} "Here I am." Oracle said quietly as he stepped from the shadows. "You
} can stop singing that ridiculous song now."
} "Oh, -there- you are, my widdle Oracle!"
} Oracle grimaced. Will that supplicant never learn? "Have you ever
} stopped to wonder -why- I might want to disappear?"
} "Awww, does widdle Orrie wanna pway hide-and-seek?"
} "DAMMIT! WILL YOU QUIT WITH THE BABY TALK? Why do you insist on
} treating me like an infant? I'm older than you by about six millenia. I
} have gray hairs older than you! So what's with the babbling?"
} The supplicant paused, obviously hurt. Good. "But I just wuv... um,
} love you so much! You're the center of my universe! Is that so wrong,
} to want to be with you?"
} "Not at all. Lots of people feel that way. Why, there's this one
} supplicant in Des Moines..." Oracle saw the supplicant's eyes widening
} in panic, and immediately changed direction: "...who loves her cat so
} much that the cat ran away out of shame. That's how I feel sometimes.
} It's embarrassing to be called 'widdle Orrie' at an IRS audit. It's
} embarrassing to have to respond to a "will passenger 'Orrie-Porrie
} pudding and pie' please pick up the white courtesy phone" page at the
} "But... but..." Storm clouds were brewing on the horizon, but Oracle
} was in too deep to back down now.
} "And the police are starting to ask questions about all the untimely
} accidents the other supplicants are having."
} "Well they deserved it! Imagine ME having to wait in the queue while
} you dally about with some wh*r* in Cleveland who wants to know what's
} causing her rash! Why should I have to settle for 'the Oracle is
} pondering your question" when I can see through the window that you're
} right there by the terminal..." The supplicant realized the blunder,
} too late.
} "So you -have- been watching me." It wasn't a question."You know that
} violates the restraining order."
} "But... but... but I LOVE you!"
} The detective stepped out of the same shadow that Oracle had emerged
} from, followed by two uniformed officers. "I think we've heard enough,
} Mr. Oracle. We'll take it from here."
} "Thanks. I hate to drag the law into this, but..."
} "That's our job. It's just a shame that some people get so involved
} they end up like this." The detective waved in the direction of the
} supplicant being led away in handcuffs. "I don't envy you, Mr. Oracle.
} How many does that make now?"
} "Too many," Oracle sighed. "Well, I have to go - I have to catch a
} plane to Des Moines."
} "You know, Oracle," the detective's tone was more stern now. "some
} people might think you were actually encouraging this kind of thing."
} Oracle paused briefly, considering the idea. "Imagine that."