Back in March I spoke with one of Bill Gates' friends and a long-time Microsoft employee, Tandy Troweler. After a lunch I drove Tandy back to the San Jose airport. In the parking lot I noticed that Alex already had his window in the back seat down. This is essential for a joke we pull now and then, whacking the side of a car to sound like hitting something. I made a comment about one turn being tight even though if you looked there were at least 5 car widths of space. When Alex whacked the sidie of my Prius I hit the brake hard, for realism.
Tandy was shocked and asked if I hit something. I acted disgusted and complained about a pole too low to see and that it had happened before. At that point Tandy offered to pay for it. He then uttered the famous phrase "send the bill to Bill."
The night before last there was a reception for Bill at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I was in Los Angeles on publicity for my book and could not attend but Alex followed through on our Tandy prank.
Alex prepared a phony Prius damage bill, backdated to March, in the amount of $2400. He presented it to Bill Gates saying that Tandy had told us to. Gates looked at the bill and asked if this was a prank and Alex said "yes." Bill very much enjoyed the prank and said that he was going to frame the bill.
Today Alex got an email from Bill's assistant, who commented on Bill's interest and she said that he was going to show the bill to Tandy. I'm sure that when that event takes place, Tandy will affirm that the crash was real and that it should be paid.
Ah, how fun...