} Dearest Supplicant,
} You are very near to the goal that you seek. You must proceed
} carefully. Very, very carefully.
} A question arose
} How it started, no-one knows
} Is a rose a rose?
} They asked. And asked. And asked.
} Some say it began in antiquity
} When Rhodanthe fled from iniquity
} To the temple of Aphrodite
} Get it? Aph-rose-dite?
} Only they called her Diana because they were Romans and didn't know any
} And it was a bad move, because Diana turned her into a rose
} And her lovers into thorns
} But there are older stories still
} And you can read them if you will * (1)
} Some from Ur and some from... er, other places
} And lots of songs as well
} Michael rose the boat ashore
} Rose Rose Rose your boat
} And so on. Halleluja.
} Middle ages, then:
} Begin again.
} Rose red or rose white? * (2)
} Easy, silly: pink
} Think pink. Think. Think think think.
} (What a stink!)
} Oh -- and again.
} The Wars of the Roses
} Brought down the mighty House of York
} Or did it? Didn't. The Mighty Duke of York had 10,000 men you know.
} That was a lot in those days.
} 'Turn again, Whittington, three times Lord Mayor of London...'
} But I digress.
} The Wars of the Roses were a series of conflicts from about 1455-1485 *
} Red and white roses again, you know
} And blue ones.
} The blue ones continue to cause trouble even today * (4)
} Though people think they're something new
} Ibn Al Awam wrote of them in at least the twelfth century
} And even told people how to make 'em
} But did they listen? Noooooo. They never do.
} What! Is your name?
} [Enter your name here]
} What! Is your quest?
} I seek the Holy Grail!
} What! Is your favorite color?
} You may pass.
} Yellow -- I mean Blue!
} [is hurtled into the abyss]
} Ah, yes -- the elusive Yellow Rose.
} She is from the Great State of Texas * (5)
} And this, too, causes trouble for some people today
} Specially those in Texas
} Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia
} And so on.
} Well, and that is just the beginning. We could go on:
} Rosencrantz, Rosicrucians, Knights of the Rosy Cross
} And we could begin to discuss the Greek letter Rho
} Which puts me in mind of an Old College Cheer
} It goes something like this:
} Rah! Rah! Ree!
} Kick 'em in the knee!
} Rah! Rah! Rho!
} Your sister is a ho!
} No, wait a minute -- that's not right. Anyway.
} As you can see, no rose is a rose unless you know all of the rules
} And the rules are infinite and without beginning nor end.
} If you are sensible, you can just forget about all of that and use your
} If your eyes tell you it is a rose
} And your nose tells you it is a rose
} Then whom cares?
} This information and $250 will get you one dozen long-stems on
} Valentine's Day
} Though why anybody would care about such these days is quite definitely
} beyond me
} You owe the Oracle
} A count of all db rows
} In all db tables
} In all the world.
} Get it? Database? Rows? Oracle?
} Ha! I slay me!
} [screen goes blank]
} 1) Rose trivia
} 2) Rose red or rose white?
} 3) The Wars of the Roses were a series of conflicts from about 1455-1485
} 4) The blue ones continue to cause trouble even today
} 5) Yellow Rose of Texas