We had arranged to meet at Denny's on Berryessa Road. I spotted him immediately in the parking lot. Michael was wearing his best pair of neatly-pressed chinos, black button-down shirt, and a weather-beaten Panama hat. He avoided eye contact as I approached him, seeming to withdraw within the locks of his goatee. "You must be Cockskin Horsesuit," he said. "I'm Michael David Crawford, President and CEO of Dulcinea Technologies Corporation. Let's go inside." With that he grabbed his demo bag and headed for the entrance.
We were greeted by the hostess, a pretty brunette of about 17. Crawford reached into his bag and pulled out a Geometric Visions CD, and stiffly proffered it to her. "She's new," Michael muttered to me. After being seated in a suitably secluded booth per Crawfordian requirements, Michael set up his laptop and connected to the DENNYS wireless network. Our waitress came over for our drink orders. I had an iced tea, Crawford a Coca Cola with lemon. Michael gave her two Geometric Visions CD's. "Keep one and play the other on your sound system," Crawford ordered proudly. The waitress sighed. "Mike, you already gave me five of these. I'm not going to play your CD here again, you know how that went over last time."
(c O O YOU'RE EMBARRASSING ME IN FRONT OF MY CLIENT!!!
| ^) /
"YOU'RE EMBARRASSING ME IN FRONT OF MY CLIENT," Michael thundered, shaking with agitation. By then his laptop, a 2004-vintage Sony Vaio showing its wear underneath a fresh coat of polish, had finally finished booting OS/2. Michael loaded up Ogg Frog and opened the Geometric Visions playlist. Soon the tinny notes of Emergence filled the booth, emanating from his portable PC speakers. "You get two demos for the price of one," said Crawford. "I wanted to show you the drag-and-drop interface. It would be very simple to implement this on OS/2. However the drag-and-drop internals on OS/2 diverged substantially from Windows OLE. Ogg Frog is platform-independent, so I am working on a generic drag-and-drop abstraction layer. It's mostly complete but has a few bugs that I am working on in my spare time. But first things first."
Crawford pulled out a 17-page nondisclosure agreement from his bag. The last 15 pages seemed to be a reworked version of his essay, "The Ethical Engineer." I flipped through the pages, initialed each one and signed at the end. What Crawford did not know was that I had consulted my attorney, Ogg Law, who had advised me that for a contract to be valid, both parties must be competent. Since Crawford is obviously batshit insane, nothing I signed could possibly be enforceable.
Crawford then opened his the Secret folder on his desktop.
"The product is called Blogg Frog," said Crawford, shamelessly shifting in his seat. Ever since the music had started, I could not help but notice the obvious tenting in the crotch of his chinos. "I started Dulcinea Technologies Corporation to move in a completely different direction. I'm putting my embedded software experience to use to develop an off-the-shelf web application. I intend to sell this product and my consulting services associated with it, and to use it for the greater good of Humanity and Justice."
By now Crawford had started and crashed his web browser, Ogg Browse, a few times. "Ogg Browse is something that's really in pre-alpha stage, but I believe in eating my own dog food. You would think by now, with solid XHTML standards, someone would have written a truly compliant and clean, platform-independent browser. But they are all shit. Ogg Browse is standards-compliant, platform-independent, and is Software of Elegance and Beauty. It just needs more features."
By now Crawford had managed to load the Blogg Frog homepage in Ogg Browse. Ogg Browse consists of a single window with no menus and lacked support for features like images, CSS, fonts, and text markup. However, it does support links, basic GET forms, and Ogg Frog integration.
Michael explained that Blogg Frog would be the platform for an enlightened, Free discussion community where great minds would exchange ideas and essays unfettered by censorship and the negativity of Ignorant Motherfuckers. Blogg Frog would be the engine of his Secret. Crawford flapped his hands as he recalled his excitement at finding PRQ in Sweden to host his community. "They are truly committed to Free Speech. They will fight any legal threats. They are immune to United States jurisdiction and have their own in-house department of Swedish lawyers to fend off my persecutors!"
Michael then explained why he needed a dedicated server. "I know I won't be using much bandwidth at first. Blogg Frog will host a text-based site, and the initial content will just be my essays about certain Ignorant Motherfuckers and software design. But I'm not about to start using PHP and SQL databases. Blogg Frog keeps its datastore in FoxPro 2. That won't run on Linux or OS/2 so I have an integration layer to FoxPro 2 running on DR-DOS in a virtual machine. I'd rather use a modern embedded database, so the public release of Blogg Frog will be using Metakit."
At this exact moment, Ogg Browse dumped core and Crawford's fly ripped open, strained as was by his massive erection of animal proportions. Crawford's pale, blue-veined penis sprang forth at its full 14-inch length. Just then our waitress arrived with a tray of wings, cheese sticks, and fries for Crawford. The PC speakers were belting out the final strains of Sahara as she caught sight of Crawford's engorged manmeat, dropped the tray to the floor with a crash and screamed like a banshee in heat. The sound of the distressed woman was enough to push the over-excited Crawcock over the edge.
SPLORK! Gobs of semen rained on me, Crawford's grubby VAIO, and the humiliated waitress. In shock, I felt my gorge rise and an acidic geyser of iced tea vomited from my mouth, cannoning on a stack of Geometric Visions CDs and Crawford's wilting member.
That's the last thing I can remember at Denny's. I don't know how I got home. I woke up in bed, caked in my own vomit and clasping an empty bottle of cheap vodka.
Crawford, Fuck you and Fuck your Secret. I wish I never knew.