In an unusual display of technology industry in-fighting, Michael Dell was the recipient of what witnesses described alternately as either an “atomic wedgie” or the lesser “flying wedgie”. After delivering a speech at this year’s Internet World conference in New York, Dell entered the men’s room at Jacob Javits Center where an unknown assailant approached him from behind. Witnesses claim the attacker pulled the back of Dell’s underwear up to at least his shoulders and possibly over his head. The assailant then sped off, leaving Dell visibly angry and vowing revenge. Director of Javits Center Security, Gordon Smith, indicate that while there were multiple witnesses to the attack no one was willing to identify the assailant. Further, according to Smith, witnesses were unclear on the specific qualifications of both types of wedgie, making an accurate classification of the assault nearly impossible and hampering the investigation.
Outside the Jacob Javits men’s room, the debate was animated. Handspring’s Jeff Hawkins claimed “The flying wedgie just means you’re pulled off your feet. In the atomic wedgie, the band of your underwear gets pulled up over your head. It’s extremely difficult to administer.” Compaq’s Michael Capellas disagreed with Hawkin’s description. “Doesn’t the atomic wedgie mean they put toothpaste down your shorts? Or maybe it’s Ben Gay. I’m pretty sure it’s something like that, though.”
Several bystanders pointed to Dell’s speech as a possible catalyst for the attack. Red Hat’s Michael Tiemann went so far as to say Dell “kind of had it coming.” Dell’s speech, in which he took credit for being first to introduce wireless networking in laptops, an easy-open PC case and desktop video editing was criticized by some conference attendees. Technology analyst Tim Bajarin asked “Does Dell think we’re stupid? Everyone knows Apple was the first to mass market those features. I don’t get why he does that. Is he mental or something?”
Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs is considered a prime suspect in the hit-and-run wedgie-ing. Jobs and Apple vice presidents Phil Schiller and Avie Tevanian were seen running away from the Jacob Javits men’s room shortly after the attack. Asked to comment on the incident Jobs would only say “Dell’s a total wuss. I heard he was crying like a little girl.”
Dell declared “Jobs is totally dead when we break for lunch. I totally know he did it.” In his defense, Jobs replied “Did not.” To which Dell retorted “Did too.” Smith vowed to hold the entire technology industry after the conference, if necessary, in order to find out who was responsible.