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Internet Oracularities #1197

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Internet Oracularities #1197    (68 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2000 22:11:21 -0500 (EST)

@@@                   -<*>- Happy Holidays! -<*>-

To find out all about the Internet Oracle (TM), including how to
participate, send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help"
in the subject line.  ("Internet Oracle" is a trademark of Stephen
B Kinzler.)

Let us know what you like!  Send your ratings of these 10 Oracularities
on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
volume number to oracle-vote@cs.indiana.edu (probably just reply to this
message).  For example:
   1197
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1197  68 votes dfjf6 3msc3 ccifb 3dmp5 7duc6 cfie9 66jpc 4brk6 9lmb5 baife
1197  3.0 mean  2.8   2.9   3.0   3.2   3.0   2.9   3.5   3.2   2.7   3.2


1197-01    (dfjf6 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce M. Wilson" <awilson@uplink.net>

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

> Egor: "More questions for the master, yes, yes, more questions for the
> master..."
>
> Oracle: "Er, Igor?"
>
> Egor: "That's Egor, master, yes, as I said before."
>
> Oracle: "Ah, yes, now I remember. Egor, then. Egor, why did you come
> back? We're not advertising for a new in-joke to my knowledge, and if
> we are, then I must have words with Zadoc..."
>
> Egor: "Egor merely wishes to serve the master, yes, and grovel before
> his magnificence!"
>
> Oracle: "..."
>
> Egor: "Egor would like to know, how the master speaks in punctuation,
> yes."
>
> Oracle: "It's simple, you just- no, no, I'm not going to tell you. In
> fact..."
>
> [Oracle turns to the door.]
>
> Oracle: "ZADOC!"
>
> [Zadoc enters.]
>
> Oracle: "Please, see Egor to the front door, would you?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Egor: "No! I! Will! Not! GO!"
}
} <zot>
}
} Oracle picks up a still smoldering charred skull that is giving
} off a most disdainful burnt stench, "Alas poor Egor, I didn't
} want to know him and now he smells."
}
}                       ---\ /---
}
} In-joking is not for amateurs. I can't tell you how many times
} I've gotten a panic filled email from some froup moderator trying
} to repair the shattered soul of some innocent newbie that had an
} in-joke go off as they were trying to sound like 'one of the guys'.
} Keep in mind that ALL in-jokes are inherently unstable!
}
} Please people! Leave in-jokes to expendable professionals, like
} the priests, who are trained just for the task of dealing with
} and disposing of in-jokes!
}
} That being said, The Oracle would like to announce right this
} second the first ten in-jokes of the 2000s so that people can
} enter into the new decade in a heighten state of preparation
} and awareness. Use -extreme- caution when discussing any of
} the following in-jokes.
}
}                     --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2000: Captain Hook
}
}  role: Cankerous old coot that is the bogey man of rhod, shows up
}        when ever a grumpy comical enemy or stock bad guy is needed
}
}  Abuse can result in peg legs, left eye atrophy, parrotism and long
}  pointless quests masked as trips of self-discovery.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2001: Ryot Grrl
}
}  role: Anarchist for the new millennium, used to shout out nihilist
}        anti capitalistic rants or when a commercial district
}        needs trashing, Ryot Grrl intended use is to show 'thumb on
}        the pulse of today's youth' aspect of the Oracle as riots
}        grip urban areas for most of 2001
}
}  Abuse can results in "rubber bullet marks" on the torso and long
}  weekends in the slammer.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2002: Ernie the Devil Cat
}
}  role: counterweight to 1990's era in-joke the Bright Red Siamese
}        Fighting Fish. After the President's cat mauls Barbara
}        Walters the cat in question, Ernie, enters public
}        consciousness as a symbol of unprovoked aggression
}
}  Abuse can result in public 'feline' consumption, drunkenness and
}  odd diggings in public places.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2003: Flipper's Corpse
}
}  role: Wildly unlikely, yet bizarrely reoccurring image of this
}        dead TV show critter's corpse shows up in so many
}        questions and answers that it joins what is to be
}        later referred to by historians as "The Three Animal
}        Injokes of Y2K 2,3 & 4"
}
}  Abuse can result in 'tuna breath'.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2004: The Baboon Proctologist
}
}  role: The heated debate about government veterinary HMOs
}        in the USA results in this colorful creature showing
}        up in numerous answers as a foil for the issue of
}        animal health insurance
}
}  Abuse leads -without fail- to ghostly nightmares of paranoid
}  prosecution and insatiable desire to eat tiny timid geese.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2005: toothpicks
}
}  role: after the hit comedy of Y2K-5, "A Man and his Calendar"
}        the whole world can hardly say the word toothpick without
}        laughing, the Oracle follows suit
}
}  Abuse leads to 'thin stick' ridicule.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2006: "And what sea does that refer to?"
}
}  role: "A Man and his Calendar II" sweeps the Oscars, as
}        does the most inane catch phrase of the decade
}
}  Abuse ( see above )
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2007: Little Bo Peep
}
}  role: In a violent backlash to the now embarrassing infatuation
}        with the whole "A Man and his Calendar" situation, the
}        Oracle's followers retreat into something safe and sane.
}        Little Bo Peep shows up when a voice of calm innocence
}        is needed to still the bizarre waters so to speak
}
}  Abuse leads to sheep disorders.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2008: Three Pigs in a Blanket
}
}  role: As 'mad cow' disease renders the survivors in Europe
}        to a state of substance level vegetarianism, references
}        to the willing consumption of meat take on a macabre
}        humor that reaches a peek in the Oracle's cruelly famous
}        "Three Pigs in a Blanket" answer of February 6th, 2008
}
}  Abuse leads to inoperable UK tract disorders.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} 2009: "Mr. ASCII turns out the lights"
}
}  role: As the Oracle moves the last of his world from USENET
}        to the NueralTRanOpt grokers laugh at the antics of
}        this characterization of an old man still clinging to
}        the lost art of literacy and 'keyboards', Mr. ASCII is
}        not a neo-luddite as much as an unreformed idealist.
}        Newer readers love to hate him, older readers find
}        his ideas charming, if dated and quaint.
}
}  Abuse leads to Netophobia.
}
}                      --=+<{( )}>+=--
}
} You owe the Oracle a real live owl.


1197-02    (3msc3 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce M. Wilson" <awilson@uplink.net>

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

> Oh wise and overworked Oracle,
>
> why is it that your queue is so full in the moment? Are the priests on
> the strike and / or considering forming a union?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} ::
} :: THIS IS AN AUTOMATED REPLY THAT HAS KEYED ON THE WORD "UNION"
} ::
}
} Dear Supplicant Response Technician,
}
} When the Oracle started many years ago, we realized the needs of the
} common worker.  This is why we supply priests with the very choicest of
} benefits, like health and dental plans, stock options, and "Crazy Donut
} Fridayz" at our corporate offices.  We understand the values that you,
} the Oracle Preist/Monk/Servant/Bum, have brought the Oracle through our
} times of growth.
}
} It has come to our attention that there are some officials who have
} been under the mistaken impression that employees need the hassle of
} being Unionized.  The officials are currently being tracked down and
} "reeducated," using the choicest of friendly and persuasive methods
} with the minimum of bone breaking and bruising.  Wild tales of how we
} are burning down the homes of the organizers, or kidnapping their
} children and holding them over alligator pits are simply fabrications
} made by our hardworking but talent-strapped arsonists and bored
} alligator pit management, trying to get a bigger budget in the next
} fiscal year.
}
} While we here at Oracle understand the needs for employees to get
} together and create new ideas for the Oracle, we do not think it is
} necessary to form any sort of extracurricular activity where Oracle
} management methods are discussed.  A Union does not unite the common
} worker, in fact, it creates an atmosphere of one-upmanship.  On top of
} that, you have to pay dues (which we last imagined was $123,456,789
} dollars USD a week), and they don't even give you near the amount of
} satisfaction that a sweet glazed cruller gives you on "Crazy Donut
} Fridayz."  And when the leaders of your new union decide that not
} enough people are paying them in dues, and go on strike, how will you
} face your favorite goldfish? "Goldie, no special flakes for you today,
} Jackie Presser has decided that making a point about 'department
} safety' and the recent, but unrelated, multiple deaths of people from
} poisoned postage stamps is better than your owner having wages."
}
} So before you take that communist pamphlet, and poison our already
} disgruntled and overworked employee pool with antique Marxist comments
} about the factory conditions of the 1800s, remember: Our alligators get
} very hungry when the workers are not there to feed them.
}
} Looking forward to seeing your family at the company picnic,
}
} Oracle Management
} "We have all the answers."
}
} ::
} :: THIS HAS BEEN AN AUTOMATED REPLY THAT HAS KEYED ON THE WORD "UNION"
} ::
} :: YOU OWE THE ORACLE A COPY OF "THE MADCAP MANAGEMENT STYLE OF BOSS
} :: TWEED" AND "WHO STOLE MY CHEESE"
} ::


1197-03    (ccifb dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce M. Wilson" <awilson@uplink.net>

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

> Ladies, I pray you tell me
> Where a gentle maiden dwelleth,
> Named Yum-Yum, the ward of Ko-Ko?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} (Enter procession of sentient Weasels, heralding Sib-Sib, Pyth-bo
} and Cassi-Dann.)
}
} Chorus of Weasels:
}   Comes a team of plucky females
}   Who, for an outrageous fee,
}   Answer letters, calls and emails,
}   Solving ev'ry mystery!
}   Do you find you are unable
}   To restrain your farts?
}   Have you broken Peter Gabriel
}   Into num'rous parts?
}   Did you meet up with the pontiff
}   In your underwear?
}   Face the facts, you'd be quite stumped if
}   Our three girls weren't there!
}   Face the facts, you'd be quite stumped if
}   Our three girls weren't there!
}   Come along, you must involve 'em,
}   Tell them what your problems be,
}   And they'll solve 'em -- how they'll solve 'em!
}   They'll solve 'em -- how they'll solve 'em!
}   For a monumental fee!
}   For a quite outrageous fee!
}
} Sib-Sib, Pyth-Bo, Cassi-Dann:
}   Three little maids for hire are we,
}   Finding out facts our destiny,
}   Running up bills with wanton glee --
}   Three little maids for hire!
}
} Sib-Sib:
}  Nothing is e'er too much to ask! (Giggle)
}
} Pyth-Bo:
}   I'll tackle each and ev'ry task! (Giggle)
}
} Cassi-Dann:
}   'S long as she's got her whisky flask! (Giggle)
}
} Sib-Sib, Pyth-Bo, Cassi-Dann:
}   Three little maids for hire!
}
} (Dancing)
}   Three little maids who, once we've started,
}   Never delay or do things half-hearted,
}   Till you with all of your cash have parted --
}   We're never known to tire!
}   Three little maids for hire!
}
} Sib-Sib:
}   I'll search the phone books one and all --
}
} Pyth-Bo:
}   I'll visit Niger and Nepal --
}
} Cassi-Dann:
}   I'll just go shopping down the mall --
}
} Sib-Sib, Pyth-Bo, Cassi-Dann:
}   Three little maids for hire!
}
} Sib-Sib:
}   I found your answer very soon --
}
} Pyth-Bo:
}   I had just flown off to Rangoon --
}
} Cassi-Dann:
}   I bought a dress that'll make you swoon --
}
} Sib-Sib, Pyth-Bo:
}   She has some fine attire!
}
} Chorus of Weasels:
}   Three little maids for hire!
}
} Sib-Sib, Pyth-Bo, Cassi-Dann, and Chorus of Weasels:
}   Now that you've had your information,
}   Here is the bill for your consultation,
}   Hope it won't cause you consternation --
}
} Sib-Sib, Pyth-Bo, Cassi-Dann:
}   Some customers expire!
}
} Sib-Sib, Pyth-Bo, Cassi-Dann, and Chorus of Weasels:
}   Three little maids for hire!
}
} (Sib-Sib presents the invoice to the Customer. Exeunt Ladies and
} Weasels, with a good deal of scuffling and biting. The Customer
} studies the invoice in dismay.)
}
} Customer:
}   Now I know why they say ignorance is bliss.


1197-04    (3dmp5 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> I am at a crossroads in my career. I am currently a freelance editor
> working in a somewhat full time basis for a publishing company that has
> moved from small, quick, and fun to work for to slightly larger,
> incredibly bogged down by meetings, and mind-numbingly,
> homicidal-urge-inducing dreadful to work for on a daily basis. I see
> the Web as my freedom, but I do not know where to go. I require
> assistance that cannot be found within a Magic 8-ball. What shall I do
> to save my sanity and find as a new career?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well whatever you do, don't go into grovel-ghosting, you'd have a Hard
} Time. In the meantime, here's the Top Ten things to do to liven up that
} office whilst you secretly plan a coup d'etat in a small South American
} dictatorship:
}
} 10) Call a florist and tell them your greatest love simply must have a
} hundred red long stemmed roses at once, then give them your name and
} office as delivery address and charge it to the company.
} 9) Buy a picture frame. Leave the sample picture (the larger the
} 'SAMPLE' sticker the better) in and place the frame prominently on your
} desk. Carry it to meetings with you. From time to time, stroke it
} lovingly.
} 8) Impersonate well-known cartoon characters. All day. Every day. Do
} not use your real voice or mannerisms.
} 7) Sidle to meetings, the water cooler, photocopier etc. If anyone asks
} why, look past their left ear and say: "Ted made me". Carry on sidling.
} 6) Arrive early, leaving an alarm clock and five red candles wired
} together on your desk. Leave the office, come back when everyone else
} has arrived, and 'defuse' the 'bomb'.
} 5) Make a pass at yourself in the bathroom mirror. The more colleagues
} in there, the better. Let them see your greatness.
} 4) Carry a packet of biscuits - that's cookies, you see - at all times.
} When someone asks you a question, look at them thoughtfully, eat a
} biscuit, and then answer as though no biscuit had occurred.
} 3) Stand on your head or do complex yoga positions (practice, though,
} don't injure yourself) whenever a meeting becomes too much. It's
} guaranteed to lighten the mood for everyone.
} 2) Email the entire organisation thanking them for their ingenuity in
} coming up with a cure for smallpox/radish blight/rust.
} 1) Go to a fancy dress shop. Buy a monkey costume. When it seems the
} meetings, co-workers and so on are becoming too much, gradually dress
} in the costume. By the time you're ready for the head, you should be
} screaming: "Are you trying to make a monkey out of me? Are you? Answer
} me!" Repeat as necessary.
}
} You owe the Oracle a cheerful can-do attitude and a better job six
} weeks from now.


1197-05    (7duc6 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oracle, you that hold our interest, you whose ideas are worth
> saving, you that knows all the secret Swiss Bank Account Numbers,
> you that uses his capital correctly,
>
> Do cats have any other weapons?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} But of course.
}
} Most people are familiar with the classic claws and teeth that cats
} have. They also have much more...subtle weapons.
}
} *Cuteness
}
} What is a cat if it's not cute?  The fastest way to disarm its human is
} for a cat to give him or her a wide eyed look and a drawn out meow.  If
} this fails to work, it merely has to rub up against the ankles of the
} target human - and nobody can resist that.
}
} *Purr device
}
} What most people understand is that cats are happy when they are
} purring. This goes with the cuteness thing above, but cats also have
} another subtle weapon within purring - they will purr when in pain
} also.  This bit of deception can bait a human, and the result isn't
} pretty.
}
} When anything else fails, of course, the cat merely has to mope.  This
} will instill guilt into anyone with a good soul.
}
} You owe the Oracle a can of tuna.  It would seem my own cat needs to be
} fed.


1197-06    (cfie9 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Dear Auntie Ora,
>
> I remember reading that Apollo ordained no-one should believe
> Cassandra's prophecies.  How can we trust her, and yet not disobey
> him?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Speaking purely for myself, sunshine, I wouldn't trust the kid with a
} piece of string. So she's pissed Apollo off now, has she? I'm dying to
} know how. Hey, Danni! DANNI!
}
}     How many times do I have to tell you, Pyth? It's Cassie!
}
} Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Why's Apollo got it in for you?
}
}     Who?
}
} Apollo. You know - sun god. Blond guy. Goes around on a boogie board
} in 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'.
}
}     Oh, HIM! That was nothing! And anyways, it wasn't--
}
} --Your fault. How did I guess? C'mon, spill it. What did you do?
}
}     Well, it was when Sibyl sent you to check out Shangri-La, to see
}     whether it was the happiest place on earth, remember? Only then
}     she had second thoughts, 'cos maybe it was the Elysian Fields
}     instead, so she sent me to Mount Olympus to ask. And those Greek
}     gods, like, they were real nice to me! I mean Zeus, he turned
}     himself into this *ever* so cute swan, see, and then he--
}
} Cut to the chase, Danni.
}
}     Cassie! Well, then Apollo wanted to know why we were called
}     'Delphic Research', and were we trying to make out like we were
}     his oracle or something? And I said no way because Sibyl has been
}     around for simply *ages*, right, and so she must have been the
}     first, so sucks to his rotten oracle with knobs on and... Well,
}     at that point Hera said it should be decided by a contest--
}
} What - you against the Oracle of Delphi?
}
}     That's right.
}
} Ohhhh GHOD...
}
}     And you know what's funny? We never even left Greece. Like, at
}     school they told us Delphi was in India. Shows how much those
}     teachers know, eh?
}
} What happened next?
}
}     We all went in this cave, which was horrible and full of fumes and
}     smelled of rotten eggs. I guess that oracle doesn't wash much.
}     And then the high priest asked, "Oh great oracle of the ages,
}     daughter of Gaia and Typhon, queen of the past, present and
}     future, we bring you wondrous gifts and beg you to tell us - Who
}     will win the 12:10 at Sandown Park?" And then we heard this weird
}     woman's voice moaning and groaning in the darkness, and eventually
}     she says, "The race is not necessarily to the swift nor the battle
}     to the strong, nor chocolate brownies to the sweet-toothed, nor
}     ferrets to the owners of unicycles." And a lot more stuff like
}     that. Well, one or two of the demigods were prodding each other
}     in the ribs and snickering behind their hands, and you could see
}     Apollo wasn't any too pleased because his oracle was talking such
}     rubbish, and--
}
} Fast forward, Cass.
}
}     Right. Then the high priest turns to me and asks me the same
}     question, only missing out the bit about wondrous gifts, which
}     I thought was a bit stinky. So I ask who's running, and they
}     show me a newspaper with the starting line-up, and you know what?
}     There's this horse called 'Pretty In Pink'! So I say *that* one,
}     because you know how I like pink--
}
} I'm beginning to have this feeling I don't really want to know how
} this ends...
}
}     And then Zeus announces that whatever the prophetess Cassandra
}     says is good enough for him, and that he's going to put his shirt
}     on 'Pretty In Pink' at 14 to one. And he gives me this big smile,
}     which is really sweet of him, only Hera looks real miffed, I don't
}     know why--
}
} She's his wife.
}
}     She IS??? He didn't say he was married! Oooh!
}
} Tantrums later. Get on with the narrative.
}
}     Well, when Zeus said he was betting everything on 'Pretty In
}     Pink', all the other gods did too, even Apollo.
}
} And 'Pretty In Pink' finished?
}
}     Last.
}
} You astonish me.
}
}     Yeah well, I don't tell a horse how fast to run, do I? So how can
}     anybody say it's *my* fault?
}
} Gods can be so unreasonable. All the same, I don't think we'll be
} referring to this case in any of our publicity material, if you don't
} mind.
}
}     Married! Huh! What a sleazeball!


1197-07    (66jpc dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Kirsten R. Chevalier" <krc@erythrea.wellesley.edu>

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

> It's a dromedary, *not* a camel!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Eeeewww!  No wonder it didn't taste so good when I smoked it.


1197-08    (4brk6 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Kirsten R. Chevalier" <krc@erythrea.wellesley.edu>

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

> I'm hiding under this tree, trying to avoid your massive *ZOT*.  Will
> it protect me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That depends on what sort of tree it is.
}
} If it's an ash tree, you'll find you've been singed.
} If it's a citrus tree, your efforts will go sour.
} If it's a fig tree, to me you'll be pretty much naked.
} If it's a nut tree, I might find you a little hard to crack, but you'll
} probably get roasted.
} If it's an olive tree, your only chance is if I decide to extend you a
} branch.
} If it's a palm tree, I know how to hit you much like I know the back
} side of my hand.
} If it's a pear tree, it might take two shots.
} If it's a pine tree, I suppose a falling cone might block my shot.
}
} But as you're under a binary tree, I'd say there's a half a chance.
}
} With thanks to http://www.dictionary.com/ and
} http://www.igin.com/treelist.html.


1197-09    (9lmb5 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: "BJ" <km4rb@tampabay.rr.com>

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

> Oh Oracle Most Wise,
> Your words of wisdom are like rose-petals on the Lawn of Life
>
> Only Wiser.
>
> Sybil, Pythia, Cassidy, and Steve Irwin the Australian Naturalist
>
> That's _four_ new in-jokes in _one_ edition of Oracularities.
>
> This is a flagrant violation of the Strategic In-Joke Limitation
> Treaty, which sets a limit of 2 new in-jokes per Oracularity.
>
> By the terms of this treaty, you now have 4 days to kill-off
> two of the in-jokes, either
>
> 1. To the tune of a Gilbert and Sullivan song.
> 2. In the style of Shakespeare.
> 3. In the Style of Quentin Tarantino
> or
> 4. In Haiku.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Haiku is passe',
} Its prose is limited,
} There is not enough
}
} Room for you to eas-
} ily fit long words in,
} Without a hyphen.
}
} Three young delphis accosted me,
} Told me to stay here quietly,
} Tied me up and gave me tea,
} Three young delphis, quite rude.
}
} One shoved a gun against my head,
} Told me to "Shush." or I'd be dead,
} Passage from the bible, she then read,
} Three young delphis, quite rude.
}
} Then to the room came that bloke Steve,
} Brought in a croc with teeth that cleave,
} Right about then I asked to leave,
} Three young delphis, quite rude.
}
} He then said "You lit us stay!",
} "Or ilse thir'll be hill t'pay!",
} I asked him what he did say,
} Three young delphis, quite rude.
}
} He then unleashed his pet on me,
} Told me "Cripes, 'e's roight angry!",
} I then tried to run and flee,
} Three young delphis, quite rude.
}
} I then agreed they could stay here,
} Steve was quite perfectly clear,
} All of me left would be an ear,
} Three young delphis, quite rude.
}
} Three young delphis!  Quite rude.
}
} So alas, poor Supplicant, your request hath fallen upon deaf ears (but
} at least they're both still attached to my head).
}
} You owe the Oracle a bottle of anti-crocodile cologne, and a long pole.


1197-10    (baife dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

>  The Penguin
>
>  by Rob Flynn <rob@tgflinux.com>
>          and
>              Jeramey Crawford <jacrawf@marko.net>
>
>  Once upon a term'nal dreary, while I hack'ed, weak and weary,
>  Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten code--
>  While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a beeping,
>  As of some one gently feeping, feeping using damn talk mode.
>  "'Tis some hacker," I muttered, "beeping using damn talk mode--
>                            Only this. I hate talk mode."
>
>  Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak semester,
>  And college life wrought its terror as the school year became a bore.
>  Eagerly I wished for privledges;--higher access I sought to borrow
>  For my term'nal, unceasing sorrow--sorrow for a file called core--
>  For the rare and radiant files of .c  the coders call the core--
>                             Access Denied.  Chown me more.
>
>  "Open Source," did all mutter, when, with very little flirt and
>  flutter,
>
>  In there stepped a stately Penguin of the saintly days of yore.
>  Quite a bit obese was he; having eaten lots of fish had he,
>  But, by deign of Finnish programmer, he sat in the middle of my
>  floor-- Looking upon my dusty term'nal in the middle of my floor--
>                             Came, and sat, and nothing more.
>
>  Then the tubby bird beguiling my sad code into shining,
>  By the free and open decorum of the message that it bore,
>  "Though thy term'nal be dusty and slow," he said, "Linux be not
>  craven!"
>
>  And thus I installed a new OS far from the proprietary shore--
>  The kernel code open but documentation lacking on this shore.
>                             Quoth the Penguin, "pipe grep more!"
>
>  Much I marvelled this rotund fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
>  Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore;
>  For we cannot help believing that no living human being
>  Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird in the middle of his floor--
>  Bird or beast sitting in the middle of his cluttered floor,
>                             With such instructions as "pipe grep more."
>
>  But the Penguin, sitting lonely in that cluttered floor, spoke only
>  Those words, as if its soul in that instruction he did outpour.
>  Nothing more did he need utter; understood did I among that clutter--
>  Understood his command as I could scarcely do a few moments before--
>  I typed as furious as was willed me, understanding just a minute
>  before.
>
>                             Again the bird said "pipe grep more!"
>
>  "Amazing!" said I, "Penguin we will conquor the world if you will!
>  By the Network that interconnects us--by that Finn we both adore--
>  We'll take this very world by storm!" For now grasped I what he'd
>  meant,
>
>  The thing I do while searching /usr/doc/* for that wond'rous lore--
>  Those compendiums of plaintext documentation and descriptive lore.
>                             Quoth the Penguin, "pipe grep more!"
>
>  And the Penguin, never waddling, still is sitting, still is sitting
>  In the middle of my room and still very cluttered floor;
>  And his eyes have all the seeming of the free beer I am drinking
>  And the term'nal-light o'er him glowing throws his shadows on the
>  floor;
>
>  And this OS from out the shadows that is pow'ring my term'nal on the
>  floor
>                              Shall be dominating--"Pipe grep more!"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The "Blue Death" had long devastated the land. No pestilence had ever
} been so infuriating, or so hideous. Gone were my avatars, my files-an
} empty void where my harddrive was before. There were the sharp pains
} in my temples, the sudden dizziness, bleeding from my knuckles where I
} had punched the monitor. And the whole seizure, from spreadsheet
} progress to termination, were the incidents of ten seconds.
}
} I had been a happy fellow. My harddrive was half-populated,
} sagaciously stored memories and oft-used necessities. I could summon
} to my presences a thousand and more fully-rendered avatars, knights
} and dames of every century, and with these venture forth to the realm.
} A strong and lofty personal firewall girdled my cable line, many had
} tried to enter only to be repulsed with dizzying speed.
}
} It was toward the close of the fifth or sixth month of my familiarity
} with my new system, while I entertained the masses in true-color 3-d,
} that the Blue Death came upon me.
}
} It was a voluptuous scene, that 3-d party. A magnificent revel. I had
} a fine eye for colors and effects, and applied them liberally. I
} disregarded those with standard avatars, and personally invited to my
} private room those who would appreciate my processor's abilities.
}
} The came the horror. At first the revelers slowed their dance, made
} less merriment. Then the party fell silent. The partiers ceased to
} move, and stared at me, waiting, waiting. I could only think that
} someone had lagged me.
} "Who dares," I typed, "who dares insult me with such a blasphemous
} script?"
}
} I soon realized however that my hands had run ahead of my eyes for
} there, on the screen before me, were not the words I had typed. The
} scene was exactly as it was just moments ago, the expectant partiers
} having not budged a pixel.
} I fought vainly, pulling every weapon at my disposal, nothing
} responded. In desperation, I enacted my final assault, my way to
} determine which function had caused my system such a headache. For in
} my desperation, I hit Control-Alt-Delete and there I saw, to my
} horror, that which I had dreaded to see.
}
} And now was acknowledged the presence of the Blue Death. It came like
} a thief in the night and, one by one, my system functions shut down.
} The revelers would know by now what had happened, I would be
} shamefaced forever. As darkness and decay settled over my hopes of
} geekdom, my screen glowing blue before me, I pressed the Reset button
} and sighed.


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