} The party of medical students grew excited as they followed Doctor
} Hartmann down the final sterilised, white-walled corridor that led
} to the high security wing of Indiana State Mental Asylum. "This is
} gonna be the chance of a lifetime!" said Julia Kovic, psychiatry
} student prodigy and part-time model. "You bet!" said her friend
} David, "The most bizarre case of paranoid delusion and psychotic
} insanity in medical history, enough to write volumes on, and we're
} about to see it!" Doctor Hartmann tapped in the security code
} and the steel doors hummed open. "I must caution you now, be very
} careful how you speak to this man. If you wish to ask him a
} question, make sure it's very inoffensive. If provoked he is
} likely to enter a fit of rage which, believe me, you won't have
} seen the like of before." The group walked in uninterested fashion
} past the cells of Gruesome Gripper Graham, strangler of over one
} hundred young virgins, and Marcus MacCallum, who ate his bank
} manager's brain infront of a whole queue of account holders (some
} of whom wanted to thank him afterwards).
} "Here we are" said Dr Hartmann. "Patient Bob, as we call him.
} We never managed to get his real name out of him."
} "He was admitted in 1993, wan't he?" asked Julia
} "That's right. After going on a killing rampage through several
} zoos and national parks all over America. It took the FBI weeks
} to track him down, and he somehow managed to wipe out half the
} lemur and woodchuck population of America. He also incinerated a
} large number of police officers with his bizarre home made gun
} before he was finally caught." The group peered in awe through
} the wide toughened glass window of the cell. A figure was sitting
} with his back to them, both arms tied behind him in a restraint
} "How are you, Bob ?" said Dr Hartmann. The figure snapped his head
} around to reveal sharp, crazed eyes and a handsome face contorted
} into a furious expression. "Shut thy mouth, O worm. I am called
} the Oracle, THE USENET ORACLE, damn it!" "I'm sorry, Bob, but
} there is no such person in the birth records." said the Doctor.
} "That" said the Oracle "is because I was born when the genes of
} your ancestors were still floating around in primordial SOUP!!".
} Dr Hartmann turned back to his students. "It's OK, we've caught
} him in a pretty good mood. Who wants to ask him a question ?"
} Julia raised her hand first. "What makes you hate woodchucks and
} lemurs, Oracle ?" The Oracle's eyes flared. He boomed : "They are
} the servants of Satan, malicious imps placed here by the Dark One
} to destroy the work of the Oracle."
} "Why do you think Satan is victimising you ?" quizzed Julia.
} "Because God gave Me the cushy job, while Satan has to spend
} eternity in a sulphurous pit listening to politicians screaming in
} torment and begging for another chance."
} "But woodchucks and lemurs are harmless, friendly little creatures!"
} The Oracle smiled grimly. "My child, do not meddle in the affairs
} of the Omniscient and Omnipotent, for you would make a fine kebab
} and wash down well with a Diet Coke."
} Julia would not give up with her rational probing.
} "If you are omnipotent, how come you don't just break out of here?"
} "Break out ?! I came here DELIBERATELY!!! This place is a HOLIDAY
} compared to the questions I was starting to get from alt.fan.lemurs
} and the Cult of Woodchuck."
} Julia smiled. She was beginning to *like* the Oracle in a strange
} sort of way, although she still thought he was insane.
} One of the students behind her was whispering to a colleague.
} "How much would you think it costs to run this place ?"
} "What ?" asked the other, who was hard of hearing.
} "I SAID HOW MUCH WOULD -"
} At that moment Julia saw the Oracle's worse side. Only for a
} split second, that is, before the she and the whole Asylum were
} obliterated and sent flying in small chunks over a thirty mile
} radius. The Oracle's blissful holiday was over; he emerged from
} the ruins of the Asylum and trudged off in the direction of
} Indiana University.