974-05 (3hvm7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:
And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
> To: Internet Oracle
> From: Thag
> Re: Recent questions from supplicants
> As you know, I was recently hired to handle the questions from
> supplicants who are hominid ancestors of modern human supplicants,
> including Austrolopithicenes, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens neanderthalis,
> et al.
> The questions are fairly basic (usually involving fire, food, sex and
> ways not to get eaten by large bears). Despite the tortured syntax
> of some of the questions, many of the grovels are pretty good,
> considering how little some of the supplicants have to work with.
> I haven't had to use the Large Spikey Club of Zot that you provided
> more than a half-dozen times.
> What is becoming a problem, however, is that the gifts are piling up.
> According to the memo you sent me last July, I am free to demand
> whatever payment from these supplicants as I deem fit. I've tried to
> make these demands simple, which has resulted in a fairly high (98.4%)
> delivery rate. In fact, leaving out the goofy, impossible-to-get items
> (such as Gonawandaland), the delivery rate is nearly 100%.
> Which brings me to the problem: Just exactly what am I supposed to do
> with 124,500 metric tons of wooly mammoth meat, 1,492 live sabertooth
> tigers, several million poorly-made stone axes, a lifesize carving of
> the fertility goddess, 16 matched pairs of eohippi and (how Og managed
> this one, I'll never understand) the Asian-North American land bridge?
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
} Dear Thag,
} Oh dear. I can see your predicament - it's a bit of a tough one, isn't
} it? Well, I've thought about this and have come to the following
} conclusion: no-one but other cavemen (and their slightly-more-hairy
} relatives) would be able to make use of these items.. so why not give
} them back? Okay, so you'd lose out, but imagine the chaos which would
} ensue if you let the situation go on.
} However, this isn't one of my better suggestions, is it? How are you
} meant to transport the cargo to its destination - and what if the
} cavemen object to you returning their well-meant gifts?
} Right. *This* should work, though I should warn you: you'll need to
} wait a bit.
} First, dig a very, very big hole next to the bridge. Round
} up your eohippi and march them onto the bridge. Take some mammoth
} meat and scatter it liberally about - there should easily be enough
} meat to go from one side of the bridge to the other. You have now
} constructed a lure for the tigers.
} The tigers walk along the bridge, busily eating the meat, and get
} extremely bloated and slow as they travel. They will therefore soon
} need a jolly long kip. Meanwhile, the eohippi will have been scared
} enough to start a stampede. If you have positioned the tigers and
} eohippi correctly, the eohippi should race around frantically as they
} try to escape - first approaching the hole and then the sleeping
} tigers. Eventually they will march in panic over the tigers, hence
} killing them. That's the tigers out of the way - meanwhile, you now
} have a herd of eohippi running the wrong way.
} You should have positioned the statue of the fertility goddess on the
} other side of the bridge. The eohippi may be simple-minded creatures,
} but they know bad art when they see it - they'll run screaming in the
} other direction and into the hole. And that's the end of them.
} You still have the statue, a lot of axes and a fair bit of mammoth
} meat. I suggest you do the following: nothing. The mammoth meat
} (er - and the tiger meat) will naturally break down and will make a
} rich fertiliser. Trees, grass, flowers and assorted shrubs will
} soon cover the entire area. Trust me, in many millions of years time,
} this area will become a curiosity for hoardes of excited scientists,
} who will analyze and digitize the axes with glee.
} So you've now put all of those free gifts to use - you should feel
} proud; given enough time, nature will always find a solution, but it
} always helps to add a bit of mystery.
} P.S. I forgot the statue! Arrghh! Let's hope a passing troupe of
} extra-terrestrials take it as a souvenir of their stay on Planet
} Phew! I need a lie down after all that.