Chorus: Join us, readers of ye olde Motley Fool, as we wonder at recent events of concern to the Internets. Comedy or tragedy, or mayhaps both, as some may laugh, and some may cry (and some may lob hens' hardscrabble works in places like Hungary!). Join us as we play mirthfully at the epic war of wills and words, concerning Prince Jerry Yang, of the kingdom of Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) ; the mercurial Lord Ballmer, of the wealthy lands of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) ; and Sir Carl Icahn, who seeks to draw this battle to a victorious close at shareholders' behest. And remember, this is merely Foolery, fictionalized and clumsily Shakespearized, and for ye olde entertainment purposes only. For who's to know what really transpires in these halls and heads, which some may call noble, others may call folly? Not I, dear Fool, not I.
Act LIV, Scene I
Prince Jerry: What new outrage is this, yet another letter written from Sir Icahn's poison pen! The villain wants to sever our severance, and complains bitterly of our poison pill, the defense of the ages! He calls our loyal chairman Roy a man of questionable honesty and wishes to replace our noble Board with those of his choosing!
Confidante #1: Listen not to the murmurings … such as Sir Icahn's slight against you, that you should be deposed and a new leader found in your stead, a man like that Googley (Nasdaq: GOOG ) fellow Schmidt …
Prince Jerry: Speak not of those Googley guys! Google, Google, Google! They hath brought us to this! Meanwhile, they tooleth around in their jets and ruminate on the nature of what constitutes "Don't be evil!"
Confidante #2: For my own part, I wish to know why an email about the etymology of the word "freak" serveth up ads on "vintage aprons" and "Victorian fashions." Not that I use Gmail, of course, Your Highness, I seek only to point out that the Google, 'tis not perfect.
Prince Jerry: Why does that villain Icahn yet persist in naming me a knave? What man can blame me for defending Yahoo!'s fertile lands? If I were to name a knave, methinks I'd name that fellow from Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM ) , with his alleged penchant for ecstasy, the rumored love of E of the glow sticks and rave-ish lunacy, drink-spiker-of-customers, now methinks that soundeth like a knave … I tire of the insults to myself and my great lands of Yahoo!, which helped herald the Golden Age of the Internets! Am I to be reviled for nothing more than defending this kingdom that I built? This land of the jubilant Y!? Alas, so fickle, these shareholders are, so heavy grows my head with the odious questions!
Confidante #2: Sire, many shareholders are full with fury, sharpening the tines of pitchforks, readying their torches … And our Yahooligans grow restless, fearing Sir Icahn's galloping approach across the Vista …
Prince Jerry: Perhaps we need a call to arms, a rallying of the troops, to drown out the sounds of that terrifying steed … What say you: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers …"
Confidante #2: No offense, sire, but methinks offense may lie in any talk of "happy few," given the fearsome and rather unhappy nature of these times. And forget not word of the shareholder lawsuit, which shared rumblings of Lord Ballmer's intent to commit many funds to ensure retention of the Yahooligans … and a $40 bid.
Prince Jerry: Speak no more, my friend, speak no more.
Confidante #1: But sire, how can you be blamed for defense against the darkness? So many noble geeks, hackers, and fanboys fear the tyranny of the ubiquitous operating system. More flee even now to the lush and fruity climes of that Jobs chap and his Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) , spending fitful nights contemplating pilgrimages to the coming Louvre Apple Store. I suspect you have roamed the underground realms of ye olde Slashdot, sire, cloaked in the anonymity of what is known by the masses as a Lurker. What panic and scorn have been wrought by such cataclysmic events of the past, like "blue screen of death!"
Prince Jerry: 'Tis true, 'tis true … does no one remember the Softy lands lent us such vile tricksterism as that dread Paperclip? And speaking of "dancing around," Clippy danced like some demented faerie across every hapless screen, offering aid for those who needed it not, till they had to murder it in the '90s. Would that it could come alive just once more, and fly straight to Icahn's screen, beseeching him incessantly, "IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE TRYING TO WRITE A BUSINESS LETTER! I jump, I dance! I drive you mad with helpful suggestions you don't require as you hunt-and-peck more cruel letters!"
Confidante #2: I'd rest not easy now, Your Majesty. The rumblings continue, and there is great unrest at the future, some say revolt, and there is great dissatisfaction at our realm priced at a mere $26 per share. The Icahn man cometh, indeed. And he insists on $34.375 a share.
Prince Jerry (with heavy sigh): Icahn or Icahn't. That is the question.