} You're in luck! The first copies of the latest "Oracle's Guide to
} Answers, Solutions, Problems, and Perpetual Employment" just hit my
} desk (*FWAP*). Copies of the Mortal's Edition (with an EXTRA BONUS
} appendix of The Oracle's greatest quotations ever!) are now available
} in a handsome 42-volume CD-ROM set, yours for only $32,767! (Hmmm, I
} really need to bump that field up to a longword.)
} But wait, there's more! If you act NOW, a tasteful Oracle wall clock
} with genuine quartz movement (accurate within +/- 10 minutes PER DAY!)
} will be sent to you as a FREE GIFT! This beautiful clock, which is
} made of 100% pure polystyrene, is valued by Lisa, my appraiser, at
} $39.95 (plus taxes and tags), but you can have it absolutely FREE.
} Remember, you must act NOW to take advantage of this LIMITED TIME
} SPECIAL OFFER.
} And now, back to our regular program.
} Here is what the guide has to say about your problem:
} DOOM, opalescent (see also KNEES, snapping)
} DESCRIPTION: Descriptions of opalescent DOOM are of necessity
} vague, as very few witnesses survive an encounter, and those that do
} are either rendered non compos mentis by the experience, or were
} running too fast to get a good look, or both. In fact, the only
} characteristics that observers have been able to agree upon are
} these: it opalesces, and you really don't want to be in the same
} county with it.
} HABITAT: Opalescent DOOM can adapt itself to a wide variety of
} environments, although it seems to prefer UNIX workstations,
} probably because it can single out victims, lure them in with pretty
} graphics, and then, when they are hopelessly mired in man pages,
} opalescent DOOM contentedly snaps at their knees until they dump
} core. (Not pretty.) VMS systems also offer many attractive nooks
} and crannies for opalescent DOOM to hide.
} Opalescent DOOM avoids MVS systems, probably because it keeps on
} screwing up its JCL, spooling itself across the Atlantic, getting
} mangled in a card punch, etc. In some instances, opalescent DOOM
} has been known to inhabit VM systems, where it creates virtual DOOM
} machines and occasionally snacks on late-night tape operators.
} Users of these systems tend not to notice, since they are already
} afflicted by a fate far worse than opalescent DOOM, that of IBM
} Brain Damage, and being eaten alive by a ravening monster would
} actually come as a pleasant relief.
} COUNTERMEASURES: Run away. Terribly fast.
} So, there you have it. You'd better start -- oh, I see it's not going
} to matter too much anymore, is it? Gee, too bad about those knees.
} Hey, could you please try not to bleed on the carpet? Criminy, some
} people are just SO inconsiderate.
} You owe The Oracle an order for the guide. Operators are standing by
} to take your call, and please have your credit card ready. Come on,
} you don't need your legs to dial a phone. Quit whining already.