} Dear Benighted Supplicant,
} Get in line.
} Oracle (tm) was first approached by Ron Popeil, president and CEO of
} Ronco, in July 1988 about the possibility of marketing Oracular Wisdom
} in conjunction with other Ronco products. The original proposal called
} for throwing in two Oracular answers if you ordered your Ginsu Knives
} before midnight tonight. Playing second fiddle to another product
} obviously did not sit well with the priesthood, and with the Lorena
} Bobbitt trial starting this week, that's a product with which we'd
} rather not be confused. Negotiations continued however, with the
} priesthood insisting on being the primary product, maybe with a Salad
} Shooter thrown in as a premium and Ronco countering with an offer to
} incorporate Oracular wisdom in the handle of the Pocket Fisherman.
} This was mighty tempting, but the smell of week old carp in the glove
} compartment finally put the Kibosh on the deal.
} From November 1988 through February 1989 Oracle (tm) entertained
} competing proposals from Tom Vu and Tony Robbins. Let me tell you, it
} was a tough winter. Vu wished to incorporated Oracular insight into
} his no money down real estate millionaire program - allowing investors
} to know in advance just how profitable a piece of property could be.
} This was just as the S&L Scandal was breaking and though we really
} liked hanging out on Tom's Yacht with the various empty head blonde
} bimbos (they're for real) he keeps around the place, the idea of
} working closely with the Resolution Trust Corporation and Silverado
} Savings and Loan left a bad taste. We understand that Vu turned
} instead to Adnan Khashogi and BCCI and made a pile of money (which
} everyone is still looking for) off it. Tony Robbins was just too much.
} As tall as Vu is short, with teeth a two year old horse would kill for,
} he just plumb wore us out. No, we said, we really, really don't have
} any desire to walk across hot coals. Please, we said, sit down, you're
} making us nervous,. Tony! we said, shut the hell up! No dice there
} In the Spring and Summer of 1989 that guy with the ugly sweaters on
} Amazing Discoveries and Incredible Breakthroughs and Stupendous Junk
} tried to sell us on the infomercial route, with the Oracle as sole and
} star product. We even went so far as to film a test spot, with a
} studio audience and all of the priests in really ugly sweaters that
} looked even worse than the one that Lisa once tried to knit. I'll tell
} you, that canned, phony enthusiasm really was contagious - right up to
} the point where pinhead invited six "randomly selected" members of the
} studio audience up to try out the oracle. You guessed it: five
} woodchuck questions and one null query. It's been alleged (but never
} proven) that the ferocious, concentrated and close range zotting from
} that day started seven brush fires in Los Angeles County and extended
} the drought for two more years. I think there's an amazing fire
} extinguisher set to debut next month on that one. Coincidence? I think
} After the smoke cleared, infomercial producers kind of gave us a wide
} berth. We got the occasional approach from Time-Life books, Sears &
} Roebuck Aluminum Siding and other second rank players, but they were
} only tentative feelers and if we just casually observed out loud a
} physical similarity between the pitchmen and a woodchuck they
} hightailed it out of the temple pretty fast.
} Recently, however, we've been approached by QVC network. They put
} together a nice package of designer Oracularities gilded in Black hills
} gold and set off with Diamonique "gemstones". We wavered on this for
} months until they came up with the clincher: They bought Paramount for
} us. The priesthood continues to maintain the Oracle and make it's
} wisdom available to the marketing wizards at QVC and each week, one or
} more priests gets to guest star in an episode of Star Trek. Perhaps
} you've seen them. "Captain, over here, I've found something,
} AHHHHHHH!" Really, it's a kick. That counselor Troi, what knockers!
} So next time you're channel surfing past Gilligans Island and C-SPAN,
} drop in on the QVC channel and you might get to see James (Scotty)
} Doohan hawking Dilithium Crystal powered oracularities on the QVC easy
} payment plan.
} You owe the Oracle a new remote control.