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Anastasia screamed in vain

Ever since this erstwhile implement resurfaced in May as the Mac industry’s own Punxsutawney Phil, astute readers have been sniffing around his subterranean lair with the avidity of a young G.W. Bush inhaling his way across a Fabulous Furry Freak Bros. table mirror.

Is the Gay Blade really the formidable tool he appears to be? If so, how did he find himself bereft of his former nom de punk, logo and other identifying marks? And what on earth has become of his much-loved toreador pants?

Take it straight from Herterocephalus glaber’s mandibles: Why settle for tawdry, distasteful facts when an elaborate skein of fiction will match the decor so much better?

With that credo in mind, the Blade lays the blame for his current exile squarely at the feet of an overanxious cub reporter from the LHCC Abendblatt, his alma mater’s daily paper.

The youngster’s lurid account of a lost afternoon spent swerving around the byways of San Francisco in a profoundly street-illegal Volkswagen Thing while his Robitussin-swilling host hurled insults at everyone from astigmatics to Zoroastrians (stopping only long enough to initiate an ugly shoving match with a school bus full of terrified Special Olympians) prompted a disciplinary hearing by the commission that resulted in the Blade’s outright banishment from the franchise.

Shoeless Joe Jackson at a Wiffle Ball championship! That’s gotta hurt.

Oooooh, Canada!

Speaking of painful spectacles, conditions at beleaguered Corel Corp. reportedly continue to luge vertiginously from bad to worse.

According to the Blade’s bullpen full of Moosehead-addled weekend warriors, the Loony software developer is contemplating a layoff of more than 500 staffers, primarily from the marketing and development teams.

The corporate subculture hardest hit by the potential downsizing? Corel’s almost-formidable Mac operation, which will be entirely defleshed of marketing muscle if the sacrificial knife falls.

However, Corel’s back bacon may be saved at the 11th hour by an unlikely Dudley Do-Right: rival developer Adobe Systems Inc., which allegedly has sent execs up to the Great White North to discuss a purchase of Corel’s Mac developers and wares, including the packages Corel recently acquired from fellow financial basket case MetaCreations Corp.

It’s what’s for dinner

Meanwhile, the Blade’s burly team of volunteer houseboys continues to seine a party-colored Gray’s Anatomy of Apple-related chum out of the burrow’s Jacuzzi.

The cartilaginous nuggets include some recognizable chunks of Java intelligence: Version 2.2.2fc1 of Macintosh Runtime for Java has headed out to developers; while Apple is characterizing the new Java machine as a “minor bug fix,” some optimistic souls believe it will address security concerns that have plagued the Java implementation in the Mac version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, among other applications.

Elsewhere in the pipeline, alert (if slow-moving) attendees of May’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., have disgorged another protein-rich gobbet of Apple’s Web-development puzzle that went practically unnoticed in the coverage of the show: Apple plans to release a version of WebObjects for Linux servers in addition to an all-Java-all-the-time build of WebObjects 5 due to come down the chute later this year.

Schwing! The Blade will take his hot, strong and black – like his NeXT cube.

You on the mound: Pitch a Mac industry tip to The NMR Report, and a signature-edition mole rat could be yours!

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