He’s almost 20 and you won’t have to bath him or anything like that. Unless, of course, you’re willing to do “extras”, in which case I have a few requests of my own.

You’re easy on the eye and having you around would be no trouble at all. Brenda might be a little uneasy at first, but between the three of us I’m sure we can work out an amicable solution. If you know what I mean.

I hear you have made the cover of People magazine after agreeing to speak to them about your horrific ordeal with that golf-playing sex fiend. Well done. It’s the last quality magazine left in a world awash with sensationalist rubbish.

I hope they are paying you well for your story. After all, your divorce settlement of $100-million or so won’t last forever. As you said in your interview, you won’t have to work initially. Out here in South Africa, we have people who are down to their last million. It’s too sad for words. Still, as Groucho Marx said, the poor will always be with us.

I am pleased to see you are sticking to your story that you had no idea Tiger was hitting the sweet spot every time your back was turned. Perhaps your sixth sense was blunted from the overpowering smell of money that must have pervaded your home.

Some people say that Tiger strayed after your libido became trapped in pack ice. What nonsense. You’re Swedish, for heaven’s sake. You people die without sex.

I see you’re also sticking to your story about not having attacked Tiger on that terrible Thanksgiving evening. Smart move, babe. Why run the risk of coming across as a psychotic Viking running across the lawn in your nightie screeching in a foreign tongue and failing a 9 iron above your head? The last thing you want at this stage is to lose public support. Tiger crashed his car after succumbing to a bout of the yips. It happens to golfers everywhere, usually after they have spent a few hours at the 19th hole. Or a few hours in 19 holes. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to reopen old wounds.

Anyway. I’m just glad that you got out in time and didn’t end up like Nicole Simpson. I am not for one minute suggesting that Tiger would eventually have done an OJ on you, but you know what they say about black men who marry white women – they go mad after a while.

A word of advice: take some of that money and buy yourself a new man – one who isn’t obsessively preoccupied with his willy. There aren’t many of them out there, to be sure, but if you look hard enough and offer the right kind of money, I’m sure you will find one. It would help if you’re no longer suffering from jungle fever.

Now that you have given People magazine an exclusive interview, I hope you will consider a centrespread for Hustler. Both are equally reputable publications and your celebrity status will be given a huge boost. As will my testosterone levels. I’ll get the downstairs room ready in the meantime.

As they say in Sweden, lycka till!