Bonzi World exposed.

Remember me?

I’m sure everyone remembers Bonzi Buddy, the adorable but sneaky purple gorilla that made his home on your screen. I used to have it installed on my Windows 98 computer years ago and despite his spying habits, I still put him to use as he told jokes, sang songs and revealed interesting facts. Long after Bonzi Buddy was removed from the Internet, he somehow lived on in my imagination.

Years ago, during the days of Windows XP, I managed to find the Bonzi Buddy character file online for use with Microsoft Agent and started having fun with it in an entirely different way. I learned how to create simple VB scripts to have him say anything I wanted him to say and make rude noises. I also had him play games, including a number guessing game. It was possible to have fun with him without worrying about him spying on me.

The more scripts I made for Bonzi Buddy, the more a completely different story began to emerge. I began to imagine Bonzi Software creating a product called Bonzi Club, one that printed coupons for use at your favorite fast food restaurants. (“If you use them all, you’ll gain 500 pounds!”, he would say) From time to time there would be Bonzi Challenges that gave you a chance to earn points for prizes. One challenge required you to walk into McDonald’s and sing this song:

I love McDonald’s!
My favorite place!
Hamburgers and shakes and fries,
Happy meals and a prize!
Helloooooo McDonald’s!

If you sang that song, you would have won 5,000 points and a special prize, but if you didn’t, you would have those points taken away even after the software turned on your microphone to hear your excuse. Having a balance at zero points would put your Bonzi Club membership in jeopardy, so it was necessary to use the coupons on a daily basis, even if it meant eating fast food every day. After all, zero points meant getting kicked out of Bonzi Club and losing access to its perks. Attempting to run the software with no points caused a scary skeleton to appear on your screen and remind you that your account is no longer active and that you needed to uninstall the software to avoid seeing the skeleton again. Furthermore you had to wait 6 months before you were given another chance with Bonzi Club.

Then I began to imagine Bonzi Software expanding its product line, soon releasing Bonzi Browser (“the new way to browse the web!”) and selling plugins such a password manager.

Imagining having to buy add-ons for Bonzi Browser gave me insights in how software companies can fool you into thinking you’re saving money by manipulating the price. I don’t know if this is a real practice or not but it’s possible. For example, Bonzi Software set the retail price of its password manager add-on at $29.95 but was offering a deal where you only had to pay $14.95. (“That’s a 50% savings!”) Hence the illusion of saving money.

Meanwhile Bonzi Software continued to expand. Eventually The Bonzi Channel and Bonzi Radio would be launched as the company ventured into broadcasting. I even imagined a smart speaker shaped like Bonzi Buddy’s head that responded to voice commands much like Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.

Finally, I imagined Bonzi World, a “family friendly kingdom of rides, food and great savings”. It was a giant man-made island with an amusement park, a shopping center, a hotel and meeting complex. However, Bonzi Software had a great deal of difficulty trying to find a place to build this island as no one wanted one nearby due to concerns of it being a giant eyesore. Finally they had to settle for building it halfway around the world off the coast of Ochoro, an imaginary country near India that served as a gateway to the Indian Ocean.

So now Bonzi Software (now Bonzi Enterprises) was stuck with the awkward dilemma of having visitors to fly halfway around the world just to visit Bonzi World. There were too many hurdles to overcome, such as requiring visitors to have passports and advance reservations at Bonzi Tower. None of this fared well for Bonzi World and it began to suffer financially.

And that leads us to the mega typhoon that would destroy Bonzi World and founder Jim Bonzi would descend into madness and denial after having lost so much money as a result.

Now you know the rest of the story.

(With apologies to Joe and Jay Bonzi)

Bonzi World destroyed by massive typhoon.

An extremely rare mega typhoon plowed through Bonzi World and completely destroyed everything on the man-made island, including the amusement park, shopping center and the 79-story Bonzi Tower.

European Weather Service satellite images show that Typhoon Gustavo and Typhoon Henri were both on such identical paths that the two storms merged into a devastating mega typhoon that was more than twice the size of the island and packed winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. So devastating was the storm that it left behind absolutely nothing in its wake.

However, Bonzi World owner and CEO of Bonzi Enterprises Jim Bonzi was quick to dismiss the news of Bonzi World’s demise despite photographs of the storm’s damage along the nearby coastal region of Ochoro. He made the following announcement on Purpel, his social media network:

Beautiful day here at Bonzi World yet the FAKE WEATHER MEDIA wants you to think my island was destroyed by a typhoon? Sad!

Response to Bonzi’s announcement was swift and damning. A sampling of some of the replies:

Dude, your island is GONE. (that’s GONE, as in NOTHING THERE, in case you haven’t figured it out yet.)

Fake weather media? Does that mean there’s no blizzard advisory for South Florida?

Pay no attention to him. He’s been hallucinating after having been smacked in the face from a flying palm tree.

Romping through the Bermuda Triangle again, are we?

Is there harp music playing where you’re at as well?

Attempts were made to reach Jim Bonzi but he remains notoriously difficult to reach for comment. His staff issued a statement indicating their support for Bonzi’s claims although they hinted those claims might be fruitless.

Humiliation at the reunion.

So far, so good.

I made it to 15 minutes at the 25th high school reunion without anyone laughing at me. Perhaps everyone decided to put away that infamous incident that forever humiliated me back in the day when we were all students.

“Michael Bateman? Is that you?” a voice interrupted my thoughts. I turned around and saw Bob Rossa, a dear friend and fellow classmate who was in quite a few of my classes. He may have appeared older and grayer but he still had that unmistakable smile. Wait a minute, are those dentures?

“Bob! How have you been?” I exclaimed out as we embraced. “So how’s life treating you?”

“Life’s been good. I’ve landed a steady job managing the marina at Hasta Harbor, got myself a wife and got three sons I’m proud of. So what about you? Have you…”

Bob’s voice trailed off as if he was struck by a sudden revelation.

Here it comes…

“Wait a minute, we were in Spanish class together, weren’t we?” Bob smiled as a certain memory came back.

It’s coming…

“Oh my gosh, it’s you! You’re the one who likes fast carrots!*


Bob started laughing uncontrollably and turned to the crowd of fellow reunion attendees.


Slowly but surely the auditorium began to fill with laughter as everyone recognized me from that fateful day in Spanish class when I inadvertently became the laughingstock of the entire school. Everyone surrounded me as I became the center of attention with nonstop laughter from all around. Apparently no one was willing to just let it go, much to my humiliation.

Spanish class, 1985.

Mr. Rodríguez was chuckling to himself as he returned the graded essays everyone had to write in Spanish. As he returned mine, he announced to the class, “It seems we’ve learned something new about our friend Michael here. I never knew he likes fast carrots.”

As the class erupted in laughter, I frantically thumbed through my essay to search for the offending passage, and there it was, on page three.

Me gustan los carrots rápidos.

I like fast carrots.

I meant to say I liked fast cars but it was way too late to change that now.

Way too late.

Kevin’s dilemma.

Kevin slowly opened his eyes and found himself lying on the floor in a brightly lit but empty room. His senses were struggling to assess the surroundings after what felt like a drug-induced bout of unconsciousness. Or was it?

“Have a nice nap?” a deep voice from nowhere rang out.

Slowly Kevin regained control of his consciousness and became aware of his location. Then his mood changed from confusion to that of annoyance as he realized where he was.

The mysterious office suite underground beneath the hospital where Kevin worked.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” emanated the voice from a speaker on the wall.

Kevin was confused. “What do you mean?”

“You have a crew working throughout your hospital.”

“Oh yeah,” Kevin smiled. “We’re upgrading our network.”

“You are?” the voice sounded shocked. “Why?”

“Well, we’ve been behind the times for a little too long, so it’s definitely time to upgrade the network to something faster and more reliable.”

“We had an agreement, remember?”

There was a long, uncomfortable silence as Kevin struggled to recall just what that agreement was.

“You agreed to never upgrade your network no matter how tempting the newer technology it may be. Does that ring a bell?”

“Oh, right,” Kevin nodded as he remembered that vaguely worded agreement. “But I hadn’t heard from you for a while, so I figured you didn’t need our network anymore.”

“We’ll always need your network!” The voice shouted. “Our work is neverending and our mission will continue indefinitely. Don’t you realize that this is a matter of national security? Of course we need your 100 megabit networking hardware with Cat3 network cables. Our proprietary protocol only works with your antiquated network and for you to upgrade to newer technologies completely defeats the purpose of our mission. You must prevent the upgrade from taking place, or else.”

“Or else what?” Kevin asked, his voice shaking.

“Or else our agreement will be terminated along with yourself.”

Suddenly there was a loud buzzing sound from the speaker that jolted Kevin awake. After quickly examining his surroundings, he realized he was in his office in the Information Systems department of the hospital where he worked. He had been sleeping at his desk and had a most peculiar dream.

Or was it a dream?

Kevin stood up and opened the door to his office. He could hear the excited chatter of the department’s employees as they clearly looked forward to having a faster, better network. One of the employees saw Kevin and smiled.

“Great news, Kevin!” Robert said. “We’re set to switch the first floor to the new network tonight and if all goes well, we can start dismantling the old network tomorrow. Does that sound good or what?”

Kevin didn’t hear a word of what Robert said. In his mind he was struggling to assess his situation and how to resolve it.

They’ll kill me if we go forward with the new network. How do I stop this?

Or was this all just a dream?

What should I do?

Donald Trump has totally lost it.

Yes, I am convinced that Donald Trump has totally lost it. In the two years since his defeat, he has spent nearly all his time at his Mar-a-Lago estate going room to room trying to find it. And he still hasn’t, even with Melania’s help. Her only contribution to the matter is her confusion as to exactly what it is that he lost.

During his time at the White House, Trump most likely didn’t have it with him then, although he swore up and down he did. Still, he spent his time going room to room in the White House trying to find where it could possibly be but with no luck. Vice President Mike Pence even asked what it was that Trump was looking for but Trump responded for him to shut up and keep looking.

The hypothesis that Trump lost it while working at Trump Tower appears to be gaining momentum. Rather than search all the rooms, floor by floor, he most likely found it easier to just admit that he lost it and then move on, even if it means moving on without it. Not even his children were of any help for they too were clueless as to what it was that he lost.

So has Donald Trump totally lost it? The answer is a resounding yes. He has traveled this far down the road of life without it despite his best efforts to find it. It is a surprise however, that from all the executive actions he signed while in office, none of them would establish a Department of Missing Its. But I guess he was a little too preoccupied.

A visit from my dearly departed father.

Last night as I lay sleeping, something unusual happened. It was an otherwise clear and cool night, a night cool enough for me to open the windows and let in some of that fresh air that helps me sleep so well.

No, last night was a little different. I don’t know if it was a dream or not but I first noticed the air becoming very cold as the breeze gained strength to turn into a very strong wind that stirred up the clutter in my bedroom and sent it flying in all directions. I was freezing cold even with the blanket and the heavy comforter covering me and my body began to tremble and shiver.

When the chaos in my bedroom had eased, I noticed there was a glowing blue figure standing in front of my bed, the light too bright for me to identify exactly what it was.

“Hello, Ichiban.”

That voice. It sounded very familiar. And there was only one person who called me Ichiban.

“Dad? Is that you?”

It couldn’t be him. My father had left this life two years ago and I thought he was gone for good, although there were plenty of occasions when I got the sensation he was watching over me and even manipulating my mind to guide me towards doing the right thing when it came to managing my life and my finances.

“Yes, it’s me,” my father said. “I’m just checking on you and making sure you’re all right. After all, just because I’m gone doesn’t mean my fatherly duties have to end. Having said that…”

I sat up, my senses in awe of the ghostly being that was and will always be my father. I awaited in anticipation of what he would say next.


Happy 2023, I think.

mjbdiver> hello room!
ghost> oh no divers back
ralph> ghost just ignore him
dragon> so ralph your on twitter but not facebook?
ralph> no im on facebook but not twitter
ghost> what about instagram
ralph> sometimes
mjbdiver> im on instagram
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (CHILL)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> why did u do that
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (BECAUSE I CAN)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> u kicked me twice
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (THIRD TIMES THE CHARM)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ralph> at least its ghost and not me
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (AT LEAST ITS YOU AND NOT GHOST)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> dragon you hurt my feelings
ghost> so ralph your not on twitter anymore ?
ralph> no it hasnt been the same since elen must bought it
ralph> elan smock
ralph> elton john
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (ELON MUSK)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> yea thats him
ghost> elton john bought twitter ? ? ?
ralph> dragon you hurt my feelings
dragon> no ghost its elon musk
ghost> isnt elon musk a lotion ?
ralph> instead of twitter im on parler
dragon> so your on facebook and parler but not twitter
ghost> and instagram
ralph> sometimes instagram but not as much as facebook but more than twitter
ghost> i thought u use twitter more than facebook
dragon> but not parler
mjbdiver> here we go!
ralph> no I go on parler but not as much as instagram or facebook
dragon> but more than facebook
ralph> no im on facebook more than parler
ghost>  i thought u use instagram more than parler
mjbdiver> 10!
dragon> what about snapchat
ralph> ocasiobaly but I use instagram more than snapchat but not as much as facebook or twitter altho i use parler more than snapchat or instagram
mjbdiver> 9!
ghost> I thought u use facebook more than instagram
dragon> what about tiktok
mjbdiver> 8!
ralph> no, im not into tiktok as i am with snapchat but i use tiktok more than i do instagram or facebook but sometimes i go on snapchat instead of instagram or facebook altho i go on Facebook before snapchat or tiktok but sometimes i go on parler instead of tiktok or instagram
ghost> i thought u use tiktok more than snapchat
mjbdiver> 7!
dragon> what about truth social
ghost> eeewwww truth social
ralph> id rather be on twitter
mjbdiver> 6!
dragon> i thought you didnt use twitter
ralph> no not as much as instagram or snapchat but i go on facebook more then i go on tiktok instead of parler
ghost> or truth social
mjbdiver> 5!
ralph>  no not truth social id rather be on snapchat
ghost> i thought youd rather be on twitter
dragon> he doesnt use twitter
ralph> no i dont use twitter
ghost> u dont use twitter ?  ? ?
mjbdiver> 4!
ghost> elton john mustve really messed it up
dragon> no its elon musk
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (GETING DIZZY???)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> that wasnt funy dragon
mjbdiver> 3!
ralph> oh look at diver hes counting down again
mjbdiver> 2!
ghost> dragon do the honors please
mjbdiver> 1!
*** You have been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (SEE YOU NEXT YEAR)

Countyline Racing.

Chico stepped on the gas as he turned onto the on ramp leading to I-95, almost tasting the sweetness of victory ahead. Then uncertainty set in as he had no clue who his opponent would be. Would he emerge triumphant with an improved racing record or would he just sink lower to the point of eternal shame? That question would soon be answered tonight.

Chico merged into the light traffic on the interstate and set about searching for his opponent. He flashed his bright lights twice in rapid succession and looked around for a response. No luck. He tried again and the car ahead changed lanes to move out of his way. Not the response he was looking for, but one slightly comical in tone to ease the moment’s tension.

Then he flashed his bright lights again and this time he got a response from one of the cars ahead. Its driver had tapped on the brakes twice to signal an acceptance of Chico’s challenge. The race was set to begin.

As Chico sped up to line his car up with his opponent, he was momentarily startled at the sight of blue flames shooting out of his opponent’s exhaust. No doubt a muscle car. But when he saw just what kind of car his opponent was driving, he began laughing.

His opponent was driving a Ford Pinto, but heavily modified for racing. The engine was so big that a hole had to be cut in the hood and the car rode on larger than usual tires. The bumpers were heavily padded to reduce any chance of explosion. Chico himself was driving a 1980 Datsun 210, also modified for racing. It boasted a powerful engine and some nitro boosters that helped secure his solid racing record that earned him a spot in the semifinals set to begin tonight. This was going to be a good race, if not a close one.

The two opponents nodded at each other in a final gesture of agreement to the race before they began their preparations, both mental and mechanical. The starting point was at the sign indicating the exit for Hillsborough Boulevard and the finish line was the Palm Beach County border. There were some spectators watching the race from the overpass, eager for some illegal excitement.

The exit sign for Hillsborough Boulevard zipped past as the two cars accelerated to begin the race. The other cars had to swerve out of the way of the speeding cars eager for a spot in the finals.

Chico was fully focused on the road ahead but to his annoyance noticed the Pinto was at his side and making no attempts to gain the lead. He was sorely tempted to use his boosters but he always saved them for the last stretch for they made controlling his car extremely difficult. He floored the gas pedal but it did little to gain any lead.

The race was now nearly half over but the two cars were still side by side. Chico began to worry about the race ending in a tie, which would have meant another race to determine the winner. Some racers utilized this strategy to wear down their opponents but Chico just wanted the race over with. His races never ended in a tie thanks to his boosters but he was hoping not to use them.

The sign indicating the upcoming exit for Boca Raton was now visible, marking the home stretch. Chico reluctantly decided to use his boosters and had reached for the button when his opponent suddenly slammed on the brakes and swerved off the road for no apparent reason. Perhaps the opponent conceded early and decided to let Chico win, unless there was a speed trap nearby. Chico quickly scanned the area and saw no patrol cars anywhere. He had won the race.

Then came the overpass where the cheering spectators offered their enthusiastic approval of Chico’s victory. As Chico drove underneath, his car was quickly buried by the $500 in pennies poured from buckets overhead.

This racing business isn’t bad, Chico thought, but the payout system is in dire need of improvement.

The Fart Test.

The door to the waiting room opened as renowned scientist Ranaan Bargaindeli entered to summon the five men who were waiting to take part in an ambitious experiment. As ordered they had been eating baked beans in preparation for the crucial second and final phase of the experiment.

“Come with me,” Bargaindeli commanded as the men rose from their seats to follow him to a large, darkened room illuminated only by a single overhead light in the middle. Numerous members of the press were present to document the unfolding of this unusual experiment about to take place. The five men stood in line in sideways formation while facing the audience.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Bargaindeli announced, “Here you see five married men. They all claim to be faithful to their wives, but one of them is a cheater. How will we find out, may you ask? Observe.”

Turning to the men, he smiled and said, “Gentlemen.”

The first man stepped forward and strained before letting out a loud fart. He stepped back with an awkward grin. There were whispers of disbelief among the reporters clearly wondering what flatulence had to do with advancing scientific progress.

The second man too stepped forward and farted loudly before stepping back while trying to keep a straight face despite the sound of the fart being humourous to his ears.

The third man had to strain more than the first two men, his face turning red from holding his breath trying to force the expulsion of his intestinal gas. He then leaned forward, put his hands on his knees and took some deep breaths before the gas finally came out with a long, deafening roar that shook the walls of the room. He laughed with an embarrassed grin before stepping back to join the other men.

In one smooth motion, the fourth man stepped forward, let loose a loud ripper before he stepped back. Finally, the fifth man contributed his brief fart before concluding the smelly phase of the experiment.

After several cans of air freshener were sprayed to render the air of the room more breathable for the reporters, Bargaindeli returned to the center of the room to address the audience.

“You may be wondering what flatulence has to do with advancing scientific progress,” he said. “You have just seen and heard from the five married men who say they are loyal to their wives, yet one of them is a cheater. Judging from the farts we just heard, I am guessing our cheater is man number three. Am I correct?”

The third man hung his head and stepped forward, amazed at how he was so identified just by his fart. “Yeah, I cheated on my wife. I work at night and she works during the day so I hardly ever see her anymore, so I started an affair with one my coworkers. But how did you know it was me who was cheating?”

“Simple,” Bargaindeli explained, “When confronted with the harsh reality of cheating, the stress causes all your muscles to tighten, including your rectal muscles, which blocks the expulsion of intestinal gas. When relaxed, however, the high volume of gas is then released through the longer than average flatulence.

“In other words, those who cheat fart longer.”

For his work, Bargaindeli became the 2022 recipient of the Dummbel Prize in Marriage Management.