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Macintosh vs. IBM

stevek@ceco.UUCP (Steve Kroese)
(original, maybe, computer)

Original work written by Stephen Kroese

As I was walking down the street the other day, I noticed a man working
on his house. He seemed to be having a lot of trouble. As I came closer,
I saw that he was trying to pound a nail into a board by a window --
with his forehead. He seemed to be in a great deal of pain. This made me
feel very bad, watching him suffer so much just to fix his window pane.
I thought, "Here is an opportunity to make someone very happy simply by
showing him a better way to do things." Seeing him happy would make me
happy too. So I said, "Excuse me sir, there is a better way to do that."
He stopped pounding his head on the nail and with blood streaming down
his face said, "What?"
I said, "There is a better way to pound that nail. You can use a
He said, "What?"
I said "A hammer. It's a heavy piece of metal on a stick. You can use it
to pound the nail. It's faster and it doesn't hurt when you use it."
"A hammer, huh?"
"Thats right. If you get one I can show you how to use it and you'll be
amazed how much easier it will make your job."
Somewhat bewildered he said,"I think I have seen hammers, but I thought
they were just toys for kids."
"Well, I suppose kids could play with hammers, but I think what you saw
were brightly colored plastic hammers. They look a bit like real
hammers, but they are much cheaper and don't really do anything," I
"Oh," he said. Then went on, "But hammers are more expensive than using
my forehead. I don't want to spend the money for a hammer."
Now somewhat frustrated I said, "But in the long run the hammer would
pay for itself because you would spend more time pounding nails and less
time treating head wounds."
"Oh," he said. "But I can't do as much with a hammer as I can with my
forehead," he said with conviction.
Exasperated, I went on. "Well, I'm not quite sure what else you've been
using your forehead for, but hammers are marvelously useful tools. You
can pound nails, pull nails, pry apart boards, in fact every day people
like you seem to be finding new ways to use hammers. And I'm sure a
hammer would do all these things much better than your forehead."
"But why should I start using a hammer? All my friends pound nails with
their foreheads too. If there were a better way to do it I'm sure one of
them would have told me," he countered.
Now he had caught me off guard. "Perhaps they are all thinking the same
thing," I suggested. "You could be the first one to dicover this new way
to do things," I said with enthusiasm.
With a skeptical look in his bloodstained eye he said,"Look, some of my
friends are professional carpenters. You can't tell me they don't know
the best way to pound nails."
"Well, even professionals become set in their ways and resist change."
Then in a frustrated yell I continued, "I mean come on! You can't just
sit there and try to convince me that using your forehead to pound nails
is better than using a hammer!"
Now quite angry he yelled back, "Hey listen buddy, I've been pounding
nails with my forehead for many years now. Sure, it was painful at first
but now it's second nature to me. Besides, all my friends do it this way
and the only people I've ever seen using 'hammers' were little kids. So
take your stupid little children's toys and get the hell off my

Stunned, I started to step back. I nearly tripped over a large box of
head bandages. I noticed a very expensive price tag on the box and a blue
company logo on the price tag. I had seen all I needed to see. This man
had somehow been brainwashed, probably by the expensive bandage company,
and was beyond help. Hell, let him bleed, I thought. People like that
deserve to bleed to death. I walked along, happy that I owned not one
but three hammers at home. I used them every day at school and I use
them now evey day at work and I love them. A sharp pain hit my stomach
as I recalled the days before I used hammers, but I reconciled myself
with the thought that tonight at the hammer users club meeting I could
talk to all my friends about their hammers. We will make jokes about all
the idiots we know that don't have hammers and discuss wether we should
spend all of our money buying the fancy new hammers that just came out.
Then when I get home, like every night, I will sit up and use one of my
hammers until very late when I finally fall asleep. In the morning I
will wake up ready to go out into the world proclaiming to all non-
hammer users how they too could become an expert hammer user like me.

                           Stephen Kroese
                           Chicago, IL

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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