‘The Best of Bill Gates’ by Adam Russell

This piece was part of the Ánimo Voices Competition, which invited students to write about innovators, upstanders, visionaries, or rebels that have made a difference in their local or broader communities. The competition was an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.

The Best of Bill Gates

by Adam Russel, 8th grader, Ánimo Westside Charter Middle School

 

 

Cast:

Bill Gates

Mary Gates

Paul Allen

Ric Weiland

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. CLASSROOM - EVENING

 

Close up on Bill Gates.

 

Narrator

Hellooo. Nice to-(clear throat)-Meet you. It’s a very lovely day outside, now, isn’t it.

 

Bill Gates

(Looking around the room) Sorry, who are you?

 

Narrator

Well, EXCUSE me! I am.. (say eerily) the ghost of your past.

Bill

(Continue looking)I highly doubt that, considering I don’t have much of a past in the first place. I’m only thirteen.

Narrator

I would never-! I mean-! Wow! Such a rude child. *scoff*

 

(Paul enters the room.)

Paul Allen

*whispers* Bill! We don’t have time for you to talk to yourself. Come on!

Bill

Sorry, just thought I heard something. Odd.

 

(Bill and Paul exit the room.)

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - EVENING

Paul

Bill! They got it! They got it! They got it!

Bill

What! What’d they get?! Who got what and when did they how!?--Whoops. I got caught up in the moment. What are you talking about.

Narrator

Bill corrects his mistake and continues to apologize, when Paul stops him and tells him that his school got the brand new Altair 8800 -Almost never been seen before in schools. Boy, were they lucky. “What is this, MITS Altair 8800 Microcomputer?”, you may ask, depending on your interest in computers and your generation. Mostly because of your-

Bill

-WHO IS THAT! Who keeps talking to you and me like we’re in an audience. (Groans)

Paul

Bill, what are you talking about, there’s no-one talking.

Narrator

Listen to him, Bill! I’m just a part of your head. Anyways, the Altair 8800 was one of the best microcomputers out there. It had flashy lights that could turn on… and get this. OFF. Too overwhelming? It could do things, that no-one even imagined. It did things like playing games -against ITSELF! That’s insane.

Bill

Ok, Allen. Tell me that you’re not hearing this. Tell me you’re not hearing some wack-o go on about a computer to no-one, for no apparent reason.

Paul

Honestly?

Bill

Honestly.

Paul

Ric and I have just been playing a prank. It’s cool. (Italicised words are muttered under his breath) I swear this kid is going insane. Just ignore it. I hope he’s as gullible as he looks..

Narrator

Me. Ric. Yeeeees. Meeeeee. Not a parasite attached to your mind and feeding you data about some kid named Paul Allen, while you feed me with your brain waves. Hahhhhh. (Laughs sheepishly)

Bill

Very funny Ric.

Paul

What?

Bill

Nothing.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SCIENCE ROOM -EVENING

 

(Bill and Paul walk into the science room.)

Ric

(Walk up behind Bill and Paul) Hey guys!

Bill

Jesus, Ric, don’t sneak up on us like that! Not cool.

Ric

(Chuckles) It’s not that big of a deal-Doesn’t matter. Let’s just go check out that brand new computer! Man I’m jittering; I’m so excited.

Paul

Okay, jitterbug. Let’s check out this piece of work! OOh. You’re not kidding. It’s got me jittery too.

Narrator

So they worked and they worked, until their fingers were too tired to flip switches and turn on lights and turn on more switches and flip more lights. They had an incredible output-for that time, as a kid the age of 13, had just programmed a microcomputer to play tic-tac-toe.

Bill’s Conscious

(Increasing in velocity and urgency) Bill.. Bill.. Bill!

Bill

God! What?

Bill’s Conscious

Ignore it. Its just your imagination playing tricks on you. Trust me.

Paul

Bill, Ric! It worked. By jove, it worked!

Bill

It’s actually playing tic-tac-toe against you? That’s incredible.

Ric

You betcha. We should come here more often. Maybe screw around with the operating system. Heh.

Narrator

An operating system is what runs on the computer to let you do pretty much anything. The over-simplified version is that it allows someone to do something on a computer easily.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BILL’S HOME - NIGHT

 

Bill enters through the door. Mary enters through the kitchen doorway.

Bill

(Flops onto couch) Hey mom, I’m home!

Mary Gates

Where were you for the last 3 hours. You hadn’t called, and I got worried about you.

Bill

Nothing much, just studying at school.

Narrator

Naughty, naughty Bill! You lied to your own mother! You should be ashamed. You were playing with those newfangled, electronic toys! (scoff)

 

Bill

Okay -I lied. I was playing with the computer they just installed in the science lab. But, get this. I made a program that allowed the computer to play tic-tac-toe against you! Isn’t that great?

Mary Gates

Yes, Bill. It’s great, but I’d like you to tell the truth. But a tic-tac-toe program? You should tell your school. You could get some sort of scholarship or something.

Narrator

And so he did. He got in trouble of course, along with his co-conspirators, but he ended up working for the school while he was a student. He was even able to get into Harvard.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. COLLEGE DORM ROOM - NIGHT

 

Bill

(sighs) Should we do it?

Paul

I don’t know.

 

(Bill picks up the telephone and enters in a number)

Bill

Ok, We’re doing it.

MITS Reception

M-I-T-S, Gabriel Adams speaking.

Bill

I’d like to make a proposition. I’ll ALLOW MITS to hire me to build programs for them.

Reception

Sir, you can understand my skepticism. We get many creeps calling about this as well.

 

(Show annoyingly slow and dramatic montage pertaining to the Narrator’s words.)

Narrator

After a while, he convinced someone to meet him and show his demonstration of his operating system. Soon he was the youngest billionaire ever. Eventually, he married someone named Melinda French. She encouraged him to create a private charity, and he is going to donate 99.96% of his money to charity when he dies.

Bill

Are you still talking?

 

End.

 

Copyright 2018, Adam Russell, All rights reserved

 

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