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Bill Gates Makes Offer for United Kingdom
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MEDINA, Washington - Multi-billionaire and Microsoft-founder Bill Gates has placed an offer on Britain's table for financial control of the U.K., sources say. "Mr. Gates has indicated his interest in owning the U.K., yes," admitted one British Parliamentary insider, "Though I believe even his vast resources may not be sufficient." Gates' net worth is variously estimated between 30 billion and 50 billion dollars, while a recent Office for National Statistics report indicates Britain is worth nearly 12 trillion dollars.

"We respect Mr. Gates' empire building aspirations."
-- Ian Hill, statistician, Office for National Statistics
"Buying a country isn't like buying a candy bar or a barbecue grill," explained Gates' financial advisor Owen Courtes. Courtes is head of the project to acquire Great Britain. "You're not 'buying' much, really. The land, the buildings, the cars and most kinds of animals. But the people, the air, the waterways, and many national monuments remain in the public domain. The value of those items must be deducted from the country's value before a fair offer can be placed on it."

"'e can 'ave it, for all ah care," said one disgruntled Englishman, waiting in a dole queue, "'e'd do a betta job 'an 'ese trained monkeys, 'at's fer sure."

"Mr. Courtes apparently lacks a real understanding of the value of Great Britain," said Ian Hill, statistician at the ONS, "Private citizens hold nearly 6 trillion U.S. dollars worth of property, outside the jurisdiction of the U.K. government. We respect Mr. Gates' empire building aspirations, but even if we were willing to sell our proud thousand-year history, most of it is in private hands."

The initial rebuff of the offer has not dampened Gates' enthusiasm for country-ownership. "Maybe I was thinking a little too big," he suggested, "I'll try putting in a bid for Wales and see how that goes."
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