} Yes. You owe the oracle a '57 Chevy.
} (No, no, no, that won't do at all.)
} (What do you mean, that won't do? That's a fine answer. Concise,
} straight, to the point. Plus I'm in a hurry.)
} (Geez, no wonder We never get into the Oracularities. You can't just
} have a one line answer like that. It's gotta be FUNNY.)
} (All right, all right... what do YOU suggest?)
} (How about one of those cute UNIX sessions? You know, login to
} pearlygates.heaven.com and mess around with the earth/questioners
} directory, even have one of those nifty messages from
} % rlogin pearlygates.heaven.com
} Connected to pearlygates.heaven.com -- escape character is ^HD
} login: oracle
} Welcome to pearlygates.heaven.com -- Running BSD Unix V55.2
} You have new mail.
} 1 % mail
} New mail - 1502 items - Subject: "tell me"
} mail> q
} 2 % mail | answeringdaemon ; I can't be bothered...
} 3 % cd /usr/universe/milky-way/earth/questioner
} 4 % ls -l questioner
} questioner 155megs rwed--tar Last changed: 02 Jan 1977
} Well, there you have it -- the "twittish" bit is set so you must be
} twittish. You owe the Oracle AT&T SVR4, running on a Commodore PET.
} (No, no, that'll never do. That wasn't even proper UNIX syntax.
} "mail | answeringdaemon?" Give me a BREAK...)
} (Well, it was YOUR idea in the first place! Look, how about we abuse
} the questioner for not including enough gratuitous bowing and scraping?
} That always works.)
} (OK, why not.)
} "Clever scholar"? That's all? I'm just clever? I warn you, mortal, I am
} sorely tempted to cast a few random lightning bolts in your general
} direction. I mean, remember, this is the ORACLE you're speaking to,
} not some two-bit minor deity whose followers hang around in airports
} sniffing illegal substances. I am Omniscient, Omnibenevolent,
} Omnipotent, Omnivorous, and lots of other words that begin with O,
} and am therefore worthy of MUCH greater respect than being called
} I've forgotten what you asked now. No matter: you still owe the Oracle
} the keys to the city of Cleveland, a Sony Betamax, and Kei and Yuri's
} home phone numbers. Or else... ZZZZZT!
} (Hmmmmm.... no. No good. It's been done before.)
} (Yeah. Geez, this actually answering questions stuff is HARD. I'd
} forgotten how difficult it was. We ought to've just fed this one
} to the autodaemon. Say, why were you in such a hurry in the first
} (I'm meeting Lisa in fifteen minutes. See ya.)
} (Hey! Come back here! We haven't -- what about -- damn. This
} schizophrenia stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be. Oh well, gotta
} think of something quick...)
} The answer to your question, dear petitioner, is that you've got it
} backwards -- alt.announce.flames doesn't cause you to be twittish,
} anile, and truculent; it's because you are twittish, anile, and
} truculent, and have no redeeming qualities whatsoever, that you have to
} spend your time reading fictional newsgroups. So there.
} sigh... Since Lisa's busy, you still owe the Oracle Kei and Yuri's
} numbers. And a standard C library without fork() in it. This duelling
} Oracles stuff has been done to death. To death, I tell ya.