Dinner with Bill Gates
[The time is the late 1990’s and the setting is an unidentified city in the northwest United States, in Washington. Three employees of Microsoft, the narrator, Encolpius, and his co-workers Giton and Ascyltus, have been invited to the illustrious mansion of billionaire Bill Gates, for a banquet.] It was slightly drizzling as we approached the house. We were simply amazed at its size, it was a good quarter mile in length and equally long in width. As we approached the enormous wooden door, lights flicked on and a computer generated voice greeted us. Not knowing what to do, we waited, letting the rain soak our dinner suits. When the door was opened, we were prompted to enter by a servant. Stepping into the entrance way, our coats were taken by a different servant than the one who had opened the door. We were ushered into a nearby room, an enormous lounge of some kind furnished with an indoor volleyball court, arcade and a pool. Giton and I were simply amazed. This guy had an amusement park in his living room. There were some young boys on the volleyball court, playing a game. I couldn’t help but notice a middle-ages guy, dressed in a pair of worn jeans and a sports coat, watching the game with furious intensity.
I turned to the servant, our guide, I suppose, and asked him who this man was. “Oh that’s Master Gates, the proprietor of this house. You’ll be dining with him shortly.”
The servant led us through this room, past the pool and into a narrow corridor. This hallway was adorned with pictures of Bill Gates, in various characters and positions. The only one I recognized was the cover from the recent issue of Time Magazine featuring him on the cover.
From here, we were led into the dining room and seated at the large dinner table. The table occupied a majority of the room, however, there was an enormous hole in the middle, obviously for a dinner show of some kind. Immediately, our glasses were filled with wine and our hands were scrubbed with rose water. I looked at Ascyltus, and he was simply amazing at the luxurious nature of the dinner. I suddenly felt underdressed but I was relieved when Bill Gates entered, wearing a different, much darker shade of jeans and a simple, red pullover. Once Bill Gates seated himself, the dozen or so people in the room all silenced themselves, waiting for this legendary man to speak. “Welcome to my home,” he began, “I hope you will have an enjoyable evening.” At the snap of his fingers, a rotating dais rose from the center of the room. This dais was filled with an entire orchestra and when it had finished rising, they began to play a soothing melody.
We waited about five minutes and were amazed when a troop of singing busboys exited the kitchen, all carrying trays containing some of the rarest delicacies known to man. Caviar, truffles, and the sweetest meat I have ever tasted were all served has appetizers. My two companions and I indulged ourselves until a second troop of singing busboys carried our plates away. Suddenly the room was filled with a loud crash as a busboy lost footing and dropped his tray. Scrambling to save face, the busboy fell to his knees and began to scrape up the mess. All this time I had been watching the expression on Bill Gate’s face. He didn’t seem to mind that the busboy had ruined his luxurious carpet with half-eaten caviar; that was until he began to clean up the mess. “Get out of here you incompetent fool! You’re fired and if you’re not off the premises in five minutes, I’ll set the dogs on you,” he yelled.
Two guards, appearing out of thin air grabbed the busboy and escorted him from the dining hall. At the beckoning of their master, two maids entered the room, armed with brooms and spray bottles full of cleaning implements. As they began scrubbing the mess, the three of us glared at Bill, who now appeared calm and composed. He must have seen our puzzled expressions because he quickly said, “My servants must not step out of their duties. I hired that busboy to serve food, not to clean up accidents. Had he concentrated on the task I hired him for, that tray would most likely not have been spilled.”
An awkward silence filled the room, however, it was quelled as the orchestra broke into another song and the singing busboys delivered another course, filet mignon served over linguini drenched in a sweet red sauce.
The food was delicious, however, I was too disturbed by the evening’s previous incident to finish my meal. After the singing busboys carried our plates away, Bill retired to the restroom.
With Bill’s absence the tension quickly dissipated. Giton, Ascyltus, and I conversed with several of the other guests about our host and the incident earlier to this evening. Our relief was short lived, however, Bill shortly returned to dinner, now sporting a pair of khakis and a light green blazer. He quickly cracked a joke about the size of his bladder and sat down.
At this point, another course was served, pork from the finest pigs Bill Gates could find. We knew this because of his constant bragging. We were all getting a little sick and tired of Bill’s need to gloat. Bill was an amazing man, he rose from poverty to the billionaire he is in a matter of thirty years, but he seemed insecure, always having to explain and glorify himself.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the dining room door. When Bill ordered the door to be opened, two people, a man and woman, stumbled into the room, thoroughly intoxicated. I did not recognize either, but Bill seemed to know the male. “Habinnas, my good friend, have a seat,” Bill greeted the newcomer. After sitting, Bill served them some of wine we were drinking. I found it kind of funny, wine was the last thing this Habinnas person needed.
It was at this time Giton and Ascyltus begged me to leave, however, I was too captivated by this newcomer. He was talking to Bill about some great plan of his, to release his servants and send them off with one million dollars each. I began to once again respect Bill Gates until I discovered the reason why he was going to release them.
“I want people to remember me and love me for my generosity when I am dead. I don’t want to die detested and loathed like so many other billionaires,” Bill whined.
I was furious, Bill Gates, my boss, the man I’ve looked up to for years was an insecure, self-centered, man. Even in his attempt at being generous, he had his own personal interests at heart. I suddenly because very nauseous and wanted to leave immediately. By the looks on my companion’s faces, they wholeheartedly agreed with me.
All this time, Bill Gates was rambling on about his death and going around the table, asking each person why they would miss him if he should die. Luckily for us, he faked a heart attack, fell backwards in his chair, and crumpled to the floor. All eyes were on him, who looked remarkably dead. Bill must have become irritated at the silence in the air, because he threw his head up and asked us to pretend he was dead and say nice things about him.
This was just plain revolting, not something I’d expect to see at a dinner party with Bill Gates, owner of Microsoft. It was at this time my two companions and I snuck out of the dining hall and found our way to the front door. We grabbed our jackets and, taking one last look at the enormous house of this not so ideal role model, left, exhausted and disgusted.