[Jeff Lee's Homepage] [An Oracular Christmas poem]

The All-Seeing Eye My Humble
Oracularities
Collection

Among my favourite diversions upon the Internet is participating in the Internet Oracle (formerly known as the Usenet Oracle). This page consists of my answers (shown in yellow); the cyan text indicates the questions asked by other people.

The wisdom of the Priests who select submissions for the Oracularities is somewhat mysterious. Some of my answers which I thought were pretty darned clever never made it in, whereas I didn't really think 891-09 (for instance) was really all that great.


Quick Index
[890-10] How can I get beautiful women to look upon me favorably?
[891-09] What the heck is going on here?
[894-04] What should I do about Internet viruses?
[946-07] How can I get rid of all this paperwork?
[948-04] What else should I do to bring my family closer together?
[949-02] Why is that chicken in the bread pan, kicking out dough?
[955-05] I'm doing a school project on the Elizabethan period...
[960-02] SECRET -- NOFORN (This question intentionally left blank)
[966-07] When I buy a 10 cent candy bar, I only get 1/10th of what I expect.
[967-03] What is the meaning of wife?
[967-04] Should I bet on the Rams or the Giants?
[971-08] I'm rapidly running out of air...
[972-09] Why do so many graduate theses get inducted into the Oracularities?
[973-01] Why do men like power tools so much?
[988-09] What is the clap of one hand sounding?
[989-04] Why cannot I be immortal?
[1004-03] How should I conduct a job interview?
[1004-05] Is it true that staplers are really just tiny, mechanical vampires?
[1046-09] I'm the AOL Oracle, and you're toast, buddy!
[1054-01] Babylon 5 written by William Gibson or Stephen King
[1061-10] What's the daily routine of the Bastard Oracular Priest from Hell?
[1065-10] The Bunny of Death
[1066-05] It doesn't matter what I write here, it's all up to you.
[1067-05] How! Have I got a deal for you!
[1067-06] Who would win in a fight, a 3025 Rifleman or a Goshawk?
[1081-01] Terry Pratchett stole the names of the players on some muds I play on.
[1159-01] Is fear more powerful than love?
[1159-06] What new kinds of pets will we see in the new millennium?
[1159-07] What do you do about copyright infringers of yours?
[1159-08] Yes, but is it Art?
[1181-08] Oh Askme! Tellme!

890-10 - (Score: 3.4 [2/19/42/32/21])
Selected-By: Scott Forbes <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most wise, some time ago I asked you how I could get
> beautiful women to notice me, and you suggested that I cover my naked
> body with horse manure and parade through the streets.  Well I tried
> this, and it worked, but not exactly the way I had hoped.  A very
> beautiful policewoman noticed me, and invited me to her place of
> employment.  But I guess she didn't like me, because she just left me
> there, in the company of some rather unpleasant characters.
>
> The next morning when they let me out, I realized that had I asked you
> the wrong question.  It was very clever of you to make me figure this
> out on my own.  Thank you for the lesson.
>
> I think the question I really meant to ask was:  how can I get
> beautiful women to look upon me favorably?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In order to achieve the desired result, you must do something that is
} utterly unthinkable to all who consider themselves to be Real Men(tm).
}
} You will feel as though you have betrayed your gender; other men will
} shun you and hold you up as an example of abomination, to be reviled
} unto the end of your days and beyond.  With Benedict Arnold and Judas
} Iscariot shall your name keep company, as a traitor most foul.
}
} You will feel overwhelming guilt and humiliation for renouncing
} masculine values and ideals; the only thing that will keep you going
} will be your feeble hope that the goal will be adequate compensation
} for your shameful, loathsome state.
}
} If this bleak view of your future does not dissuade you, then read on
} -- but if your heart is faint, stop now.
}
} To get beautiful women to look upon you favorably, there is but one
} thing you must do:
}
}                Put the toilet seat down when you're through.
}
} You owe the Oracle twenty ells of rope, a cord of wood, a box of
} "strike anywhere" matches, and a life-sized effigy of yourself.

891-09 - (Score: 3.1 [8/22/39/34/9])
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh spiffy one
>
> Please tell me what the heck is going on here?
>
> Thanks!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Sure thing.
}
} For starters, you've got the air hose on the wrong nozzle, you're using
} an albino ferret rather than a sable, and the box is made out of HDPE
} plastic rather than LDPE.
}
} Once you've got that all sorted out, I'd recommend cleaning the walls
} before you try it again.
}
} You owe the Oracle a ream of Day-Glo orange paper, a clear plastic
} kazoo, and an eggplant.

894-04 - (Score: 3.0 [5/31/35/24/10])
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Dear Oracle, I just got on this Internet thing and I am very worried
> about downloading viruses. I tried to put a condom over the modem
> socket but then it wouldn't plug into the outlet properly :( What
> should I do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You must stretch the condom over the entire computer, not just
} the modem socket.  If your computer is bigger than a "Baby AT"
} or "Minitower", you'll need to use a Magnum (or a comparably sized
} prophylactic of another brand).
}
} Make sure you use a latex condom, not a sheepskin one, because (a)
} the latex ones stretch better, and (b) the sheepskin ones aren't as
} effective against the transmission of viruses.
}
} If your computer has dictation capabilities, such as OS/2 Warp's
} VoiceType, be sure to use a dental dam whenever you talk to your
} computer.
}
} You owe the Oracle the email addresses of five newbies to send "Good
} Times" warnings to.

946-07 - (Score: 3.4 [2/16/25/32/9])
Selected-By: Kirsten Chevalier <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh mighty Oracle, whose pens never run out of ink, especially when he's
> writing a check, and the cashier doesn't have a pen of her own, please
> tell me...
>
> How can I get rid of all this paper work, without just throwing it
> away? I may need it later.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, if you didn't need it later, I could give you a hundred and
} one ways to get rid of it.  That little condition complicates
} matters, however.
}
} Oh, I know what you could do.  Go find one of those photocopiers
} that can handle 11-by-17 paper.  Put two sheets of your paperwork
} side by side, then copy them at half size, so they'll fit on one
} piece of letter paper.  Throw away the originals, and do the same
} thing to the next two sheets of your paperwork.  Then take the two
} photocopies, put them side by side, and reduce them.  With a little
} bit of work, you can jam all your paperwork onto a single piece of
} paper.  When you need the paperwork back again, just reverse the
} process!  (Sure, it'll be a little grainy, but it's well worth the
} convenience, wouldn't you say?)
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman
} Empire on a postage stamp.

948-04 - (Score: 2.9 [5/25/27/15/6])
Selected-By: Carole S. Fungaroli <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O Oracle, you great, big, lovable lug, you, please tell me...
>
> Well, I did what you said, but things still aren't quite worked out. My
> wife didn't like the live rat coat I got her (and, yes, I did what you
> said and told her that wearing dead fur was inhumane). Her mother is
> still angry at me for placing that ad in the Village Voice (although
> I'm impressed at the number of telephone calls she's been getting; who
> would thought that so many people would have a Janet Reno fetish). And,
> finally, my sister has sworn out a warrant for my arrest, despite all
> the effort I've taken to explain that the IRS *always* checks out these
> anonymous reports before they start seizing houses and cars and things.
> I mean, it was a *joke*, right?
>
> So, what else should I do to bring my family closer together?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, sheesh, there's just no pleasing some people, is there?  At
} least they're all finally agreeing on something, *and* they're
} all paying attention to you.  That was what you asked for; it's
} not *my* fault you weren't more clear about what you wanted.
}
} But now you want to bring them closer together, too?  Okay.
}
} First, rent a building.  Remove the handle from the inside of the
} front door.  Nail all other doors and windows closed.
}
} Send a letter to your wife, apologizing for the mistake.  Tell
} her you've got a (dead) mink fur coat waiting for her.  Give her
} the address of the building you rented, and tell her to be there
} at precisely 7:15 PM.
}
} Call your mother-in-law.  Impersonate Robert Redford's voice, and
} tell her that you've read the ad in the paper, and that you'll
} give her a million dollars if she'll sleep with you.  Tell her
} to be at the address of the building you rented, at precisely
} 7:15 PM.
}
} Call your sister.  Tell her you're a police sargeant, and that
} her brother has just been killed in a shoot-out with the police,
} and that she's needed to identify the body.  Give her the address
} of the building you rented, and ask her to be there at precisely
} 7:15 PM.
}
} Hide in the alley across the street.  As soon as all three of
} them have entered, engage the industrial-size trash compactor you
} installed just inside the front door.  I guarantee that they'll
} be closer than they've ever been before.
}
} You owe the Oracle a rubber hose, a vacuum pump, and a 55-gallon
} drum of butter-flavored instant grits.

949-02 - (Score: 2.9 [10/24/28/23/8])
Selected-By: Kirsten Chevalier <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh great keeper of the cheese, finder of lost gloves, stitcher of time,
> etc:
>
> Why is that chicken in the bread pan, kicking out dough?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} To get to the other side?    [rimshot]
}
} Seriously, though, that chicken is venting its frustration at the
} sad turn of events its life has taken.  Born and raised in the
} Vatican City, it was purchased by a visiting baker and taken to
} its new home in America.  The chicken had heard many tales of
} America: its streets paved with golden corn, sports stadiums
} and publishers named after its species (such as Henway Park and
} Bantam Books), and so on; so it looked forward with anticipation
} to the new life it was to have.
}
} But to its dismay, it soon found that its life was confined to
} wandering around the baker's kitchen, being warned not to cross
} the road, and hearing the baker and his wife speak with concern
} about the possibility that their young boy (just entering
} puberty) would soon begin choking it!
}
} As you can imagine, this was quite a different turn of events
} than it expected, so in its bitterness it decided to ruin the
} livelihood of the baker who had devastated its life.  It wanted
} to turn to a life of crime as an evil supervillain, but (lacking
} hands) it had no way to put a capon.  [rimshot]
}
} So it has to content itself with its meager revenge, ruining
} batch after batch of dough by kicking it out of the bread pans.
}
} After all, you shouldn't mistreat the Chicken of the See...

955-05 - (Score: 3.7 [2/8/25/39/22])
Selected-By: Darkmage <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

>  Mr. Oracle, Sir,
>
>  I'm doing a school project on the Elizabethan period and I was
>  wondering, could you tell me some points of interest that are 'must
>  have' facts for my report?
>
>  Yours,
>  Sherman

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, Sherman, step into the Wayback machine...
}
} Oops, I forgot; Zadoc made off with it.  Okay, how about the 3D-BB?
} No, I loaned that to the POV-Ray folks.  Atavachron's broken; I can't
} find the TARDIS...  Oh well, I'll just have to tell you.
}
} Men wore hose and garters, and proudly displayed their genitalia by
} wearing "codpieces", which were often padded or stuffed (except for
} the Spanish, who for some reason preferred small codpieces).  Their
} breeches were often so large that they could put tablecloths,
} candlesticks, pistols, and other large objects in them.  Women
} wore corsets to give them the figures of twelve-year-old boys.
} "Nice" women didn't wear underwear, but prostitutes did.  Dennis
} Rodman, therefore, would not have been viewed as a freak.  Mary,
} Queen of Scots, was *not* Elizabeth's sister -- "Bloody Mary" was.
} Both were beheaded.  Women were not allowed to act; boys or young
} men played female parts on the stage.  And kissed the men.
} Elizabethans were fond of fart jokes; Beavis and Butthead would
} have been considered comic geniuses.  Syphilis was a sign of social
} status; some people even wore fake sores to make it look like they
} were infected.  People spelled words however they thought they
} sounded, and would even spell the same word three different ways
} in the same sentence; a single sentence could take up an entire
} printed page (if the Internet had existed then, there would have
} been no such thing as a "spelling flame" or "grammar flame").
} Elizabethans thought potatoes were horrible, because they tried
} to eat the greens rather than the roots.  They brushed their teeth
} with sugar and honey.  They had pencils, but since rubber hadn't
} been invented yet, erased their lines with bread.  To guard their
} noses against the foul odours of peasants, Elizabethan ladies made
} "pomanders" or "sweet bags" with substances as varied as weasel
} squeezings and whale snot.
}
} And the worst part of it is, I'm not making any of this up.
}
} Well, except that part about Rodman not being a freak.
}
} An thou wouldst pay thy tribute to the Oracle, then pull thou the
} Oracles Ffingre, (& thou shalt receeve a Surprize for thyne Efforts).

960-02 - (Score: 3.4 [2/1/43/32/16])
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson.Nesbit" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

>                            SECRET -- NOFORN
>
>
>               +----------------------------------------+
>               | THIS QUESTION INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK |
>               +----------------------------------------+
>
>
>                            SECRET -- NOFORN

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, another round of "I'm too embarrassed to ask this question, so
} I'll rely on the fact that the Oracle is omniscient, and therefore
} already knows it."  At least you've thoughtfully provided the
} headers and footers of one of the humanity(1) man pages as a clue.
} I'll have to speak to Jehovah about letting that book lie around
} where you mortals can find it...
}
} Anyway, the answer is: Yes, as you suspected, you are still a
} virgin because (like most computer geeks) you were compiled with
} the "nofornicate" option enabled.  You can get around this by
} downloading a replacement LIBIDO run-time library that will allow
} you to "fork".
}
} You owe the Oracle your firstborn child process.

966-07 - (Score: 3.5 [5/18/24/29/25])
Selected-By: "Mike Nolan" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh Master Oracle,
>
> When I buy a 10 cent candy bar, I only
> get 1/10th of what I expect to get. Why?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, Su
} say that
} used to
} investme
} At first
} air bubb
} fraction
} 3 Musket
} cardboar
} shrank e
} trays al
}
} And that
}
} You owe

967-03 - (Score: 3.2 [3/23/37/22/14])
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> ORACLE most wise at CS dot INDIANA dot EDU, please TELLME...
> 
> What is the meaning of wife?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Not as much sex as you thought, refraining from reading newspapers
} at the breakfast table, killing the spiders, in-laws, remembering
} flowers on your anniversary, and leaving the seat down.
}
} You owe the Oracle an invitation.

967-04 - (Score: 2.9 [10/21/39/25/4])
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O Oracle most wise in the ways of finance, please tell me...
>
> Here's a list of people who are after me:
>
> The Internal Revenue Service
> Superior National Bank (and they're not that superior, I can tell
>         you...)
> MFC First National Bank
> my landlord
> my bookie
> Bill's House O' Booze (I think it had to do with that case of Wild
>         Turkey...)
> Jimmy ("The Nut") Caravaggio (my loanshark)
> AT&T
> The Illuminati
> NorWest Gas & Electric
> small white mice with really large teeth and a desire for blood
> CitiBank MasterCard (why the hell do they keep alternating between
>         upper case and lower case?)
> The American Library Association
> the Small Greys
> The Trilaterial Commission
> my Internet provider
> the local public library
> The AA Conspiracy
> The Sons of the Elders of Cromwell
> Adolph Hitler III
> The Knights Templar
> the people next door who keep looking at me... I mean, why are they
>         looking at me all the time!
> The ghost of Calvin Klein.
> The American Printing History Association
> President-for-Life Idi Amin-dada
> Looks-at-the-Bull
> the population of Bill, Wyoming
> the horror! oh, the horror!
> Joseph Stalin IV
>
> So, what do you think, Orrie... should I bet on the Rams or the Giants?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, as long as the Giants can keep Fafner away from that Nibelung
} Gold, and Fasolt stays in there the whole time, then they won't have
} any problem against a few mountain goats.
}
} You owe the Oracle... hell, with that list of creditors, I'd be
} lucky to get an unwashed left sock.  Good luck, dude, you'll need it.

971-08 - (Score: 3.5 [2/9/36/28/13])
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh great oracle, please forgive my lack of a grovel but I'm rapidly
> running out of air and I need you to .......help....... me..... to ....

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ahh, Dr. Wolf.  More problems on Mir?  Very well, at least this
} one is easy to solve.  Get into your EVA suit; that will give you
} a little more time.  Okay.  Now go to the Kvant-2 module, replace
} the air filters in the life support systems, and turn the
} recirculation pumps on HIGH.  Within a few minutes, you should
} have breathable air again.
}
} Now, this time, it's your own fault.  Glasnost is a nice idea,
} but there are some aspects of culture that just don't mix.
} Come on, Dave, you don't have to be an omniscient being to know
} that a dinner of boiled cabbage, broccoli and baked beans would
} have disastrous results in a confined space...
}
} You owe the Oracle a request to open the pod bay doors.

972-09 - (Score: 2.4 [18/37/26/11/4])
Selected-By: "Mike Nolan" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O Omnicient Oracle Of Owesome... Sorry, I'm not good at extemporaneous
> grovelling.  Let me try again:  O Oracle, you are really pretty good.
>
> What I want to know is, if of the priesthood claims to revere brevity
> in Oracular replies, why do so many veritable tomes, so many graduate
> theses get inducted into the Oracularities?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, they may revere brevity, but they also know what I'll do to
} them if they fail to include an answer that I'm particularly proud
} of.
}
} You owe the Oracle an answer to the W**dch*ck question in the style
} of H.P. Lovecraft, in under thirty words.

973-01 - (Score: 3.9 [5/1/19/15/29])
Selected-By: [email protected];
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Why do men like power tools so much?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, come on down to the workshop, and we'll see what we can come
} up with.
}
} The first thing on the workbench is a hand-held drill.  Turn it on,
} press it against the wood, and it penetrates deeply, leaving a tight,
} perfect hole.  Look at that!  Isn't it a beauty?
}
} Okay, moving on, we have a power hammer.  Put the nails in here,
} thrust it against the wood, and it drives the spike in, all the
} way, in one powerful stroke.  And you can do it over and over
} again, thrusting the nails in, one after another...
}
} Next we come to the power sander.  Hold the edge of the wood against
} it, like so, and...  see that nice, smooth curve?  Look at the way
} it fits into the hand, no sharp edges.  Mmmmm!
}
} Power screwdriver.  Look how easy it is to put the screws in.  And
} now back out again, with just as little effort.  In, out, in, out...
} I could keep this up all day!
}
} Scroll saw?  Look how easy it is to use.  It just goes up and down,
} up and down, violating the pristine, virgin wood and cleaving it
} right in twain.  Oh, yeah!  Take it all, baby!
}
} Errr...
}
} So as you can plainly see, the answer to your question is that a
} man enjoys power tools because they allow him to create useful and
} beautiful objects with a professional, well-crafted look.
}
} You owe the Oracle a cigarette.

988-09 - (Score: 3.2 [9/16/28/26/15])
Selected-By: "Mike Nolan" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O mighty Oracle, what is the clap of one hand sounding?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You've got the clap on one hand?
}
} Son, you need to find a girlfriend.  Seriously.  You're going to go
} blind if you keep that up.
}
} But to answer your question, most such ailments are fairly silent.
}
} You owe the Oracle a promise to visit a free clinic.

989-04 - (Score: 3.6 [4/10/26/35/17])
Selected-By: Otis Viles <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Why cannot I be immortal ?
> I know that immortality is a very difficult thing to reach for
> humanity.  But I am not asking for it for the whole humanity.
> That should be simpler.
> And it would be enough for me if I were immortal.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Poor human.
}
} You THINK you want to be immortal.  You read books about vampires,
} gods, and other immortal creatures, and say, "I wish I were immortal
} too, because they lead such interesting lives."
}
} But here, let me reach into another future, a future where you
} achieve immortality, while the rest of the world remains mortal.
} I show you this, a page from your diary, dated a mere hundred
} years from now.
}
}     Wednesday, 26 February 2098.
}
}     Elise has left, saying people have mistaken her for my mother
}     once too often.  Once again, a relationship dies because I am
}     still young, and she has succumbed to the ravages of time.
}
}     I turned on the television and found that Microsoft has
}     purchased the last remaining network.  Now it is nothing but
}     American sitcoms, with Microsoft commercials every three
}     minutes.  Perhaps I should introduce myself to Bill Gates;
}     he is only a disembodied brain kept alive by machines and
}     running the world from the Microsoft Network, but at least
}     we two know what it is to be immortal.
}
} Two hundred years from now:
}
}     Monday, 26 February 2198.
}
}     Got up.  Had green NutriPaste for breakfast.  Petted MS-Dog,
}     noticed fur is falling out.  Nothing on television that I
}     haven't seen 1000 times before.  Chose brown paste for lunch.
}     Spent the afternoon deleting spam from mailbox.  Ate yellow
}     paste for dinner.  Kids rode past on hoverbikes, blasting
}     that new Phreenge "music".  Shook fist at them.  They laughed
}     at me.  Whippersnappers; no respect for their elders.
}
} Three hundred years from now:
}
}     Saturday, 26 February 2298.
}
}     I am so bored, I want to die.  Useless, of course -- no matter
}     what I chop off, it grows back.  Tried chopping off head, that
}     was a disaster.  A new head grew back on the body, a new body
}     grew back on the head.  Thought that would be wonderful, but I
}     learned I can't stand to live with myself.  Couldn't play
}     chess with him, since he knew what I was up to.  Couldn't play
}     cards, because we each knew the other was cheating.  And he
}     never refilled the ice tray.
}
} Four hundred years from now:
}
}     Thursday, 26 February 2398.
}
}     Very exciting day today; ate yellow paste instead of green for
}     breakfast.  I shouldn't do that again soon, or the novelty will
}     wear off.
}
} Five hundred years for now:
}
}     Wednesday, 26 February 2498:
}
}     Got up.  Green paste for breakfast.  Yellow paste for lunch.
}     Brown paste for dinner.  Going to bed.
}
} After that, they're all duplicate entries.
}
} The only thing that makes your life interesting is the fact that it's
} so finite.  Eat nothing but bologna sandwiches every day for breakfast,
} lunch and dinner, and that'll give you a good idea of what immortality
} is really like.
}
} You owe the Oracle a cure for ennui.

1004-03 - (Score: 3.4 [2/9/32/28/8])
Selected-By: Ross Clement <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most wise, I frequently have to interview candidates for
> software engineering positions here.  The problem is I don't really
> know how to conduct an interview.  There doesn't seem to be any kind of
> formal training for it.  Could you give me a few pointers, please?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Certainly.  Sit down.  No, not there!  Use the other chair.
}
} Good.  Now, the first thing you need to do is assert your dominance.
} YOU are the interviewer; you hold power over them, and you need to
} establish this fact immediately.  Put two chairs across from your
} desk.  When you ask them to sit, wait until they've selected a
} chair, and them tell them to sit in the other one.  This gets them
} off-balance from the beginning.  Hunt around for their resume, as
} if they weren't important enough to keep on top.
}
} Now, many male candidates for a software engineering position will
} come in sporting long hair.  Tell them (whether it's true or not)
} that your company has a strict dress code which forbids long hair
} on men.  If they agree to cut their hair, then they most likely will
} meekly accept whatever tasks or positions are given them, and won't
} come gunning for your job in six months.  On the other hand, it also
} means they're stupid enough to want to work for a company that
} places a higher value on appearance than on ability, but hey, at
} least your job is safe.
}
} Next, look at the candidate's clothing, especially the shoes.  If
} they look cheap, worn or ill-fitting, the candidate is probably
} desperate for a job and will accept a much lower salary than someone
} wearing high-quality, tailored clothes.
}
} Ask them about the stuff on their resume.  Don't actually listen to
} what they say; instead, pay attention to their eyes.  If their eyes
} widen, or they look to the right or left when they're talking, then
} they're probably lying.  If they look up, they're either praying
} you'll believe them, or there are lawn dwarfs dancing in the window
} behind you.  If they look straight at you without blinking, they're
} probably a Scientologist, in which case not hiring them will get
} you slapped with a religious-discrimination lawsuit.  If they look
} down the entire time, they're probably humble, meek and obsequious
} -- so send them over to me and I'll pay you a hefty headhunter's fee
} for finding me another priest.
}
} Finally, if you think they might have some actual talent, show them
} a printout of some code containing a bug which has so far eluded
} your department's coders, and ask them to find it, as a "test of
} their abilities".  If they find it, even if you don't actually end
} up hiring them, at least you've gotten some free work out of them.
}
} You owe the Oracle a diesel software engine.

1004-05 - (Score: 3.7 [5/4/20/32/18])
Selected-By: Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott) <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O Oracle, mightier than the moon at night, more shiny than the stars
> that pierce the darkness, able to copy, sort and collate 10 million
> 'Starry Night' prints, tell me:
>
> Is it true that staplers are really just tiny, mechanical vampires?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let's compare the similarities and differences of each:
}
}                               SIMILARITIES
}
}    Vampire                           Stapler
}    ------------------                -------------------
}    Has long, sharp teeth             Has long, sharp teeth
}    Holy water causes damage          Holy water causes rust
}    Cannot eat garlic                 Cannot eat garlic
}    Sleeps in wooden coffin           Sleeps in wooden drawer
}    Turns invisible when sought       Turns invisible when sought
}    Does not appear to age            Does not appear to age
}    Can draw blood                    Can draw blood
}    Cannot cross running water        Cannot cross running water
}       under own power                   under own power
}    Cannot enter your home unless     Cannot enter your home unless
}       invited                           carried
}
}                                DIFFERENCES
}
}    Vampire                           Stapler
}    ------------------                -------------------
}    No reflection in mirror.          Reflects in mirror.
}    Afraid of crosses.                No reaction to crosses.
}    Able to fly.                      Doesn't fly very well.
}    Can change shape.                 Cannot change shape.
}    Can hypnotize with a glance.      No eyes to glance with.
}
} As you can see, there are more similarities than differences.
} Ordinarily, that might be enough to suggest that, yes, staplers are
} just little mechanical vampires.
}
} However, there's one more big difference, one which tips the scales
} towards a big resounding "NO": you don't see geeky Goth-wannabees
} running around the club scene pretending to be staplers.
}
} You owe the Oracle the Player's Guide for "Stapler: The Gathering".

1046-09 - (Score: 3.8 [7/7/14/32/32])
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Allright, TUO, you think you're tough?  Try ME on for size!
> <pulls out a <ZOT> wand> I'm the AOL Oracle, and you're toast, buddy!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You have my compliments.  You've dragged yourself out of the
} capslock mire and learned to speak complete sentences.  You have
} finally become a worthy adversary.
}
} > I know!  And now I shall take my rightful place as your
} > replacement!  Your staff of ZOT is across the room from
} > you, and you'll never reach it before I fire my wand!
}
} You have a formidable weapon indeed, my friend, but it cannot
} compete with *this*.
}
} > What is that?  A computer printout?
}
} It is a list of sites which make pornography available via
} anonymous FTP.
}
} > You fiend!  I know what... you're trying to do!  Must...
} > resist...
}
} You cannot resist.  Nature can be hidden but never truly overcome.
} Look closely.  You know you want it.
}
} > No!  No!  Arrrrrgh!
}
} Here it is, you need just ask for it and it's yours.
}
} > PLEASE SEND PRONO FTP LIST!
}
} Good boy.  Nature will out, as they say; philosophers have asserted
} this for centuries.  It is the reason procrastination is so hard to
} overcome; the reason recovering alcoholics fall off the wagon.  It
} is by no means solely a human failing, for the gods are prone to
} recidivism as well (look how many children Zeus kept fathering,
} even after promising to change).  Here, you have now heard me say
} words which humans might call "erudite"; what is your response?
}
} > } Good boy.  Nature will out, as they say; philosophers have asserted
} > } this for centuries.  It is the reason procrastination is so hard to
} > } overcome; the reason recovering alcoholics fall off the wagon.  It
} > } is by no means solely a human failing, for the gods are prone to
} > } recidivism as well (look how many children Zeus kept fathering,
} > } even after promising to change).  Here, you have now heard me say
} > } words which humans might call "erudite"; what is your response?
} >
} > ME TOO!
}
} Excellent.  Now give me that wand.  Very good.  Run along now.
}
} > ILL BE BACK!!!!!!
}
} Yes, I know.  And I'll be waiting.

1054-01 - (Score: 2.9 [9/22/28/19/7])
Selected-By: [email protected]
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh, great Oracle, who always knows where the TV remote is,
>
> What would a Babylon 5 episode written by William Gibson or Stephen
> King be like?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Stephen King: Sheridan would start seeing strange things which nobody
} else could see, and his sanity would be questioned.  Only Delenn
} would believe him -- though her belief would be tinged somewhat with
} doubt -- but she would be killed early on in the episode, and return
} in spectral form to blame him for her death.  The whole episode would
} build up to a dramatic conclusion -- and bear a remarkable resemblance
} to some classic horror novel or movie -- but end disappointingly when
} they discover that it was all being caused by something lame, like a
} giant psychic cockroach.  Or possibly a spider.
}
} William Gibson: Everyone would get cyber-interface implants, and the
} episode would focus mainly on how the implants work.  Lots of eye candy
} as the characters explore cyberspace, and lots of technical doubletalk,
} but no real substance, plot or characterization -- the protagonists
} would be turned into two-dimensional caricatures.  In other words, it
} would be mistaken for an episode of Star Trek.
}
} You owe the Oracle a date with Lyta.  Preferably while her eyes are
} solid black.  For some reason, I find that really sexy.

1061-10 - (Score: 3.6 [4/7/22/30/19])
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O wise Oracle, who never follows a help-desk operator's advice to fix
> a computer that's running out of memory by pouring cough mixture into
> the floppy drive.
>
> Oracle, we've all heard of the BOFH (B**t*rd Operator from Hell), but
> what of the B**t*rd Oracle Priest from Hell? What's his or her daily
> routine like?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} 0800: Arrive at work.  Load enough applications to hide the email
}       window with a quick Alt-Tab when the boss is heard
}       approaching.
}
} 0820: Set the Oracle server to add "The Oracle's question queue is
}       getting rather full.  Help speed things up for everyone and do
}       askme's instead of tellme's" to every message.  Watch queue
}       drain until potential Incarnations are told that there are
}       no questions to ask, but still get the message that the queue
}       is full.
}
} 0930: Fill the queue with 100 null questions, 100 woodchuck
}       questions, 100 questions saying only "blah blah blah", and
}       500 specially crafted questions to which there is no funny
}       answer unless the Incarnation responds with a surreal
}       non-sequitur.
}
} 1000: Remove the full-queue message.
}
} 1100: Sort through the incoming answers and gather up all the lame
}       and unfunny ones.  Send them all to another Priest to wade
}       through.
}
} 1130: Look for an answer which, due to the use of a chemistry or
}       physics in-joke, will be appreciated by maybe four people.
}       Add it to the Digest.
}
} 1200: Break for lunch.
}
} 1330: Return from lunch.
}
} 1400: Find a really embarrassing question.  Append somebody's .sig
}       to it.
}
} 1405: Find another embarrassing question that's just been answered.
}       Use DejaNews to find the supplicant's most recent .sig file.
}       Add it on to their question so that they'll *think* they left
}       it on, and then send it to them.  Imagine them fervently
}       praying that it doesn't get Digested.  Laugh delightedly.
}
} 1430: Redirect all of the questions from HotMail to one Incarnation
}       chosen at random.
}
} 1500: Find a really well-written answer, full of classical
}       references and intellectual humor.  Reject it from the Digest.
}       Include the first answer found which involves the Spice Girls,
}       Bill Gates or Og.  Imagine the rejected Incarnation becoming
}       bitter when he reads the Digest.  Laugh delightedly.
}
} 1515: Reject all question/answer pairs from supplicants or
}       Incarnations who think they'll make the Digest if they
}       mention Priests.
}
} 1530: Coffee break.
}
} 1600: Randomly swap answers to questions.
}
} 1630: Hit Alt-Tab when boss is heard approaching.  Accept paycheck.
}       Gloat silently about how great it is to get paid for being
}       an Oracular Priest when no one's watching.
}
} 1645: Run across question from supplicant wanting to know schedule
}       of Bastard Priest from Hell.  Intercept question, write
}       truthful answer which will be dismissed by supplicant as
}       humor.  Relax, knowing it will never be Digested.
}
} 1700: Shut down computer, leave work.
}
} You owe the Bas^H^H^HOracle an Early Boss Warning System.

1065-10 - (Score: 3.0 [7/20/26/18/10])
Selected-By: <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

>                   ACT 2   SCENE 5
>                  The Oracle's Chamber
>
> [The Oracle is sitting on his throne. Zadoc, Zodoc, and Kendai are
> standing in the background.]
>
> [Enter Supplicant]
>
> Supplicant:
> Oh, great Oracle, who knows the truth about The Conspiracy...
>
> [Enter Woodchuck]
>
> Oracle:
> One second, please. [He reaches for his Staff of ZOT.]
>
> Zadoc: [Aside]
> Now is the time! Charge!
>
> [Zadoc, Kendai, and Zodoc rush up to the Oracle, and attempt to grab
> the Staff of ZOT]
>
> Supplicant:
> ...What is the meaning of -
>
> Woodchuck: [At the same time]
> I call upon the power of [Sound effect here] The Bunny of Death!
>
> [A small bunny appears, and pounces at the Oracle's throne.]
>
> [Enter Lisa]
>
> Lisa:
> Oh, Orrie! Let me help!
>
> [Lisa jumps at the bunny.]
>
> Supplicant: I'd best hide now. [Hides behind a pillar]
> ...

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [Enter MULDER and SCULLY.  Subtitles: INDIANA UNIVERSITY,
}  DECEMBER 1, 1998, 5:00 PM]
}
} Scully:  What happened here, Mulder?
}
} Mulder:  Neighbours reported loud noises and a flash of light,
}          then utter silence.
}
} Scully:  Neighbors.
}
} Mulder:  Pardon me?
}
} Scully:  We're not filming in Vancouver anymore, Mulder.  You have
}          to say "Neighbors" now.
}
} Mulder:  Sorry, Scully, you're right.  I wondered why the extras
}          had stopped saying "aboot".  Anyway, the neighbors say
}          it was some kind of weird cult that lived here, with odd
}          priests, scantily-clad women, and some geezer who claimed
}          to be omniscient.
}
} Scully:  Why are we even here?  We're off the X-Files, remember?
}          The pimply adolescent and the Scientologist bimbo took
}          over.
}
} Mulder:  Sure, but you and I know that it won't last half a season,
}          and the audience sure isn't gonna tune in to see us doing
}          paperwork for an hour every Sunday night.
}
} Scully:  All right, all right.  So let's investigate already, so
}          we can get back in time to get our butts chewed again.
}
} Mulder:  I knew I could count on you, Scully.  Anyway, there was
}          a so-called cult here, now their house is empty.
}
} Scully:  Big deal, Mulder.  Remember Heaven's Gate?  So maybe they
}          thought their mother ship had arrived, and they all
}          jumped in a lake.  Case closed.
}
} Mulder:  You may scoff, but what if their leader really was
}          omniscient?
}
} Scully:  Oh, come on, Mulder.  What on earth do you base that on?
}
} Mulder:  You ever use the Internet much, Scully?
}
} Scully:  Sure, I tried it once.  Nothing but sex-obsessed teenagers
}          and college students using newsgroups like "alt.binaries.
}          pictures.erotica.green.alien.chicks" with stupid nicknames
}          like "FedSchnozz".
}
} Mulder:  Umm...  Yeah...  Er, anyway, they have this thing called
}          the "Internet Oracle" that's really good.  He is
}          omniscient, Scully, and he's based out of the University
}          of Indiana.  He hasn't returned any of my emails for the
}          past couple of days.
}
} Scully:  You believe in this stuff?
}
} Mulder:  Yeah, sure; he's helped me crack several cases, as a
}          matter of fact.  Come on, Scully, trust me on this one.
}
} Scully:  Very well, I will ignore all of my scientific knowledge
}          once again, but the audience won't mind because I have
}          full, pouty lips.  I believe you, Mulder.
}
} Mulder:  Great.  Hey, I wonder what's in this dark room with a
}          perfectly working light switch which we shall ignore
}          completely?
}
} Scully:  I think I see a fuzzy white shape on the floor.
}
} Mulder:  It looks like a rabbit.  It's moving!
}
} Scully:  It's coming right for us!
}
} [Fade to black.  Well, blacker.  Cut to commercial.]

1066-05 - (Score: 2.7 [23/14/15/18/10])
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Hey incarnation! I've looked over the digests, I've looked over
> the voting records, and the answer is obvious. The quality of the
> question has nothing to do with the quality of the oracularity.
> It's the incarnation that makes, or fails to make, an Oracularity.
> So, it doesn't matter what I write here, it's all up to you.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Wow, are YOU a loser.
(Just for some historical context, that was the fourth time in a row I had received that particular identical question. After trying three times to come up with funny answers, I finally lost my patience, and this one got Digested. I can only assume that the ten people who voted 5 also received the same question, and that the Priest who Digested it was tired of seeing it as well...)
1067-05 - (Score: 2.8 [7/26/23/19/1])
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> How!  Have I got a deal for you!  You'll get all these nice, shiny
> beads for that small, insignificant island over there!   You can't
> lose with a deal like that!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmmm, I'm not sure I can let it go for that price.  Hang on JUST
} a minute, I've got to go talk to my manager about this.
}
} [twenty minutes of "Spanish Flea" on the Muzak system]
}
} Well, my manager says we don't have any of the base model left.
} But we've got plenty of models with the option packages here in
} our showroom.  Here, now, THIS one is for you!  It's got plenty
} of roads, a beautiful nighttime skyline, and tinted atmosphere.
} It's only $57,000,000,000 -- a real bargain no matter how you
} slice it -- but I can throw in a set of mudflaps and floor mats
} for free.  Tell you what, I'll even put on some undercoating and
} fabric protector at no extra cost.  No, don't go away -- how
} about I throw in these bridges too?  Plenty of historic value,
} those bridges, great investment potential, too.  Only been
} driven on by little old ladies goin' to church on Sundays.  And
} they're just loaded with modern art, painted by some of the
} freshest young talent in the business!
}
} Look, I want you to come away from this deal happy, so if you
} sign right now, you only need to put 5% down, and I'll give you
} an incredibly low 1.9% finance rate, compounded diurnally.  I
} can only give you this deal if you sign right now, though, 'cause
} this is one hot property and it could go any minute.
}
} There you go!  Splendid doing business with you.
}
} You owe the Oracle 2,850,000,000.  Preferably in cash.

1067-06 - (Score: 3.0 [9/20/18/22/7])
Selected-By: <[email protected]> (Ross Clement)
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O mighty Oracle, whose jockstrap Vladimir Ward cannot even HOPE to
> hold....
>
> Who would win in a standup fight--a 3025 Rifleman with the 2/4/2 back
> armour, or a Goshawk?
> Please explain your answer.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!!!  It's the ULTIMATE CAGE MATCH!
}
} Only on PAY-PER-VIEW, you can see a 3025 RIFLEMAN go HEAD-TO-HEAD
} with a GOSHAWK!
}
} *blip*
}
} BOB:  And here we are for the main event, the cage match between
}       a 3025 Rifleman and a Goshawk.  Two will enter, only one will
}       leave.  Here to provide me with color commentary is Minnesota
}       Governor-Elect Jesse "The Body" Ventura!  Jesse, I'm told
}       that you haven't allowed your new gubernatorial status to
}       interfere with your more well-known profession.
}
} JBV:  That's right, Bob, I was getting ready to take on Florida
}       Governor Lawton "He-Coon" Chiles, but he up and died on me.
}       I would've KICKED HIS ASS, and he knew it, so he took the
}       easy way out and keeled over in training!  But in three
}       weeks, I'm gonna open up a tall-boy can of whoop-ass on the
}       pencil-neck momma's boy who's gonna replace him for the next
}       four years.
}
} BOB:  That's great, Jesse, and I'm sure Jeb "JEB!" Bush is quaking
}       in his boots.  But today's match is something different
}       altogether.  We've got a battle mech from Robotech, the 3025
}       Rifleman, going up against a Goshawk.  Any thoughts on who'll
}       be the winner?
}
} JBV:  Well, as you know, the favorite in this match is the Rifleman,
}       with his 2/4/2 back armor, which will make him pretty much
}       invulnerable to attacks from the rear in case the Goshawk
}       manages to get around behind him.  The Goshawk has powerful
}       legs and claws, and is classified as "wary and difficult to
}       approach" -- but it's a small one, only about 17 inches long.
}
} BOB:  That's about average for a male Goshawk, I'm told; the females
}       often reach nearly two feet in length.
}
} JBV:  Maybe so, Bob, but even those extra seven inches wouldn't
}       help this rainforest-dwelling bird against a Mechanized
}       Deliverer of Death like the Rifleman here.
}
} BOB:  We'll see if you're right, Jesse.  Well, I can see past the
}       throng of protesting Greenpeace activists to the cage itself,
}       and it looks like the contestants are entering.  The cage
}       door has been locked shut, the ref has given them their
}       instructions, and... THERE'S THE BELL!
}
} JBV:  The Goshawk has taken off; it's circling, a common tactic
}       amongst _Accipiter novaehollandiae_.
}
} BOB:  The Rifleman has fired some kind of particle-beam weapon at
}       its opponent!  The Goshawk seems to have taken it in the wing!
}
} JBV:  HE'S DOWN!  HE'S DOWN!  The Goshawk is fluttering around on
}       the floor of the cage, trying to get back in the air, and...
}
} BOB:  OUCH, THAT'S GOTTA HURT!  The Rifleman has STOMPED on the
}       Goshawk!  There's feathers flying all over the place, but
}       no sign of the Goshawk itself!
}
} JBV:  No, I see it; it's stuck to the underside of the Rifleman's
}       foot!  He's scraping it off onto the bars, the ref is giving
}       the count, and...  IT'S OVER!  THE RIFLEMAN HAS WON!
}
} *blip*
}
} So there you have it, Supplicant.  The Rifleman would win, because
} it has the Goshawk severely outclassed.
}
} You owe the Oracle an explanation of why you would ask such a
} twisted question in the first place.

1081-01 - (Score: 3.4 [5/11/22/19/17])
Selected-By: <[email protected]> (Dave Hemming)
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oracle most wise :
>
>   I just started reading Discworld books. I am disturbed by the number
> of names the author has stolen from the players on some muds I play on.
> Would they have any legal recourse?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}    The shadowy figures gathered silently in the back streets
} of Ankh-Morpork. Silently they crept through the alleyways,
} silently they clambered over the great trash piles and around
} the various bodies, sleeping and otherwise, that littered the
} thoroughfares of the great city.  Like great cloaked rats they
} stole through the night, until finally they congregated in a
} large cellar.  As one, they threw back their great hooded
} cloaks, revealing themselves in the flickering candlelight.
}
}    Garish white-painted faces, rosy-red cheeks and jet-black
} tears hovered over wide-striped shirts and gaudy suspenders.
} White-gloved hands described esoteric figures in the air.
} Bodies pressed against invisible barriers and fought for
} purchase against gusts of wind imperceptible to all but those
} who struggled mightily against them.
}
}    The Secret Society of Oppressed Mimes had called its meeting
} to order.
}
}    The Marcel[1] banged an unseen gavel against his invisible
} lectern, and the din of pantomime subsided.
}
}    I hereby open the three hundred sixty-sixth emergency
} meeting of the Secret Society of Oppressed Mimes, he said by
} dint of much hand-waving and tugging on nonexistent ropes.
}
}    Suddenly the door burst open and the Watch flooded into
} the room like the Ankh overflowing its banks[2].  "Nobody
} move," thundered Commander Vimes.  "You have the right," he
} said in a grimly ironic voice, "to remain silent.  Corporal
} Detritus, tie up the prisoners and bring them back to the
} station."  With that, he swept out of the room, taking most
} of his men with him.
}
}   The troll removed his enormous helmet and scratched his
} flinty head ponderously.  "What's wrong?" asked Corporal Nobbs.
}
}    "Uh... I think I left the rope back at the station," his
} partner said ruefully.  "How're we gonna tie 'em up without
} any rope?"
}
}    The Marcel's eyes lit up.  Gesturing frantically at the
} two Watchmen, he picked up an invisible rope off the floor
} and began tying it into knots.  One of the other mimes took
} the cue and tried to snatch it out of his hands, and they
} struggled over possession of the rope as the puzzled Watchmen
} looked on.
}
}    "What do you suppose they're up to?" Nobbs asked out of the
} corner of his mouth.
}
}    "It looks like they're playin' tug-o-war, but I don't see
} no rope," his partner ventured.
}
}    "Maybe it's elvish rope," Nobbs concluded after a while.
} "Hey, you," he ordered, "gimme that."  The two men stopped
} fighting, and the Marcel placed the rope sheepishly into Nobbs'
} outstretched hand.  "Definitely elvish," he assured Detritus.
} "Lighter'n a feather, it is.  Lucky for us we found us some
} honest criminals with rope to spare.  All right, youse, tie
} yourselves up quick now!"
}
}    As the mimes got busy imprisoning themselves, Detritus said,
} "You're smart, Nobby.  I bet Commander Vimes gives us a medal
} for this."
}                              * * *
}
}    "I don't understand it, sir," Nobbs said.  "They were right
} behind us when we left."
}
}    Vimes sighed.  "Well, we have bigger problems to worry
} about right now.  Apparently, nearly half the population of
} Ankh-Morpork are being sued by some people called Mudders.
} They claim we've stolen their names."
}
}    Nobbs pulled out a blackjack.  "Well, where are they?  Let
} me at those Mudder-f--"
}
}    "Calm down, Nobbs, I think they're somewhere on the
} Counterweight Continent.  Leastwise, I never heard of them
} before the Patrician showed me this summons."  Vimes held out
} a roll of parchment, from which depended a ponderous seal.
} Nobbs shrank back from it like a rat from a snake, a metaphor
} which was greatly aided by Nobbs' rodent-like appearance.
}
}    Suddenly, the door burst open and strangely-dressed people
} flooded the room.  "Nobody move," one of them ordered.
}
}    "Who are you?" demanded Vimes.
}
}    "We're copyright attorneys.  We represent one Terry
} Pratchett, whose interests are being violated by this
} Oracularity.  You will cease and desist immediately, and we
} have here an ex parte seizure order to make sure it doesn't
} continue.  We also have an arrest warrant for 'The Internet
} Oracle', who has perpetrated this copyright violation."
}
} You owe the Oracle the name of a good lawyer.  Hurry!
}
} [1]  Or, in the secret gestural language of the mimes, hand
}      pressed to head, then moving away in waves.
}
} [2]  Which, given the generally non-liquid consistency of the
}      Ankh, meant that the Watch shambled in at the pace of
}      chilled treacle.

1159-01 - (Score: 2.9 [3/24/35/7/6])
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> None is so fierce that dare stir the Oracle up!
> who then is able to stand before him not quaking
> at the mere hint of a zot?
>
> Is fear more powerful than love?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, let's see:
}
} Fear makes you act differently than you normally would.  So does love.
}
} Fear can make you focus on one thing, excluding all others.  So can
} love.
}
} Fear gives you sweaty palms and an odd feeling in your stomach.
} So does love.
}
} Fear can make you wet your pants.  As to love... there are newsgroups
} about that sort of thing...
}
} Okay, this is quickly getting out of hand.  In brief, fear and love
} are merely two different faces of the same coin.
}
} You owe the Oracle a CD compilation of "The World's Greatest Fear
} Songs".

1159-06 - (Score: 2.9 [7/20/24/19/5])
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oracle, Sport of The Universe, Goalie of Knowledge, Referee of
> Wisdom, You Who has Never Been in the Penalty Box of Life,
>
> What new kinds of pets will we see in the new millennium?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A very good -- and timely -- question!
}
} You see, a sudden viral plague will wipe out the world's population
} of cats and dogs in just a few months (about two months shy of the
} start of the Third Millennium [where applicable; void where
} prohibited by Judaic, Islamic or Chinese calendars]).
}
} Realizing that cows' docile nature would qualify them as excellent
} replacements for the vanished pets, scientists genetically engineer
} them to be smaller (about the size of a large greyhound), give them
} actual hands with opposable thumbs, increase their intelligence,
} and market them as the ideal pets (and domestic laborers).
}
} Several years later, a circus owner, having hidden away and raised
} a calf born of two bovines from the future who traveled back to the
} year 2000 (accidentally bringing with them a viral plague which
} wipes out all cats and dogs), will bring his ward into a major
} city, where the two will be separated by the apprehension of the
} circus owner by fascist cops.
}
} Mistaken for a common pet, the calf will be captured and herded
} into a training center where he will be taught to do the menial
} tasks assigned to young bulls -- but he will organize a revolt
} which will turn society upside down, with bovines the dominant
} species, keeping humans as pets and laborers (except for Gary
} Larson, whom they will consider the only intelligent human).
}
} And then the apes, still chafing from the last time their noble
} history was so savagely parodied and perverted, will kill everyone,
} cow and human alike, and in the interest of safety, resurrect the
} "Pet Rock" fad, forbidding all other pets.  And if they ever catch
} a rock speaking, then it will quickly meet with the business end
} of a pickaxe.  Ook.
}
} You owe the Oracle a banana.

1159-07 - (Score: 3.1 [3/15/31/21/5])
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh great Oracle, who invented capitalism,
>
> What do you do about copyright infringers of yours like
> (http://www.searchgateway.com/shopping.htm)? Does Stephen B Kinzler
> take care of stuff like that for you?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No, I consider legal action to be beneath me.
}
} Whenever some company decides to use my name to sell their
} products, I merely instruct my Supplicants to place phony
} orders, using fake names, addresses and credit cards, until
} the company is driven out of business due to the shipping
} and return charges.
}
} And then I use the Wand of Tonker Removal to make the usurpers'
} genitalia fall off.
}
} But I don't bother with a lawsuit; that's just a petty act of
} retribution.

1159-08 - (Score: 3.0 [6/20/25/17/7])
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Yes, but is it Art?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Look.  If Marcel Duchamps can stick a toilet on a pedestal and
} call it sculpture, and John Cage can compose a work consisting
} entirely of rests and call it music, then I can damn well show
} a collection of ZOT burns and call it art.
}
} Now, will you give me space in your gallery, or would you like
} to contribute to the collection?

1181-08 - (Not scored yet)
Selected-By: Christophe <[email protected]>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh Askme! Tellme!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} All right, which one of you Priests ordered the Queue Porn channel?

[Jeff Lee's Homepage] [An Oracular Christmas poem]