If I misled anyone about helping invent the Internet, I apologize

Apologies being the order of the day for government officials and others in the public eye who have been exposed in the media for exaggerating academic, military, and educational achievements, in the interest of transparency I’d like to clear up a few things in my past that may have led to misunderstandings.

• While I remotely comprehend how it could have been misinterpreted and taken out of context by some who weren’t paying close attention, if I once gave the impression in casual conversation that I was a high school football standout who was showered with offers to skip university and immediately turn pro, I’m sorry. In actuality I did a brief stint as team historian, which ended when an opposing team player collided with me on the sidelines bench and irreparably shattered my deadly accurate throwing arm. I apologize for any erroneous impression this may have caused (were it not for that catastrophic incident, however, I could have been a Heisman winner).

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• In a noisy McDonald’s setting, when I struck up a conversation with a group of college kids traveling to a skiing vacation, it’s possible some of them may have thought they heard me recount that I was lead member of a team that scaled Mt. Everest during one of the worst blizzards on record, and that I single-handedly saved two other climbers who had fallen into a crevasse. If I misled any of those impressionable youngsters, I am genuinely sorry (although it does not in any way diminish my recollection of the age 6 days I bravely walked two miles to school through 15 inches of snow).

• It’s a mystery how things get so blown out of proportion by the media and others who just want to stir things up and create dissent and controversy, but I have been grossly misquoted as saying that when I was hanging with Bill Gates at Harvard he wanted me to partner with him in developing a computer operating system. I mean, really, I was already in deep collaboration with Al Gore on inventing the Internet — and even then Bill was such a hopeless geek, I just couldn’t see saddling myself to him in a long-term business relationship. I trust all who know me will realize I did not intend any deception (BTW, if you would like to discuss with me a video game I’m developing that’s the greatest thing since Pac-Man, let’s do lunch. Just call. Anytime.).

• Heaven only knows why the sensationalistic, muckraking media natter about my supposedly having mentioned, in what I thought to be a private conversation, that I had once been short-listed for both Pulitzer and Nobel prizes, or that I ghostwrote The Gipper’s memorable “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech that led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall. (Envious cretins! And can I help it that the Pulitzer and Nobel selection committees are hopelessly shortsighted?)

Nonetheless, to one and all, I humbly apologize…

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