} Surely this can't be a null question, I thought those had been
} outlawed in the Great-Null-Uprising of 2008?
} No, this must be one of those hidden questions.
} *Looks more closely*
} No, still looks like a blank. Ah, I've got it! It's that Unicode
} character that looks like a blank, is rendered as a blank, but is
} actually described as "a ghost in an invisibility cloak, juggling
} *Selects question, pastes into Unicode character-mapper.*
} No, this actually is a blank question. What am I supposed to do with
} that? Why, the last time I saw anything remotely useful produced from
} absolutely nothing was when the Big G kicked everything off 13.7
} billion years ago, and even then the only good thing to come out of
} that was this automated system for answering questions.
} Anyway, when this universe began, that was from a very specialised
} form of nothing. I know it *looked* like nothing, but there was all
} this clever mathematics behind it: string theory, M-theory, Q-theory
} (I know you haven't heard of that, but just you wait, everyone will be
} *queueing* up to accept a Nobel prize for that one), and a whole
} boat-load of bosuns (or was it bosons? or bosi? Something like that,
} anyway). This question doesn't have anything like that; it just sits
} there with no potential, no existence, no, well, nothing!
} If there's one thing I can't stand about this job, it's all these
} supplicants who think I can guess exactly what they are asking from a
} purely blank question. Obviously I could (I am the all-knowing Oracle,
} after all), but it's so much hard work to check. If it were up to me,
} all null questions would be automatically zotted, but just because
} some woolly-minded liberal priest thinks that zotting-weapons
} shouldn't automatically be fired by a flock of trained w**dc****s,
} because they make a mistake less than one time out of every two, I
} have to actually read all these questions, and reply appropriately.
} Oh well, I suppose I'd better check what this supplicant wants.
} *Rummages through mental filing cabinet for a billionth of a second.*
} > Oh most benevolent Oracle,
} > Please tell me, your most unworthy supplicant, why is a raven like a
} > writing desk?
} Well, passable grovel, I suppose. The obvious answer is, because Poe
} wrote on both, but you wouldn't have asked the question in that case,
} would you?
} The actual answer, you will be surprised to hear, dear supplicant, is:
} What do you mean, an African or a European writing desk?
} You owe the Oracle a better class of nothing.