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Best of Internet Oracularities #451-475

Goto:
451-475, 460-05, 455-05, 475-10, 455-03, 465-05, 462-01


Best of Usenet Oracularities #451-475    (4.1 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1992 11:56:43 -0500

Oracularities are the distilled wisdom and sagacity of the Usenet
Oracle, as incarnated in its many anonymous e-mail participants.  This
collection has been compiled from the regular Oracularities postings #451
through #475 and contains the Oracularities rated by its readers as
among the funniest.

To find out more about the Usenet Oracle, send mail to
oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject line to
receive the Oracle helpfile.

The regular Oracularities postings can be found in the Usenet newsgroup
rec.humor.oracle.  Open discussion about the Usenet Oracle occurs in the
newsgroup rec.humor.oracle.d.  If your site doesn't carry this
newsgroup, contact your news administrator about starting it, or see the
Oracle helpfile about subscribing to the Oracularities e-mail
distribution list.


460-05    (102bm dist, 4.5 mean)
Selected-By: ewhac@ntg.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh mighty and great Oracle who can find pleasurable uses even for an IBM
> PC (old 4.77 mhz version), who's zit juice (where you to have zits that
> is) I am not worthy clean from you mirror, answer me, your humble
> supplicant, this question.
>
> We are here at ****** Comics are planning on dedicating one of our
> upcoming issues of "Secret Origins" to you and we were wondering,
> since you are eternal and therefore don't really have an origin,
> if you could tell us how you came to be in possesion of your mighty
> <ZOT!> power.
>
> Thank You,
>         Eds.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.  And the
} earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the
} land.  And the Lord said, "Let there be light!"  And there was
} light.  And the Lord saw the light, that it was good.  And it was
} evening, and it was morning, Day One.
}
} And it came to pass that man ate of the fruit of the tree of
} knowledge of good and evil.  And with this knowledge came curiosity,
} and many questions.
}
} And the Lord called upon the Oracle, to answer the questions of man.
} And the Oracle, exceedingly arrogant in those days, demanded of God,
} "What's in it for me?"  And the Lord said, "Let there be Lisa!"  And
} the Oracle saw Lisa, that she was very good.  And it was the
} beginning of a beautiful relationship.
}
} And it came to pass that the Lord became angry with man, and planned
} a great flood to wipe out every living thing.  But Lord saw Noah,
} that he was righteous, and commanded him to build an Ark, and to take
} upon it of every animal two, a male and a female.
}
} And Noah asked of the Oracle,
}
} > God told me to build an Ark.  But he didn't tell me how.
} > Can you?
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} } Make the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth
} } fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
} }
} } And include a moon roof, AM/FM/cassette stereo, side-view
} } mirrors, anti-lock brakes, driver's side airbag, and
} } optional power windows and power locks.
} }
} } And make it all for $199 down, and $199/month.
} }
} } You owe the Oracle a unicorn.
}
} And Noah built the Ark, as commanded, and paid the Oracle tribute of
} one unicorn, leaving him with one very lonely unicorn.
}
} And Noah begot Shem.  And Shem asked of the Oracle,
}
} > How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could
} > chuck wood?
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} } A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could
} } chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood, silly.
} }
} } You owe the Oracle a more interesting question.
}
} And Shem begot Arpachshad.  And Arpachshad asked of the Oracle,
}
} > How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could
} > chuck wood?
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} } That question is unoriginal, insipid, and downright annoying.
} } Don't ever ask it again.
} }
} } You owe the Oracle an apology.
}
} And Arpachshad begot Shelah.  And Shelah asked of the Oracle,
}
} > How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could
} > chuck wood?
}
} And Shelah begot Eber, and Eber asked of the Oracle how much wood a
} woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.  And Eber
} begot Joktan, and Joktan asked of woodchucks as well.  And Joktan
} begot Jobab, who, for a change of pace, asked when drive-in movies
} would be invented.
}
} And the questions about woodchucks continued for one hundred
} generations.  And the Oracle came before God, and said unto him,
} "Lord, I have promised to answer all of man's questions.  And I have
} provided good answers, ever since Cain asked me whether he was his
} brother's keeper.  And for one hundred generations now, I have
} answered man's incredibly annoying question about woodchucks.  If
} something isn't done about this, I'm going to do something drastic."
}
} And the Lord replied, "I will send my only begotten Son, to spread
} the word, to tell man not to ask the woodchuck question."  And God
} so loved the world that he did send his only begotten Son, in order
} that man may not ask the Oracle the woodchuck question.
}
} And Jesus spoke to the multitudes of loving God, and loving one's
} neighbor, but nary a word about woodchucks.
}
} And the Oracle observed, and was displeased.
}
} And Judas came to ask of the Oracle,
}
} > How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could
} > chuck wood?
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} } Judas, I was going to kill the next person that asked me that
} } question, but since I like you, I'm going to give you another
} } chance.
} }
} } You owe the Oracle a certain favor...
}
} And thus it came to pass that Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans.
} And on the cross, Jesus let out a cry,
}
} > Oracle, Oracle, why hast thou forsaken me?
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} }
}
} For the Oracle had gone to Radio Shack for the parts to build
} himself a <ZOT!> gun.
}
} But the Lord intervened, and said to the Oracle, "Oracle, I release
} you from your obligation to answer man's questions.  It is not worth
} anyone getting <ZOT!>ted over."
}
} And the Oracle was pleased, and spent the better part of the next
} two millenia with Lisa, generally having a great time, and answering
} no questions about woodchucks.
}
} And it came to pass one day that the Pacers were playing the
} Celtics, and the Oracle went to Indiana to see the game.  However,
} the Oracle made a wrong turn, and the next thing he knew,
} supplicants were again lining up to ask questions of the Oracle.
}
} And the first supplicant's question was,
}
} > How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could
} > chuck wood?
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} } <ZOT!>
}
} It was with the next supplicant that the tradition of grovelling
} began.
}
} You owe the Oracle the first issue of the "Cain's wife" edition of
} "Secret Origins."


455-05    (104db dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: Clutching at Straws <CLHP19@vaxb.strathclyde.ac.uk>

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> O almighty Oracle type guy, who et cetera et cetera et cetera, I'm
> going to flunk my 20th Century History test unless you help me.
>
> I need to know: what happened in 1997?
>
> Yours sincerely, Terence Zylxzi, State University of Tharsis Plateau,
> Mars.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Nice try, Mr. XXXX XXXXXX (xxxxx@yyyy.zzzz.GOV) [name deleted to
} protect identity -- ed], but I'm not giving you the winning team or any
} other facts about the future that may "influence" your betting
} practices. In fact, I am going to tell Vinnie the Hacksaw and Guido the
} Gelatin Mold about your little plan here...
}
} But since I am bound by contract to answer all questions sent to me
} (HELPFUL HINT #231:  Never, EVER, visit the computing centre at Indiana
} University slightly smashed from a party the night before, and IF
} YOU DO, never, EVER, sign anything, even if they claim they need
} the form to get permission to produce one of those nifty ASCII
} Snoopy calendars), I must give you some of the headlines from 1997:
}
} President Duck.  Yes, the president in 1997 will be named Duck.  Why?
} Because of the disgust with all of the candidates available for the
} 1996 election, an unprecedented number of voters wrote in "Donald Duck"
} as their vote.  It so happens that there is a Don Duck living in the
} United States (to be precise, Arizona), and unwittingly becomes
} President.
}
} The French-American War.  President Duck declares war on France as his
} first official Presidential action because, in his words, "they're much
} too snotty."  The French lose after three days, as they are incapable
} of sucessfully launching an assalt against any organization that
} doesn't have the word "Peace" in its name.  As part of the surrender
} conditions, the French are required to watch one hour of "The Dukes of
} Hazzard" daily until they are cured of their "snottiness."
}
} 4DTV.  Television makers, ready to add any gimmick that they can find
} to television sets so that they can convince gullable consumers to
} purchase yet ANOTHER set, announce three-dimensional television in
} 1996.  In 1997, 4DTV is introduced, which adds intellectual depth to
} the program being watched.  In an associated event, PBS buys up the
} rights to "Three's Company."
}
} Generalissimo Francisco Franco.  He's still dead.
}
} Pappies.  The baby-boomer generation, otherwise known as the infamous
} "Yuppies," are formally dubbed by the media as "Pappies," short for
} "Prematurely-Aged Person."  Indeed, all work and no play makes Jack
} quickly eligible for social security.
}
} Apple-Microsoft suit.  This suit is finally resolved as the presiding
} judge points out that after all this time, the technology in question
} is now obsolete.  HP/Sun-Apollo:SGI announces that even though it can
} no longer find connectors for the companies it absorbs, it is now
} producing its ESIC chip (Encephalo-Sensitive Implant Circuit) and will
} begin mass distributions as soon as they can find a way to keep users
} from 1) drooling severely, and 2) asking if it's MS-DOS compatable.
} Researchers believe that one of these symptoms may be the cause of the
} other.
}
} Roddenbery Vaults.  The infamous vaults of Gene Roddenbery, creater of
} the "Star Trek" television series, are opened by Geraldo Rivera and
} are found to contain the following fascinating bits of documentation:
} 1) "Star Trek" was inspired by a computer log that Roddenbery found
} after it fell from space and landed in his back yard, and 2) he hated
} Wesley Crusher too.
}
} Tokyo destroyed.  A freak nuclear accident vaporizes the city of
} Tokyo, leaving the nation of Japan in chaos.  Historians question the
} exact meaning of President Duck's enigmatic quote, "So what?  They
} were almost as bad as the French."
}
} Internet outlawed.  The Internet News Service, a collection of various
} bulletins created by computer users, is shut down indefinitely after
} three users are found dead at their terminals, all suffering from
} malnutrition.  It seems that bulletins-- in the local jargon,
} "articles"-- were arriving faster than they could read them.  One user
} managed to write in his own blood, "Alt.sex... the horror, the
} horror," before collapsing.
}
} Moonbase established.  The four-year hyper-accelerated project to make
} a permanent international base on the moon is completed on September
} 13.  UN officials OK the storage of nuclear waste near the facility,
} even though environmentalists claim at the current rate of
} accumulation, the dump will reach critical capacity in exactly two
} years.


475-10    (017fb dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: mzintl@Plasma.ps.uci.edu

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Mighty Oracle, Fountain of All Knowledge,
>
> When you designed Relativity, were you joking
> or did you do it for a bet ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Boy, that was a stupid one, huh?
}
}   Talk about miscalculations!  You see, I had this long pole. It
} was about 51 feet long, and I wanted to store it in a barn.
} However, the barn was only 50 feet long.  So I invented
} relativity, time dilation, all that stuff.  Boy, did I blow it.
}
}   So anyway, I take this pole, see, and I start running really
} fast.  I get to about .99C, the pole shrinks relative to the
} stationary barn, I get in the barn, drop the pole, run back
} out and slam the door.  Duh!  The pole was still going at .99C
} and shoots through the wall of the barn, totally demolishing
} it.
}
}   I rebuild the barn and try again.  This time, I come to a stop
} drop the pole, run out and close the door.  Wham! Double-duh!
} As soon as I came to a stop, the pole went back to its
} original length and no longer fit in the barn.
}
}   Then it occured to me:  when I rebuilt the barn, why didn't
} I just rebuild a 51 foot barn, so the pole would fit?  Triple-duh!
} So I decide this relativity stuff was a really dumb idea, and
} I decide I changed my mind, and I would go back in time to
} convince myself not to do it.  All of a sudden, my time machine
} wouldn't work anymore.  I checked the wires, and everything.
} I couldn't figure out the problem.
}
}   So I get a stack of paper and a few mechanical pencils and
} try to figure out what exactly I had done.  Finally, the equations
} I come up with say that time travel is no longer possible (speed
} of light, propagation of information, instantaneity and all that)
} so I can't even change it back!  Quadruple-duh!
}
}   You can imagine how dumb I felt.  So anyway, ends up in a fit
} of stupidity, I invented the uncertainty principle and neutrinos
} and all of that other cool stuff, figuring that with faster-than-
} light particles and tunneling effects and the like, somebody
} would figure out how to travel in time again, and I could undo
} this mess.  I'd do it myself, but I got suckered into this oracle
} job, and I spend all of my time answering questions from incipid
} peons like yourself.
}
} You owe the Oracle a sealed box containing a cat and a vial of
} poison.


455-03    (00a9a dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: Karyanta

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Do you like green eggs and ham?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I do not like them, Sam I am,
} I much prefer pink peas and Spam!
}
} I like to eat them by the VAX,
}       I like to serve them up as snacks.
} I like to eat them when I skate,
}       I like to eat them off a plate.
} I like to eat them stirred with lard,
}       charging it with MasterCard.
} I like to eat them cooked up hot,
}       Lightly glazed with rhino snot.
} I like to eat them on a train,
}       (but, strangely enough, not on a plane).
} I like to eat them in a car,
}       I order them at my favorite bar.
} I like to eat them with Dr. Seuss,
}       I'd even eat them with a moose.
}
} No, no, no, Sam I am,
}       I will not eat green eggs and ham,
} For why would I eat green eggs and ham,
}       when I can have pink peas and Spam?
}
} I like to eat them in the dark,
}       I like to eat them in Hyde Park.
} I like to eat them off the rack,
}       (I'd even chance them by my Mac).
} I like to eat them served with wine,
}       I'd steal them if they weren't mine.
} I'd share them with my favorite duck,
}       I'd even eat them while I... drive my truck.
}
} You see, you see, I am Sam:
}       I truly love my pink peas and Spam!


465-05    (1226a dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: ewhac@ntg.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Why can't I get my soft disk drive to work?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [The scene: Usenet University, Department of Oracularities.  Class in
} session is Apprenticeship 102, T. Usenet Oracle, Professor.]
}
}         ORACLE: You've had the weekend to consider today's question,
} which I warned you was a particularly difficult one.  I also asked you
} to think about why it was difficult.  Gwydion, there, can you tell us
} where the problem lies?
}         GWYDION [hesitantly]: It's a question about microcomputers, and
} the Oracle can't be bothered with anything that's not about mainframes?
}         ORACLE: Oh, come now, Mr Gwydion.  Have you READ any of the
} assigned Oracularities?  Have you forgotten the brilliant answer to
} 443-05?  Someone remind Mr Gwydion what question 443-05 was...
}         PARACELSUS: "Why is it that some floppy disks make a
} shhukka-shukka-shukka sound when placed in a drive, and some do not?"
}         ORACLE: Excellent.  Paracelsus, can YOU tell us what the
} problem with the question is?
}         PARACELSUS: It falls under Category 2 of the Five Unanswerable
} Types: Self-Contained Humorous.
}         ORACLE: Go on.
}         PARACELSUS: Well, we discussed how the SCH is a rhetorical
} question, a joke in the guise of a question.  In this case, the obvious
} joke is that the Supplicant thinks the contrary of "hard disk" is "soft
} disk."  If the Oracle responds explicitly to that ignorance he's
} belaboring the obvious and his response therefore fails.
}         ORACLE: Very good.  Last week we learned several strategies for
} dealing with the Unanswerable Types.  Faustus, can you suggest an
} appropriate one here?
}         FAUSTUS: Mmmm...  How about equivocation?
}         ORACLE: Define...?
}         FAUSTUS: "Willful misunderstanding of the terms used in the
} question."
}         ORACLE: Good.  Yielding in the present case...?
}         FAUSTUS: A moment, sir...  Ah.  "Because your car won't start.
} It'll have to take the bus to work today."
}         [Groans from the class: "Lame," "Feeble," etc. ad lib]
}         ORACLE: We agree that equivocation is not the best strategy
} here?  [Murmurs of assent.]  Another tack, then.  Prospero?
}         PROSPERO: Well, I've always thought the default was double
} entendre.  Sex is generally good for a laugh with the geeks who read
} the Oracularities.  This one's almost too easy, with "soft" right
} there in the question.  "If your disk drive is persistently soft, you
} could try yohimbine, implants, or maybe a vacuum device."
}         ORACLE: Nice, but I see one flaw...
}         PROSPERO: Right.  Most of the geek readers are either too young
} to know about impotence or ARE impotent but don't consider it a
} problem, so the answer will go over their heads.
}         ORACLE: Right on target.
}         MICKEY [squeaking and jumping up and down]: I know!  I know!
} How about, "You could let Lisa stroke it a few times to get it hard"?
}         [Groans, shouts of "luser!" and "Go back to carrying water,
} rodent!"]
}         ORACLE: Okay, class, settle down.  Other strategies?
}         [Someone in the class pipes up, "Null grovel ZOT!"  Cries of
} "REALLY lame," "feebleissimo," "Get a life!" from the class.]
}         GED: Well, sir, there's always the Contrary-to-Fact Funny
} History.  It's a tempting choice in this case, but...  I don't know.
} They're usually too long and cutesy.
}         ORACLE: Suppose you demonstrate?
}         GED: "It is indeed difficult to find replacement parts for
} soft-disk drives these days.  The soft disk, of course, was introduced
} as a storage option for the IBM PC-Jr in 1985. The drives were external,
} attaching through the bus connector, and were constructed of styrofoam
} and balsa wood.  The media themselves were popular for their low cost,
} being made of gelatin, water, carageenan and guar gum.  The most common
} cause of soft-disk drive failure is..."
}         ORACLE [interrupting]: Fine, Ged, you've made your case
} admirably.  Leary, I see you have your hand up.
}         LEARY: Yeah, how about the Surrealist Interpretation?  "Hey,
} get out of that Salvador Dali painting RIGHT NOW!"
}         MICKEY [jumping]: Or, or, or, maybe the disk drive is soft
} because the Supplicant's been doing drugs, like, "Soft disk drive?  You
} say your disk drive is melting?  Hey, can I have a hit of that acid?"
}         ORACLE [over groans of class]: Mickey, I think we can safely
} assume that Mr Leary considered and rejected the Hallucinogenic
} Rejoinder as unfunny in this case.  [Pauses and surveys room.]
}         Class, I'm surprised that none of you has come up with the most
} natural strategy here.  I'm beginning to wonder why you think I put
} Borges and Douglas Hofstadter on class reserve, for paperweights? ...
}         PYNCHON: Jesus, of course, the Metahumor Response.  Maybe
} even combined with the Recursive.  God, how obvious!
}         ORACLE: Go on...
}         PYNCHON: "The scene: Usenet University, Department of
} Oracularities.  Class in session is Apprenticeship 102, T. Usenet
} Oracle, Professor.  ORACLE: You've had the weekend to consider today's
} question..."
}
} --
} You owe the Apprentice a funny and non-obvious way to get out of
} this loop.


462-01    (04799 dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: CLHP19@vaxe.strathclyde.ac.uk

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Ohe magnus Oraculus, qui identibus anticus frustrum magnum spinaciae
> hab es (id tibi praebet speciem lepidissimam), ell-tay e-may:
>
> Hostes alienigeni me abduxerunt. Qui annus est?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}                     JULIUS CAESAR APPEARS IN MIDWEST!
}                   Roman Emperor Abducted by Space Aliens!
}                       WEEKLY WORLD NEWS Exclusive!
}
} By Sweeney Todd, Special Correspondent, 20 June 1992
}
}    Students at Indiana University thought it was just another
} fraternity prank.  But the man wearing a toga and a crown of bay leaves
} was no frat brother--he was the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, kidnapped
} by space aliens and released in the year 1992!
}    According to students, the bewildered emperor first appeared on the
} quad at IU around noon last Thursday.  "People started to gather around
} him, laughing and shouting 'To-GA!  To-GA!'" said coed Allison Walker,
} 19. "But when someone threw a beer can at him and he pulled a short
} sword out of his belt and started shouting in some weird language,
} like, everyone freaked!"
}    Luckily, one member of the crowd was Horace Dimsdale, 20, a junior
} computer science major and third-year Latin student.  "I understood
} what he was shouting, but I couldn't believe it at first," said
} Dimsdale.  "I think it was 'Ego Caesar Imperator sum, osculate culum
} meum!' I don't like to say just what it means, but he was pretty
} angry."
}    Dimsdale managed to rescue the hapless Emperor from the crowd and,
} using his fluent Latin, find out how he had arrived in Bloomington.
} Although Caesar lacked the vocabulary to describe some of what he had
} seen, it was clear from his description that he had been abducted from
} the Roman Forum by space aliens in a large pulsating UFO in the year 48
} B.C.!  "They communicated with him using their ESP and told him that
} they wanted to study his brain because he was known to them as one of
} the great military minds of the Galaxy," said Dimsdale.  "They were
} running some kind of probe when they were interrupted by an enemy
} attack, and to save Caesar they had to drop him off at the nearest
} space-time continuum."  Which happened to be Indiana in 1992!
}    IU officials arrived, but as soon as Caesar realized where he was he
} insisted on being taken to "the Great Oracle."  "We didn't get it at
} first," said Prof. J. W. Halporn, head of Classics at IU.  "He kept
} saying, 'Ubi Magnum Oraculum?'  I knew that wasn't Latin for 'take me
} to your leader,' but luckily Horace here figured out what he meant."
}    The betoga'ed ruler was in fact asking for the "Usenet Oracle," a
} massive super-secret Artificial Intelligence project housed at Indiana
} University, whom the space aliens had told Caesar was the ruler of the
} greatest empire on the planet in 1992!  "We took him to the nearest
} VT100," said Dimsdale, "and he sat down and began typing right
} away--after making a sarcastic comment about how the space aliens used
} more sophisticated Dvorak keyboards!"
}    The Emperor's current whereabouts are being kept secret by IU
} officials as they work feverishly with their Oracle software to
} discover a way to return Julius Caesar to his own time.  "We know he
} has to have gotten back somehow," said Halporn, "because we asked the
} Oracle what would happen if Caesar had disappeared and never been
} assassinated, and the Oracle got real mad and said, 'Look, even my
} Supplicants have gotten tired of these old-hat alternate reality
} questions,' and assured us that the technology to return Caesar was
} well within his grasp."
}    But the Weekly World News has learned from sources among the
} students that the famous author of "et tu, Brute?" is now enjoying
} American beer, pretzels, and reruns of I Love Lucy!


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