The time is the late 1990s and the setting is an unidentified city in
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[The time is the late 1990ís 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 itís 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 couldnít 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 thatís Master Gates, the proprietor of this house. Youíll 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 Gateís face. He didnít 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! Youíre fired and if youíre not off the premises in five minutes, Iíll 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
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Salticidae, Giton, Encolpius, Bill Gates, Ascyltus, Microsoft, Satyricon
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