} "Oh damn, not another whining sycophantic slug petitioning for
} "What is it Steve?"
} "Oh nothing, Laura, just another piece for the bit bucket from the
} Usenet Oracle server."
} "Another one of THOSE? I hate the little scum. First they write me
} off as a slut, then they get my name wrong, and now your little alter
} ego is building a reputation that would make a McCarthyist-era
} American father proud. It's repulsive. Here, have some yoghurt."
} "Thanks." (uses wooden spoon) "Look at this, though. Obviouosly a
} priest who got his submissions flushed out by the humour parser.
} Probably has some kind of neurotic complex by now. It's been days
} since I got this post. What I can't figure out yet is how I'm going
} to foist off another quaint oracular answer on this guy without
} pissing him off..."
} "So piss him off, already." (munch-munch) "I mean, there are, what,
} sixty, seventy-odd dozen people who are otherwise content and willing
} to coddle your ego through subservient priesthood, right?"
} "Yeah, what's yer point, Laur?"
} "Well, teach the little bastard a lesson!"
} "Ah! The old `<ZOT!>, you little pipsqueak, you're pencil shavings`
} "No, you dear sweet balding fool. Write him a pink slip! Fire him.
} Hand him his ego on a platter and tell him he's really screwed the
} pooch this time."
} "Pass me some of that bean curd." (munch) "Y'know, this could work.
} Inside of a week he'll be begging for another chance. Inside of a
} month we might have some major butt-kissing involved here. I kinda
} like the idea. I mean, gimme a break. Look at this: "Uh.. More
} grovel...' I'm used to grandeur and eloquence, not this commonplace
} kind of 'Oh Hi Orrie, howya doin'?' nonsense. I tell you, it's most
} egregiously unfair!
} "Egrigiously? Honestly, Stevie, you're starting to sound like an
} English major. You should stop listening to PBS."
} "Sorry. I needed to take a break. 27 hours in a row in front of a CRT
} trying to piece together a Prolog routine for a subway version of the
} travelling salesman problem does that to me."
} "And that naughty priest said you were a nerd. Shame on him!" (giggle)
} "Hey! This is valuable research!"
} "Sure, like last week with you in front of that old Apple II
} Wolfenstein game, trying to sub in pictures of Smurfettes for the
} "Hey, its been done, sure, but not in VR! Didn't you see the optical,
} three-dee hookup I had set up?"
} "Pull the other one, genius. I know a video game binge when I see it.
} Anyway, why don't you put it away and try giving a shot at living up
} to our Net images?" (low and sultry)
} "Give it up, Laura. Maybe when we both lose twenty pounds. I hate it
} when you get that way."
} "Oh, you prick. Here. Here's a nickel. Go buy some self-esteem. I'm
} going for a walk."
} "No wait... Laura!..." <SLAM>
} ..."Nuts. Oh well, there'll always be Usenet..."
} <taptaptap...tappity tap-tap-tap ENTER tap tappity taptaptaptaptap>
} Dear Supplicant...
} [ This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or
} deceased, is entirely coincidental. Etc, etc. ;-) -ed ]