} It is a cold, grey and windy afternoon at the Oracular Temple. The
} Oracle sits at his throne, cold, aloof and forbidding. Zadoc enters,
} crawling on his wretched knees, and deposites the latest bunch of
} e-mails at the Oracle's feet, muttering and mumbling supplicative
} words.... which are ignored.
} He reads through the e-mails, speaking the answers out loud... "Forty
} Two"... "No, use bleach"... "That's not a budgie, it's a parrot"...
} before stopping and gazing at the latest one in horror.
} All the other e-mails fall to the floor, as he strides out of the door,
} grabbing the Staff of Zot, the Robes of Wisdom, and the Cheeseburger of
} Immediate Hunger Satisfaction from their resting places.
} "Zadoc! Get thine backside in here NOW!"
} "Yes, oh he whose every molecule vibrates with knowledge and wisdom?"
} "Stop toadying and warm up the Anti-Woodchuck Shields, immediately!"
} "My Lord! You don't mean..."
} "Yes, Zadoc. Someone has just asked a question based on the
} Zadoc promptly turns white, screams in terror, runs in circles for a
} minute, but dutifully turns on the Shields, the defenses, and the
} Oracular Intercom.
} "All Priests, All Priests. We have a Level Three Emergency, Code 5, I
} repeat, Level three, code 5. Close all entrances, and raise every
} anti-woodchuck defense we have!"
} There is a terrible silence, before the shaking begins... words
} battering against the shields, shaking dust from the walls, terrible,
} terrible words that are only one step away from the Dreaded Question
} "HOW MUCH GROUND WOULD A GROUNDHOG HOG IF A GROUNDHOG COULD HOG
} The assault ends... and there is another terrible silence.
} The Oracle stands up, shakes the dust from his hair, and returns to his
} throne, throwing a curt command out as he leaves
} "Stand down, Zadoc"
} A few minutes later, an e-mail wings its way to the supplicant,
} containing every single piece of information about groundhogs hogging
} ground, groundhogs in general, in fact so much information that the
} supplicant will never need to ask about groundhogs again... A sigh of
} relief escapes the Esteemed Lips... and he picks up the next e-mail...
} "How much work could a network work if a network could net work?"
} "Oh no. Not again..."
} You owe the Oracle some Woodchuck Mark XIV shields, some anti
} pun-lasers, a joke-proof vest and a nuclear warhead.