The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 32
What would you do with a hundred million rand?

I liked the castle idea. As a boy I used to fantasize about living in a castle and I needed a bigger place anyway in order to grow my robot factory. A large castle with a hidden, secret, robot factory would be perfect.

Raymond and I spent a few days looking at farms for sale. We eventually found a very large farm near Cape Town in a suburb called Stellenbosch. Building the castle was a fun project. Kirsty, Raymond and I met with a very expensive architect and chatted with him about our options. Kirsty was very keen to make it look as much like Hogwarts as possible, I wanted to make sure that there was a decent sized underground and hidden robot building facility, and Raymond wanted to make sure that he got a little bit more than just Hagrid’s hut to live in. I compromised by letting them both have exactly what they wanted. I had already paid R50 million for the property (as I said, it was very large) and the castle and Raymond’s mansion added another R50 million.

Having Kirsty around had made me change my focus quite a bit. I was also a Harry Potter fan, and I had realised that not only could I provide a castle, but I could also provide magical creatures. I decided to build a large wall around the property to keep out uninvited guests; after all I didn’t want anyone running off with any of my robots. Back at my house in Plumstead I had asked the robots to build various characters from the Harry Potter books. I wanted lots of house elves, so the robots had to work out a way to miniaturize the design. Other characters they built were Hagrid, the half giant, unicorns and caretakers that looked like Filch (I would need more than one caretaker for this property). The robots were modified to think like their characters and be unable to do anything out of character, so Hagrid, for example, would be unable to answer any mathematical questions, unless they were very simple. They would all be completely in character at all times. I also got them to build lots of miniature robots, like spiders and fairies, which weren’t nearly as complex as the big ones.

The two kilometre wall around the property was the first thing to be built. It had a huge entrance with a very large sign that said ‘No muggles allowed!’ The castle would be built right in the middle. Next to the entrance, but outside the property we had given a small piece of land to an entrepreneur who would build a very old looking, English inn, which he named ‘The Three Broomsticks,’ where parents could stay while their children went to visit the castle.

Hundreds of people worked on the buildings every day. I paid for the best, because I wanted to get it done quickly. Kirsty spent the next months designing a camp schedule. She wanted the castle to be a place where children could spend a week of their holidays, enjoying the magic and doing lots of fun things. The way she had designed it I wished I was a child again, because the camp schedule was more exciting than anything I could remember from my childhood. The only thing that came close was Uncle Paul’s Christmas Party, an event organized by a Rotaract club, including a tractor ride, playing in hay, eating sweets, getting presents, seeing Father Christmas and a fairy, as well as a show with the characters from Noddy books.

Every day would include two classes, one before lunch, and one after lunch. Sounds a bit boring so far, doesn’t it, except that the classes were taken straight from the Harry Potter books: potions, care of magical creatures, divination, defence against the dark arts, herbology, transfiguration, charms, history of magic, arithmancy, ancient runes, muggle studies, flying and apparition. Every day one of the classes would give a task, which was a group project that the children had to do that evening.

On the evening of their ‘care of magical creatures’ class they would be given a compass and a parchment. They would have to follow the directions on the parchment to find a list of magical creatures and, using what they had learned that day, they would either have to heal a creature, feed it, ride it or help it in some other way. For their flying assignment they would simply be allowed to ride in a broom flying simulator that I would still have to get the robots to build. For defence against the dark arts we invented a game, similar to Laser Quest, that the children would play inside and outside the castle using wands instead of guns. The last night of the week would be potions night. A large bonfire would be built and each group of children would be given small cauldrons and ingredients that they could use to make supper that night. It’s actually what we call ‘potjiekos’ (pot food) in South Africa, but we’d use words like potion and cauldron instead of supper and pot to keep the magic theme going and make it more exciting. We decided that we’d alternate between paying and charity weeks. One week we’d be paying the local Rotary club to find some poor children to bring to the castle and the next week we’d have rich kids from all over the world arriving and paying for their week.

While Kirsty was figuring out the camp schedule I was in charge of getting all the technology made. Raymond was helping by seeing to the next generation of computer games as well as getting more virtual cities built for the games to be played in. Money was rolling in faster than we could spend it. Gamespot.com accused us of ‘single handedly eliminating all computer gaming competition’ and ‘causing the closure of at least ten major computer gaming companies.’ People losing their jobs wasn’t something I was proud of, but I figured that as time went on I’d find more ways to give back to society than ways to destroy it and the world would be a much better place one day because of what I was doing.

(One thing I was a bit proud of was that one company that had closed, whose name I won’t mention, had been including some rather unethical software with their games. The software was intended to prevent piracy, but a side effect was damage to computers and many law suits. It’s complicated, so I won’t explain it here, but if you browse around on the internet you’ll find what I’m talking about. It’s really silly, because the pirate copies are the ones that don’t have the bad software in. I didn’t include any anti-piracy software with my programs and still managed to sell millions of copies.)

On the 30th of September 2005, the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began, which caused the deaths of over a hundred people over the next few months and the burning of Dutch embassies and Christian churches, reminding me again that there were serious problems in the world that someone like me could help to fix. At the time my focus was on getting the castle built and once that was done I vowed that I would work on technologies that I could use to sort out the world’s problems.

Andrew, as you probably guessed, sent me another story poking fun at the news:


February, 2006 Report on murderous cartoon.

Across the world we’ve received reports about violence in objection to a cartoon. Johnnie Butler, a retarded boy, recently published a cartoon in his local newspaper in Denmark. Surprised at how well a retarded boy could draw, many newspapers across the globe printed copies of the original cartoon. The boy, whose parents were both killed in suicide bombing attacks, says that he drew the cartoon in the hope that McDonalds would give two free toys with every happy meal.

The cartoon shows a stick figure wearing a turban and underneath the picture it says, ‘Pleese stop sewerside bomming. Weave run out of vergens.’

After reports that a group of angry anti-cartoon activists had massacred some 37 Christians we spoke to their spokesman, who can speak rather well, Mr. Yaasien Maggamat.

‘Mr. Mag; Can I call you Mr. Mag? We’d like to know why you believed that Christians, people who believe that one should love one’s enemy, deserved to die because of this cartoon.’

‘We don’t like Christians and cartoons aren’t really real, so you can’t kill a cartoon. Besides, we wanted to prove that even a helpless, wounded deer will try to bite you if you hurt it enough; Figuratively speaking.’

There have been reports that angry Christians, people who believe that one should love one’s enemy, have been fighting back.

At the Dutch embassy in South Africa, a group of angry people gathered with a piece of paper. The piece of paper showed a cartoon of a group of people wearing dynamite and walking into Holland, blowing it up and then having some fun with Dutch virgins in heaven.



In April, 2006, eight months after building had commenced, the castle and the magical creatures were ready.

 

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