} You figured it out then? To fill you in on some of the details which
} may not be immediately apparent to you:
} Jan Vermeer (Vermie to his friends) was lying drunk in a gutter one
} evening, when he found he was lying next to Edward "I find I have to
} drink to" Cope, the famous dinosaur expert and part-time toast-rack.
} Eddie told him about some spinal fragments he'd recently found which
} had belonged to a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
} Curious what had led to to a Rex's loss of backbone, Vermie spoke to
} the man lying in the gutter to his left, who turned out to be H.G.
} "Mercury" Wells, named for his insistence on drinking liquid metals.
} Wells had been working on a real-life time machine (and you thought
} his famous book was just a satire).
} When the early morning road-sweepers scooped them out of the gutter,
} all three decided to go back in time to discover what had happened.
} Eddie put the Rex DNA into Mercury's time-machine, Vermie packed his
} paintbrushes, and they set off. When they reached the year 70 million
} BC (Before Capitalism) they found a startling scene.
} Mr Rex had returned from a hard day at the swamp to find Mrs Rex had
} managed to overcook the freshly killed Stegosaurus (for those of you
} keeping up at home, this clearly proves that dinosaurs also had
} time-travel technology) that he had ordered in specially from the
} Triceratops butchers. Mr Rex lost his temper while Mrs Rex cowered
} behind the fern-patterned sofa her Aunt Mildred had bought them. After
} Mr Rex hit his head on the coal-scuttle and knocked himself
} unconscious, Mrs Rex kicked him out of the nest.
} Meanwhile, Vermie had painted the picture you mentioned.
} Unfortunately, when they all returned to the year 1902, his wife threw
} him out of the house for not coming home the night before, and Vermie
} spent the night on Mercury's sofa, wrapped only in his new painting.
} When morning came, he threw out the painting, only for it to be
} recovered by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and used as inspiration for his
} most famous work, "Semi-Nude Woman With Hat".
} The painting itself was painted over in 1931 by Salvador Dali when
} creating his work, "The Persistence of Memory".
} So, all you need to do to get the painting is to go to The Museum of
} Modern Art in New York, throw paint-remover at the melted clock
} painting, and wait.
} You owe the Oracle a defence lawyer who can come up with a more
} believable reason why you ruined one of the world's most recognisable