785-01 (epeig dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Bill McMillan" <email@example.com>
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:
And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
> Oh great Oracle, whose wisdom is so profound that even the
> most famous and respected human philosophers seek you out,
> I humbly grovel before you.
> Oh wondrous and omniscient Oracle, who transcends all others
> throughout the universe, whose bootlicks I am unworthy to
> lace (wait a minute, that didn't come out quite right),
> you are incomparable to any mortal, and I grovel at your
> feet a second time.
> Oh splendid Oracle, whose magnificence radiates through the
> space-time continuum, and is the true source of background
> radiation; whose bootlaces I am unworthy to lick (ah, got
> it right that time), whose very shadow is brighter than
> direct sunlight, I grovel in self-abasement again.
> (Since I have three related questions, I have groveled
> three times. I hope this is acceptable protocol.)
> There's an old children's song which goes like this:
> Goosey goosey gander,
> Whither do you wander?
> Upstairs and downstairs,
> And in my lady's chamber.
> There I met an old man
> Who wouldn't say his prayers.
> I took him by the left leg
> And threw him down the stairs.
> I have been thinking about this, and I am not at all sure
> that this rhyme is suitable for the ears of impressionable
> youngsters. I have three questions:
> 1. Is this rhyme advocating violent bigotry against
> non-establishment religious groups (as it appears to me),
> or is there some deeper meaning to it?
> 2. What is the significance of the geese?
> 3. What happened to the old man after he fell downstairs?
} Like all nursery rhymes, this one has mutated considerably from
} its original form in the course of time. I will hereby reveal the
} archetypal version of "Goosey goosey gander", which will incidentally
} also answer your questions.
} [The screen begins to waver, and violins play eerily in the background
} as we enter flashback mode]
} PINKY: Gee Brain, what do you wanna do tonight?
} BRAIN: The same thing we do every night, Pinky -- try to take over the
} PINKY: How'll we do that, Brain?
} BRAIN: Simple -- I have prepared a rhyme of mindnumbing catchiness,
} which we will transmit as a subliminal message across the Internet so
} that it can subvert the minds of the youth of the world. They will
} believe the rhyme is part of their heritage, and become our willing
} PINKY: Subliminal messages? Haven't you tried that before?
} BRAIN: No, Pinky -- that was merely a subliminal message I implanted
} in your mind -- which took some finding, I can tell you -- by way of
} a trial run.
} PINKY: Poit!
} BRAIN: Not the way I would have expressed it myself, but your point is
} taken. Now, cast your eyes over the rhyme.
} [He hands across a piece of paper, which Pinky turns over several times
} before deciding which way up to read it. A short eternity passes]
} BRAIN: Well? Are you pondering what I'm pondering?
} PINKY: I... think so. Why don't you ever see any baby pigeons?
} BRAIN: No, you ninny! Can't you see the impact this rhyme will have on
} the impressionable minds of the youth of the world?
} PINKY: Er...
} BRAIN: You *did* manage to read the rhyme?
} PINKY: Oh yeah! It's about gooseys.
} BRAIN: That says "mousey".
} PINKY: Not goosey?
} BRAIN: Do you know the difference between your IQ and OJ Simpson, Pinky?
} PINKY: Oh goody -- a riddle! Er... nope.
} BRAIN: OJ Simpson has something following the digit "O". I think, under
} the circumstances, it's best if I read out the rhyme while you type it
} on the laboratory's Mac.
} PINKY: Narf!
} BRAIN: I'll take that as an expression of assent. To the keyboard,
} Pinky! I'll operate the shift key.
} [After the usual elaborate escape routine from their cage, the
} transgenic mice climb up to the Macintosh on the desk in the far
} corner of the laboratory. The Brain logs in and enters into email]
} BRAIN [dictating]: "Goosey goosey..."
} PINKY [leaping around the keyboard]: Not mousey then?
} BRAIN [smacking his forehead]: I mean "mousey"! I fear stupidity may be
} PINKY [still leaping around]: How do you spell that, Brain?
} BRAIN: No! Start over -- "Mousey mousey master
} Wilt thou be my master?
} Upstate and downstate
} I'll start a local chapter.
} When I hear the white mouse
} How will I show my worth?
} So I'll o'erthrow the authorities
} And help him rule the earth." Now have you got that?
} PINKY: Narf!
} BRAIN: Astounding -- I may yet be able to penetrate this obscure
} personal language of yours. Stand back while I transmit this message
} to the youth of the world.
} [The Brain runs a special Canter & Siegel <tm> netspamming program, and
} stands back in satisfaction as banks of lights begin to flash indicating
} its progress around the globe. Pinky dances around in excitement]
} PINKY: Oh goody! Now everyone'll have subliminal gooseys!
} BRAIN: "Mouseys"!
} PINKY: You said --
} BRAIN: Pinky, what exactly did you type in this message we have at this
} very moment subliminally implanted in the minds of the youth of the
} PINKY [getting tearful]: What you told me, Brain...
} [The Brain call up the mail log, and prints the latest message to
} BRAIN [reading]: "Goosey gou^Ho^Husey g^HI mean mans^HDtr
} I fear stupid^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H
} Whilth^Hr do you my waster^H^H^H^Hndre
} Upstart and downstrats^H^Hts
} IN star^H^Hmr lodals^H charmper.
} Wher I her^Hrt the whilt^Hd manse
} Hwo wild int^Htt shayw my^Hs narf
} So'll ou^Htoorwk the althft t^Hl^Hligs
} And helw him dule^H^Hn the rstst^H^H^H^H^Hrstrs."
} PINKY: Gee Brain, you said --
} BRAIN: Pinky, do you know what you will be when I throw you down the
} PINKY: Er... nope.
} BRAIN: You will be in intense pain, Pinky.
} [The screen goes wavy again. Flashback mode ends]
} Okay, so it didn't answer your first question. I'm not about to
} advocate violent bigotry against any religious groups not started by
} second rate SF writers. So sue me.
} You owe the Oracle something better to do with his time than waste
} it watching cartoons on daytime TV.