"It was an incredibly expensive proposition."
a) Bill Gates, testifying at Microsoft's antitrust trial, on his effort to settle the attorney general's lawsuit by purchasing the U.S. government.
b) Mayor Greg Nickels, backpedaling as he withdrew his proposal to purchase the entire Rainier Valley and turn it into a park-and-ride lot for Sound Transit's light rail.
c) An off-Broadway producer, explaining why he thought Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos was behind the effort to purchase all of the tickets for an upcoming run of 21 Dog Years—a play that is critical of the dot-com superstore.
d) Seattle Sonics owner Howard Schultz, reporting on his negotiations to obtain genetic material suitable for cloning from Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant to improve his team's playoff chances.