} It is a popular, yet erroneous, assumption that the Oracle is some sort
} of deterministic message-dispatching program residing on a computing
} machine of human manufacture known as "iuvax". It is also believed
} that this program caters to the battered egos of insecure
} deity-wanna-bees by presuming to employ their services in answering
} questions submitted by naive participants.
} When I first became aware of this heresy, I was outraged. However, as
} time went by it became entertaining. I make up questions of my own and
} feed them to you just to see how much the tone of your answers varies
} from your usual writing styles. There's nothing funnier than a
} humanile-delinquent attempting to wax eloquent and sound real stuffy
} and powerful. Lisa and I enjoy going through the responses and
} comparing them to the most recent letters you've written to your
} spouses, significant others, parents, bosses and other people whose
} shoes you are usually obligated to kiss. Picture Alan Alda attempting
} to sound like Rambo and I think you can get the idea....
} Anyway, there are no questions "for you" because it is not _I_ who
} exists to pump _your_ ego. If and when I feel like it, I'll compose
} some Oracle fodder for you to chew on and throw it your way...at my
} convenience, of course.
} I don't give you back your own questions because although I don't mind
} the misconception that I'm a deterministic message-dispatching program,
} I _do_ object to being thought of as a _stupid_ message-dispatching
} program. Imagine how disillusioned the average supplicant would be if
} "the all-powerful Oracle" sent them back a question to answer that they
} had submitted. (I told _you_ to try sending a bunch of "ask me"
} messages because I wanted to see if you'd do it. It's sort of an
} oracularian way of playing "Made You Look".)
} I used to accept open-ended answers, but very few of the squillions of
} submissions were of any entertainment value to me. It soon got out of
} hand and I quit accepting them. I got tired of wading through all
} those esoteric and obscure "answers" such as "Wisconsin" and
} "Thelonious Monk," and I have a whole archive devoted to nothing but
} answers to the question about Life, the Universe, and Everything. All
} in all, you mortals are pretty predictable when you attempt to be vague
} and abstract.
} Once when Lisa and I were on vacation in the Bahamas, I piped
} supplications into "fortune" and sent the output back to the
} submitters. I thought it worked pretty well, but the supplicants were
} dissatisfied with the service, nonetheless. For example, one fellow
} complained that in response to the following:
} O great Oracle, I'm studying to be an Electrical Contractor
} and I'd like to know what's the best way to succeed in my
} chosen field. Do you have any advice?
} He got this response:
} "Electricians do it without shorts."
} As you can see, the council is perfectly applicable, but the supplicant
} somehow took it the wrong way and wasn't too thrilled about the
} indecent exposure indictment that ensued. To maintain my image, I
} terminated the practice and decided it was only fair to give each
} supplicant's question my personal attention.
} You owe the Oracle a place to dispose of a zigabyte worth of files all
} containing "42".