With the presidential election wrapped up and the year winding down, Spencer found himself reminiscing about some of the funnier rumors and tidbits that crossed his path over the past 12 months. It wasnt always pretty, but it was entertaining.
Like when Texas rivals Dell and Compaq vied for goofiest tip of the month in January. On Dells support site, buyers of the Inspiron 3700 were stymied by the notebooks audio circuits frying when users hot-swapped a second battery. Separately, a couple of Furball fans reported that CDs that shipped with Compaqs Armada docking stations included not the necessary drivers, but 10 country-and-western audio files instead. His Hirsuteness wasnt sure which fate was worse—Dells sounds of silence or Compaqs presentation of Boxcar Willie.
In March, when the presidential race had thinned down to a Bush-Gore battle, El Gato checked out the state of the Web sites for the departed candidates. Although the Steve Forbes and Orrin Hatch sites had slowed to a crawl, both sites, amusingly, were still accepting contributions.
The site for Gary Bauer, who had already pulled out of the race by Jan. 26, brought only this message to the Mouser: "Welcome to the future Web site of bauer2000.com." "If not now, when?" wondered the Kitty.
A tipster told the Tabby that www.jpmorgan.com, the online presence for the venerable financial house, had gone offline briefly in June. "Technical difficulties?" queried the Katt. Hardly, replied the Felines friend, claiming the $11 billion investment bank had neglected to pay its annual $35 registration fee for the domain.
Spencer loved the New York Senate campaign debate between Hillary Clinton and Rick Lazio in which the duo was asked about Bill 602P. Both candidates proclaimed they were against the bill, which would put a 5-cent tax on e-mail messages. This amused the Lynx because 602P was an old Internet hoax that had already been well-documented on several "urban legend" Web sites.
Perhaps the most poignant submission came from a Furball fan in May. It was a little song parody called "Humble Pie," written to the tune of Don McLeans "American Pie," that summed up Y2K nicely:
A long, long week ago
I can still remember how
The market used to make me smile.
What Id do when I had the chance
Is get myself a cash advance
And add another tech stock to the pile ...
I never worried the whole way up
Buying dot-coms from the back of a pickup truck
But Friday I ran out of luck
It was the day the NASDAQ died.
I started singin
Bye, bye to my piece of the pie ...