} SCENE: A dark night somewhere in the cornfields of Indiana. A huge
} temple looms in the distance, the temple of the Internet Oracle. In the
} basement of this temple, next to the pool room, down the hall from the
} olympic swimming pool, mini-gym and massage parlor, last door before
} the lower kitchen, nowhere near a bathroom, is a smoke-filled room
} where four chairs sit around a small card table. A large oak bar sets
} the backdrop with a hundred or so empty wine bottles scattered about.
} One man is at the bar, three others occupy chairs around the table. One
} chair remains conspicuously empty.
} As the lights come up it we see that the man at the bar is in fact
} Bacchus, god of wine. The two large figures at the table are the
} Internet Oracle and the Oracle of Delphi. With them is Zadoc, high
} priest in the Internet Oracle's temple. Most, no, all, of the poker
} chips sit in front of the Internet Oracle. The Oracle of Delphi speaks:
} OD: Bacchus! More wine!
} BACCHUS: I think you've had enough.
} OD: C'mon, Dio! You can spare a little for an old friend!
} B: Don't call me that. It's Bacchus, not Dionysus. You're getting on my
} INTERNET ORACLE: Yeah, Del. Leave him be. You've had enough wine.
} OD: Sure, Usie. Pick his side.
} IO: Damn it, Del, I'm the Internet Oracle now. How many times do I have
} to tell you?
} OD: So what do I call you? Innie? Nettie? (snickers)
} ZADOC: We generally refer to him as 'Orrie', Del.
} OD: SHUT UP YOU WHIMPERING SOT! HE IS NOT THE ONLY ORACLE IN THE
} WESTERN WORLD! YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ORACLE IN THE WESTERN WORLD! THERE
} ARE OTHER OMNISCIENT BEINGS IN THIS UNIVERSE!
} IO: OK, OK, calm down now buddy. I know I'm not the only Oracle in the
} universe but face it: I'm the only one with a net connection. Get a
} grip, man, the world is changing. And let's not get into that
} discussion about whether a valuable question requires heroic effort to
} ask. It's not worth it. Now are you gonna play cards?
} OD: I'm busted. Listen, can I put up a bit of collateral? I've got this
} golden fleece...
} IO: No, no thanks. Not again. I've got one of those and I regret ever
} taking it. Kendai washed Lisa's car with it and it did a number on the
} paint job. You think the kid would realize the difference between
} sheepskin and steel wool. At least I hope he does before gets a
} girlfriend. Anyway, I'll spot you a hand double or nothing.
} (Zadoc shuffles the cards and, while dealing, speaks)
} Z: Hey, where'd Father Tiresius get off to?
} IO: He left to find the bathroom, didn't he?
} Z: Yeah, but it's been a while.
} OD: You know, he gets confused, what with having been a woman like the
} earth and a man like the ocean a little bit of wine can really mess up
} your perspective. Pretty soon he'll drop his trousers and figure out
} which door. Don't worry about it.
} Z: It's a unisex bathroom, Del. There's only one door to choose. This
} isn't a Moose Lodge, it's a private residence. So where is he?
} OD: Well, you know, with all the parties you throw I figured you'd have
} better facilities.
} IO: Yeah, and have six bathrooms just for the alternate genders of the
} galaxy next door. Yeah, right. (pauses) Did you hear something?
} OD: No, no. Certainly not.
} Z: Yeah, I hear a voice. Is that your Mac?
} OD: Damn it! That old blind man's using my computer again! I forgot all
} about that old speech driven console in the back wing. What's on that
} machine again?
} Z: Oh, nothing important. Just some old supplicant files. A bunch of
} demographic information for stupid mortals. No one would want them.
} Names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail accounts.
} (With that the Oracle of Delphi throws the card table over and dashes
} from the room. Bacchus awakes from his slumber and snags the Oracle of
} Delphi's cloak as he tries to escape.)
} B: None of that sneaking out! Pay your tab before you leave!
} IO: Um, Dio, buddy, it's my wine cellar. No waitresses. No jukebox. No
} tab. Think before you attack people!
} B: Jeez. Excuse me. Instinct. Sorry.
} IO: Anyway, Delphi, what have you been up to? You've been stealing my
} supplicant files, haven't you? What, are you planning on getting a
} WebTV and setting up electronic shop?
} OD: No, no, nothing like that, I swear! I just, well, I...
} IO: Say it, slimeball!
} OD: I needed money. Orrie, man, this gambling's been killing me. I've
} been stealing your supplicant files to make a buck. That's all. No
} one's been hurt. Business has just been so slow for the last couple
} thousand years.
} IO: You haven't! You've been selling my supplicant files to Cyberpromo!
} OD: No, no! Just telemarketers and cold callers. I'm sorry, man...it's
} a cry for help, you know...help me, man, help me! I can't shake it.
} (Fade to black as the Oracle of Delphi drops to his knees, sobbing.)
} So there you go, Supplicant. That's how the cold callers got your
} number. I'm sorry, but I tend to trust other deities. Maybe a little
} too much. Every once in a while, ya know, a guy can get desperate. You
} understand, don't ya? They'll stop calling soon enough. A couple
} thousand years or so.
} You owe the Oracle a copy of _Twelve Steps to the Temple Door:
} Addiction Recovery for Deities_.