"So, Bill, what did you think of the interview?"
Steve was on his iPhone, waiting for Phil to pick up. As usual he was on hold, this time listening to the latest Nine Inch Nails album. Steve hated it.
"I thought it was fun," Bill said with his trademark smirk. "You really had a good time plugging new products, didn't you?"
Steve smiled. "I didn't plug anything, Bill. Remember, I can't talk about most of our upcoming projects."
"Don't do that to me, Steve," Bill said. "I don't deserve that."
"Bring something up and then say you can't talk about it. That's so MySpace, Steve."
"Hey, Bill, settle down there buddy," Steve put his iPhone into his back pocket. "I let out a couple secrets — like our gay marriage!" Steve laughed hard at his own joke from during the interview.
Bill frowned and suddenly looked very serious, pursing his lips and squinting his eyes.
"That," he said, "was not funny."
"Come on, Bill. We're friends now, it's okay to joke around."
Steve playfully punched Bill in the shoulder.
"I wouldn't joke about gay marriage if I were you, Steve."
Steve looked Bill in the eye, curious. "And why's that, Bill?"
"Because," said Bill, drawing himself up to his full height. "People might believe you."
Steve's brow furrowed. He looked like a hawk about to defend its nest.
"Oh no you didn't."
"Aha!" Bill said, his wormy little voice growing excited. "Can't take your own medicine!"
"You'd know, wouldn't you?" Steve said, sticking his face in Bill's. "Since you only take other peoples' medicine anyway."
Just as the two had locked eyes and looked as if they were about to begin slapping one another, both of them stopped still as Steve's butt started playing the chorus from "(I've Had) The Time of My Life."
Before Bill could say anything, Steve grabbed the iPhone from his back pocket and answered.
"Phil, where the hell have you been? No, just- no, I can't discuss Operation: Tom Hanks right here. No- no, I'm in the middle of something so just text me, okay? Bye!"
"Haha, you giant homo!" Bill taunted, pointing and laughing at Steve. "I bet you caught the Dirty Dancing marathon on TNT last weekend too!"
"Very funny. Just because you can't appreciate the Eighties doesn't mean–"
"So what's Operation: Tom Hanks, Steve?" Bill said, cutting Steve off.
"Oooh, nothing I can talk about," Steve said. His eyes flashed behind his spectacles.
Bill's jaw tightened and his eyes fixated into two shrewd points, security cameras scanning Steve's every action.
"Bill," Steve said, looking at a new text message on his iPhone. "If you want to know what Operation: Tom Hanks is, you're invited to the event in August."
Bill frowned and his eyebrows took a sharp dive. Steve would only tell him what the new product was on the day it was announced?
"I'll already know what's going on by then," Bill said. "You can't keep secrets forever, Steve."
Steve was texting a reply, staring at the shining screen of his iPhone intently.
"Sure, Bill," he said without looking up. "I'll make sure you get a VIP pass."
Bill, now fuming at Steve's blasé attitude, made a mental note to call Balmer. First the iPhone, then Leopard and now this — Bill wasn't about to let Steve get a hat-trick for product surprises.
"Anyway, I gotta get back to the Loop," Steve said, replacing his iPhone in his rear pocket. "Catch ya later!"
With that Steve tweaked Bill's left nipple and strode past him out of the studio's back door and into a waiting hovercraft. With a whir and a whoosh he was gone, leaving Bill alone.
Bill wasted no time and reached into his breast pocket, took out his large, clunky Windows CE phone, and waited for it to boot. Then, after a good half-minute navigating his phonebook, he called Steve Balmer.
"I'll be in Redmond in two hours. I want all of our top engineers from every division, with the board, in a meeting by the time I'm back."
"Bill? Are you sure? Half of the guys are still on vacation since we launched Vista!"
"I don't fucking care. Just make it happen! Steve Jobs is about to get another jump on us and we can't afford to let that happen."
"Sure, Bill," Steve said, the sounds of keys clacking and paperwork fluttering in the background. "What should I tell them it's in regards to?"
"You can tell them we're going to take Tom Hanks apart before August."