} [SCENE: A London street, Victorian era, crummy part of town. Urchins,
} cretins, and lost souls move about upon their various missions, or
} mill around aimlessly in small groups. It is dank, dark, filthy.]
} [A lone FIGURE moves slowly along the sidewalk, trying to shrink
} to inconspicuousness. His is a bent, misshapen form, bulging in
} places which suggest a frame not entirely hominid. Most striking
} of all, his head - which appears to be enormous - is shrouded in a
} dirty canvas sack, with a single square cut out to provide a slender
} window of vision. He relies heavily on a stout cane as he shambles
} and lurches up the street, in a gait which conveys long, unrelieved
} suffering and resignation.]
} [As he proceeds, passers and standers by nudge one another, and begin
} observing his progress... at first almost surreptitiously, as though
} not wishing to intrude, but then with greater curiosity and disregard
} for his response to the attention.]
} Cretin #1(loudly, hands cupped): What's with the bag on the head,
} then, mate?
} [The figure stops, turns slightly in the direction of the shout,
} then turns back and contines on his way, his pace slightly quickened.]
} [Cretins, urchins begin drawing closer to him, begin slowly to
} follow him]
} Cretin #2: Yeah, what's with the bag? And what's it made of?
} Urchin #1: Looks like sailcloth, it does.
} Cretin #2: That's not sailcloth. It would have a much tighter weave.
} (to Figure): Wouldn't it then, eh, mate? And where'd you get that cane?
} Is that ebony?
} Urchin #1: I still think it's sailcloth.
} [Cretin #2 smites Urchin #1 across the brow with a conveniently
} available gaffing hook. The FIGURE has increased his pace, the crowd
} grows and becomes more vocal, pouring forth questions. Occasionally,
} one can be heard above the din:]
} Various Urchins and Creti:
} If you can get a carved ebony cane like that, you must have some
} money, mate-- how can I get some?
} Looks like a nasty stain on those pants, guv. What made it?
} How can you get it out?
} Where can I find good canvas?
} [The crowd is now a rabid horde, the FIGURE gasps and wheezes as he
} tries to keep ahead of them, their prying eyes, their intrusive and
} inconsequential questions. He is at nearly a full run, despite his
} physical condition. He is pursued down the entryway to the
} Would you like to have your shoes shined?
} What _is_ the difference between Shinola and...
} What have I got in my pocket?
} Why do birds sing?
} < null question
} What should I have for lunch?
} What's 2 plus 2?
} Does she love me?
} How much is that doggie in the window?
} Where did you go on Spring Break?
} [The FIGURE has been chased into the Men's Loo, and is pinned between
} two stand-up whizzers. He gathers himself up to his full height,
} and casts off the canvas shroud!]
} CRETINS AND URCHINS, AS ONE: GASP!
} FIGURE: Stop it! Stop it! I AM NOT A HUMAN BEING! I _AM_ THE USENET
} ORACLE! I know ALL! I see ALL! ASK ME SOMETHING IMPORTANT, something
} BEYOND your petty concerns, your mundane existence! Ask me a BIG
} question, fer cryin' out loud.
} Supplicant: Uh, I want to down load BoneyM lyrics using ftp, can
} TUO (turning to Cretin #2): You! Give me that gaffing hook!
} You owe the Oracle all your stereo equipment. Incarnated as J\tmf/S