Enough to make you jump

"Jump now or forever hold your peace" was the sentiment going through the minds of some of Compaq's big cheeses recently when outgoing managing director Ian Penman told his crew who was to be his successor.

Tabloid moles scaled all obstacles, in this case bridges, to find out the real story behind the PC maker's latest appointment of Paul Brandling as managing director for the South-Pacific region, replacing the retiring Penman.

On good authority Tabloid has learnt Penman's swan song was to frog-march his worker bees (picking up the animal imagery? - if not, don't worry as it has no bearing on the point whatsoever - much like a certain PC manufacturer's soon to be launched advertising campaign) to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Naturally Penman used a services company, in this case the good people at Bridge Climb who organise such tours, to get his generals, consisting of Compaq state and business-unit managers, to the top of the Great Coat Hanger.

Once at the summit, a location Bridge Climb officials say is ideal for youthful couple's to propose or older couples to rekindle their romance, Penman announced young Brandling as his heir to the Compaq throne.

While Tabloid can only speculate what was going through the minds of the Compaq executives who thought they might have had a shot at the top job, we can only thank the foresight of Bridge Climb officials who had all their climbers attached by steel cable to the bridge. Now if it was a networking vendor then the whole thing would have been wireless, with dire consequences.

For those techy people out there the Bridge spans 1149 metres in length, has an arch span of 503 metres, the summit measures 134 metres above sea level and the clearance for shipping under the deck is a spacious 49 metres. The total steelwork weighs 52,800 tonnes, including 39,000 tonnes in the arch, and the 49 metre wide deck makes the Sydney Harbour Bridge the widest steel arch bridge (but not the longest) in the world. Compaq is allegedly partnering with industry leaders to develop a more inspiring version of the bridge in Q4 this year, but due to supply issues product will not be available until 2005.

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