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Best of Internet Oracularities #1126-1150

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1126-1150, 1135-10, 1128-10, 1126-10, 1134-04, 1141-02, 1141-03, 1149-01, 1137-09, 1144-01


Best of Internet Oracularities #1126-1150    (3.9 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: 20 Mar 2000 10:31:56 -0500

Oracularities are the distilled wisdom and sagacity of the Internet
Oracle, as incarnated in its many anonymous e-mail participants.  This
collection has been compiled from the regular Oracularities postings #1126
through #1150 and contains the Oracularities rated by its readers
as among the funniest.

To find out more about the Internet Oracle, send mail to
oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject line to receive
the Oracle helpfile.

The regular Oracularities postings can be found in the Usenet newsgroup
rec.humor.oracle.  Open discussion about the Internet Oracle occurs in
the newsgroup rec.humor.oracle.d.  If your site doesn't carry these
newsgroups, contact your news administrator about starting them, or
see the Oracle helpfile about subscribing to the Oracularities e-mail
distribution list.


1135-10    (336gD dist, 4.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Lawrence, Mark" <mlawrence@mchs.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oracle, I have selected the finest fruits from my cherimoya orchard
> and now set them before you as a tribute. Oracle, your Just Wisdom is
> known from sea to sea, from mt. top to mt. top, from abyss to abyss.
> Please hear my question and give answer as you see fit.
>
> Do any of the Deities do sub-contracting?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As far as I'm aware, all of them do. Being omnipotent doesn't mean
} you've got time to do everything at once, you know, so they tend to
} share the load around. Here, let me give you an example.
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
} To: Yahweh Elohim, Lord of Hosts
}
} Dear Supreme Being,
}
} Thanks again for accepting our bid for the ten plagues contract.
} As agreed, the following pestilences will be delivered to you for
} inflicting on the land of Egypt by Passover next:
}
}       1. Blood
}       2. Frogs
}       3. Gnats
}       4. Flies
}       5. Livestock
}       6. Boils
}       7. Hail
}       8. Locusts
}       9. Darkness
}      10. Death of the firstborn
}
} To maximise efficiency of resource utilisation, we will be engaging a
} number of reputable subcontractors to carry out some of the work. We
} will ensure that all this falls within the proposed budget, of course.
}
} Yours sincerely,
}
} Manny Truelove, Seraph i/c Miracles
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Sun Macrocosms
} To: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Dear Sir or Madam,
}
} We require clarification of your order for a plague of darkness. It
} already gets dark every night. There is no charge for this - it is
} part of the government contract.
}
} If you need darkness at some other time, please specify the hours. A
} sheet of our charges is attached.
}
} Yours faithfully,
}
} Fred Apollo, Solar Engineer
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Minor Mythologies (UK) Ltd.
} To: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} My dear Truelove,
}
} The trucks are ready to roll! They are loaded with herds of the finest
} British beef cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and assorted poultry. I believe
} we can confidently assure you of a livestock plague that will be
} remembered for years to come!
}
} Best wishes,
}
} Antonius Blair
} "Buy British!"
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Belial Biotechnology
} To: Manny Truelove; Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Manny,
}
} There's a slight snag on the frog delivery front - somebody's destroyed
} all the frog's eggs in the ponds for miles around. Vandals I suspect,
} or perhaps Visigoths.
}
} Fortunately, we do have a couple of ornamental horned toads in stock,
} and are at this moment encouraging them to breed. Ornamental horned
} toads have, proportionate to their body weight, the largest mouths on
} the planet, so they ought to make for a pretty scary plague, don't you
} think?
}
} Regards,
}
} Alexandra Kelly, Amphibious Supplies Manager
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
} To: F. Apollo, Sun Macrocosms
}
} Dear Mr. Apollo,
}
} The client has an absolute requirement for a period of darkness of not
} less than 72 hours. As we are working to a strict budget, we cannot
} afford a full eclipse for that length of time at the price given on
} your chargesheet. I should be grateful if you could suggest a more
} economical alternative.
}
} Manny thanks,
}
} M. Truelove, Seraph i/c Miracles
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Quetzalcoatl Trading
} To: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Dear Mr. Truelove,
}
} I wish you could have given us more notice. There's been a run on
} our blood supplies recently - it'll be a relief when someone invents
} refrigeration so we can stockpile greater quantities. Our blood
} donors are working round the clock to meet your order but, this
} being the famine season, I'm not sure we can obtain enough to fill
} a whole major river system within the time available.
}
} Yours sincerely,
}
} Kevin Montezuma, Gore Merchant
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
} To: Nordic Pantheons AG
}
} Thor
}
} Of *course* Egypt is in the desert, you idiot - I thought everybody
} knew that! Look, I need that plague of hail two weeks on Thursday, so
} don't give me a lot of doubletalk about climate patterns. Just do it!
}
} Manny
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
} To: Yahweh Elohim, Lord of Hosts
}
} Dear God Almighty,
}
} Just to update you on progress. Our subcontractors working on blood,
} frogs, livestock and death of the firstborn are all on schedule for
} completion Passover next. There was a slight communications breakdown
} re hail, which I have personally sorted out. With respect to darkness,
} our subcontractor has come up with an interesting proposal. How do you
} feel about sunglasses for everyone?
}
} My own firm is taking care of all the insects. We've got seven separate
} swarms of locusts loaded up in transports ready for delivery. The gnats
} are also all set and, as for the flies - you'll love this - we've
} picked mayflies! We think these will make the ideal plague: not only
} do they look good, but it's all over and done with in a day, so there's
} no messy aftermath. We've got 200 hundredweight of pupae all timed to
} metamorphose into adults on the exact date of the deadline, no extra
} charge!
}
} Speaking of costs, our boils subcontractor informs me she cannot supply
} a sufficient number of individuals with pus-filled sores to spread a
} plague within the budget allocated. Apparently a recent upsurge in
} hygiene has driven up prices. Would zits be a suitable low-cost
} substitute for boils? There's never any shortage of spotty pubescents
} and, as we all know, if you pick at zits they spread like wildfire.
}
} Yours sincerely,
}
} Manny Truelove
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Minor Mythologies (UK) Ltd.
} To: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} My dear Manny,
}
} Disaster! It's those damn French farmers again! The minute our trucks
} disembarked at Calais, they were surrounded and set alight. Risk of
} BSE, the scoundrels claimed. Hah! Their filthy cheese isn't even
} pasteurised, so who are they to point the finger?
}
} The upshot is, we have several tons of charcoal-broiled beef, pork
} and mutton. I don't suppose you can do anything with these? Oh, and
} three French hens escaped the carnage. Because of their nationality,
} I expect. I'll send them over to you.
}
} Yours in sorrow,
}
} Antonius
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Quetzalcoatl Trading
} To: Manny Truelove; Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Dear Mr. Truelove,
}
} I appreciate that the deadline is now almost upon us. Unfortunately,
} it is also upon all but a handful of our blood donors. I hope you
} will consider honouring their sacrifice with a small donation to the
} bereaved families.
}
} The remaining nine donors are being sent to you together with a set
} of matching ritual obsidian knives (invoice attached) and the blood
} supplies we've extracted so far. I trust this will suffice to rustle
} up a smallish plague. Perhaps a creek rather than a river?
}
} Yours sincerely,
}
} Kevin Montezuma
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Arthur Hades, Hades Enterprises
} To: Manny Truelove; Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} *Firstborn*? I thought you said *frogspawn*! I've had my infernal
} minions out for weeks obliterating all the frog's eggs they could
} find. In future, kindly make yourself clear, dammit!
}
} A.H.
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Belial Biotechnology
} To: Manny Truelove; Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Manny,
}
} Sorry, no success in getting the ornamental horned toads to breed. I
} guess if my partner looked like that, I'd be reluctant too. As we've
} now reached the deadline, I'm sending them over to you. Try spiking
} their food dispenser with Viagra or something.
}
} Good luck,
}
} Alexandra
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Nordic Pantheons AG
} To: Manny Truelove; Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Manny
}
} Those six large white objects slowly melting in your goods bay are
} icebergs. So make your own bloody hail! And next time, give a proper
} job specification before you start hurling insults at people.
}
} Thor
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
} To: F. Apollo, Sun Macrocosms
}
} Fred
}
} I asked for 4 *million* pairs of sunglasses, you only sent four!  Where
} are the rest? The deadline for delivery was yesterday!
}
} Manny
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Egyptian Customs Control
} To: Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Sirs,
}
} Your transports carrying gnats, mayflies and locusts are
} not accompanied by correctly filled-out customs clearance papers.
} They will be held at the border until we receive proper documentation.
} You are advised to hurry as there is no cover for your transports here,
} and it gets rather hot round about noon.
}
} Yours faithfully,
}
} Sheik Yabouti, Customs Official
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Epidemics 'R' Us
} To: Manny Truelove; Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
}
} Dear Mr. Truelove,
}
} As requested, I have sent the zit-infested pubescents directly to your
} client to minimise delay. So you should only be a couple of days behind
} schedule. Please do not worry about the fact that there are only ten of
} the young fellows: they are very, *very* spotty. I'm sure they will be
} equal to the task in hand.
}
} Sincerely,
}
} Mary Walker, Vice President for Communicable Diseases
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} From: Bill Zebub; Driver, Cherubim, Seraphim & Co.
} To: Manny Truelove
}
} Manny
}
} Where the hell are those documents? We're already seven days past
} deadline, the locusts are fainting in the heat, the gnats have escaped
} except for a few dead ones, and all but eight of the mayfly pupae have
} now moulted, so they'll be dead too by the time they're delivered!
}
} Bill
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} Heaven, Internal Memo
} From: JHVH
} To: Archangel Gabriel
}
} Gabe,
}
} On the 10th day past completion date, Manny Truelove sent to me:
}
}      10 pubescents picking
}       9 donors donating
}       8 mayflies moulting
}       7 swarms swooning
}       6 icebergs melting
}       5 dead gnats
}       4 sunglasses
}       3 French hens
}       2 horned toads
}     and a bill for $1,706,522.93
}
} Remind me not to use these guys for the parting of the Dead Sea
} project.
}
} The Boss


1128-10    (11dro dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@serv.net>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh super-nifty Oracle, who would never castrate his supplicants in the
> hope of passing them off as aliens...
>
> I was sitting around the house the other day, trying to think of a way
> to MAKE $$$ FAST!!!, when I had a flash of inspiration.  Why not start
> my very own cult?  I mean, why should L. Ron Hubbard and Amway have all
> the fun?  It wouldn't be anything as fancy as the operation you
> currently run, of course, but I figure it would be nice enough to at
> least buy me that Porsche I've had my eye on.  So my question is: what
> should I do to get started?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Simple! Just print and fill out the following form, and mail it along
} with a check for $199.95 (plus additional charges, see below) to:
}
}   Internet Oracle, Inc. (Department of Insanity, Cults, and Religion)
}   1 Oracle Way
}   Bloomington, IN 47405
}
} Within 6-8 weeks, Internet Oracle, Inc. will provide you with your
} very own cult! But hurry, as this limited-time offer ends soon!
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
}                       Form #34HF896739675-NUT-9
}                   (Special cult/religion order form)
}
} 1. GENERAL
}
} Name of cult: ________________________________________________________
} Name of leader: _______________________  Initial members (max 50): ___
} Creepy new name of leader: ___________________________________________
} Address (billing) : __________________________________________________
} Address (shipping): __________________________________________________
}
} Please indicate the type of cult you would prefer:
} ( ) Apocalyptic doomsday.
}        Please specify date of doomsday: ________  *REAL* date: _______
}        Real, final, actual, One True date(s): ________________________
} ( ) Racial supremacist.
}        Please specify Superior/Inferior race(s): _________/___________
} ( ) New-age nature-worshipping nudist.
} ( ) Multi-level marketing pusher.
} ( ) "One True" variant of existing religion.
}        Please specify religion: ______________________________________
} ( ) New major world religion. ($99.95 service charge may apply. Please
}                       allow an additional 1-2 millennia for delivery.)
} ( ) Other (specify): _________________________________________________
}
} Please indicate your primary aim in starting your cult:
} ( ) Money.
} ( ) Power.
} ( ) Sex.
} ( ) Martyrdom. (Please specify mode of death:)
}       ( ) Crucifixion.
}       ( ) BATF/FBI siege.
}       ( ) Holy war.
}       ( ) Forced usage of new deja.com interface.
}       ( ) Other (Quick, painless).
}       ( ) Other (Slow, painful, and gruesome).
}
} 2. DICHOTOMIES
}
} Please indicate what your cult is to unquestioningly worship:
} ( ) Peace, love, and understanding.
} ( ) Violence, hatred, and closed-mindedness.
} ( ) Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.
} ( ) You.
} ( ) Large interplanetary chunks of ice.
} ( ) Other (specify): _________________________________________________
}
} Please indicate what your cult is to unquestioningly hate:
} ( ) Members of the __________ ( ) race.
}                    __________ ( ) religion.
}                    __________ ( ) political party.
} ( ) The Government(TM).
} ( ) Microsoft(R). (Get a special 10% discount off all services!)
} ( ) Barney, Teletubbies, etc.
} ( ) They / Them.
} ( ) All non-believers.
} ( ) All humanity.
} ( ) Other (specify): _________________________________________________
}
} 3. DIVINE INTERVENTION
}
} Please indicate any miracle(s) you would like your followers to
} witness. (Additional charges apply.)
}
} Qty.  Miracle(s)                                    Charge:
} ____  ( ) Resurrection. (See "Martyrdom", above.)   $299.95
} ____  ( ) Virgin birth.                             $399.95
} ____  ( ) Saturday night live being funny again.    $559.95
} ____  ( ) Windows(R) running for more than 16       $619.95
}           consecutive hours.
} ____  ( ) Usenet flamewar ending in apology.        $999.95
}
} Please indicate any natural disaster(s) you would like to occur, and
} on what date(s). (Additional charges apply.)
}
} Date(s):   Disaster(s):                        Charge:
} _________  ( ) Earthquake. (Magnitude: __.__)  $365.95
} _________  ( ) Hurricane. (Category: ___)      $299.95
} _________  ( ) Plague of locusts.              $ 49.95 (Sale!)
} _________  ( ) Alien invasion.                 $429.95
} _________  ( ) deja.com upgrade.               Free!
} _________  ( ) Planetary destruction.          $999.95 (Special offer:
}                HALF OFF on January 1st, 2000! Hurry, offer ends soon!)
}
} BONUS OFFER: Respond within the next month and receive special
}              discounts on Oracle Premium(R) Brand anthrax spores,
}              Sarin nerve gas, plutonium, and low-fat apple pudding!!!
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
} You owe the Oracle $199.95 (plus all of your worldly possessions S&H).


1126-10    (33pgw dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <trans@lucent.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> O wise and most holy Oracle,
>       Whose barbecuing ingneuity is so vast and splendid that the Big
> Bang could have sprung from the coals of your grille,
>       Why is it that hot dogs come in packages of ten and hot dog buns
> come in packages of eight?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This is another one of those problems in life which originally appear
} very strange in real life, but which are simple to understand if you
} produce a Bayesian Logic analysis of the situation.
}
} You see, instead of viewing the number of hot dogs in a pack as an
} exact number, we need to calculate the Expected Value of these hot dogs
} making their way into a bun. Several events can prevent this occuring,
} and therefore the value of the probability p(hot dog eaten) is not the
} same as the probability p(hot dog bought). This problem of the actual
} probability being different from the probability that the variable
} is observed, or bought in this case is common in Bayesian Logic.
}
} To cut a short story long, we must consider several other propositions
} which have logical dependencies with p(hot dog eaten), namely the
} events where the hot dog has gone off (OFF); where the hot dog burns
} on the barbeque (BURNS), and where the hot dog is dropped because the
} cook attempts to pick up a sizzling sausage in his or her bare fingers
} (DROPPED).
}
} We now create a table of probabilities representing all possible cases.
}
} P(EATEN,BURNS,DROPPED,OFF) =
}   P(EATEN|BURNS,DROPPED,OFF).P(BURNS|DROPPED,OFF).P(DROPPED|OFF).P(OFF)
}
} Fortunately we can simplify this equation by taking advantage of
} several logical independecies between these variables.
}
} EATEN is marginally independent of BURNS, but conditionally dependent
} given DROPPED.
}
} BURNS is marginally dependent on OFF, but conditionally dependent
} given DROPPED.
}
} DROPPED and OFF are mutually exclusive propositions.
}
} This gives us the following equation:
}
} P(EATEN,BURNS,DROPPED,OFF) =
}   P(EATEN|DROPPED,OFF).P(BURNS|OFF).P(DROPPED|OFF).P(OFF).
}
} Filling in our table with the following elicited probabilities:
}
}       p(eaten|~dropped,~off) = 1.0
}       p(eaten|dropped,~off) = 0.2
}       p(eaten|~dropped,off) = 0.07
}       p(eaten|dropped,off) = 0.001
}
}       p(burns|off) = 0
}       p(burns|~off) = 0.3
}
}       p(dropped|off) = 0
}       p(dropped|~off) = 0.3
}
}       p(off) = 0.2
}
} We find the following result. The probability that the hot dog
} actually makes its way from the packet to the bun is about 0.58.
} Therefore, if we require 8 eaten hot dogs, we need 8/0.58 = 13.793
} hot dogs in the original pack.
}
} The reason, therefore, that hot dogs come in packs of ten while hot
} dog buns come in packs of eight is because the hot dog manufactures
} are a bunch of mathematical nincompoops who wouldn't know the Yoram
} Singer Sequential Update of Bayesian Networks Structure algorithm if
} it came up to them and punched them on the nose.
}
} You owe The Oracle some vegetarian hot dogs and buns. Equal numbers
} please, I *am* The Oracle.


1134-04    (36ggr dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: surfbaud@waverider.co.uk (Dave Hemming)

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Should I trust him this time?
>
> Hillary

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh, absolutely.  Tenzing Norgay is the best sherpa you've ever worked
} with, and, while you've had your troubles in the past, I'm quite
} confident that you two will reach the summit this time.
}
} By the way, old chap... About 600 metres from the summit you'll
} probably come across what's left of that Mallory bloke.  I recommend
} taking his camera, if you plan on getting an credit whatsoever for
} this little expedition.  And don't forget the letter he's got in his
} pocket.
}
} You know what you owe the Oracle?  You owe the Oracle ONE HUMBLE
} READER who'll know what I'm talking about and think it's funny.  JUST
} ONE!!  Damn, I laughed myself silly writing this, and nobody is going
} to get the joke.  Rats.
}
} Oh, and renew my subscription to National Geographic.
}
} <<Editor's note:  This Oracularity is reprinted from the archives of
} The Telex Oracle, dated January 1953.>>


1141-02    (16evm dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Way trendy Oracle,
>
> Who decides what the next fad is going to be??

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In a dimly lit room, miles below a SoCal mall, a fat man strikes a
} match and lights his cigar. From the small, orangey glow, one can
} see his glasses, his largish nose, and his bad toupee.
}
} "Gentlemen. Lets hear the reports."
}
} "Well sir, bellbottoms did particularly well," says a small, mousey man.
} "As did hip-huggers."
}
} "Good," replies the fat man with the cigar. "Very good."
}
} "Plastic clothing did reasonable sales as well," says a younger man,
} with slicked-back hair. "However, our 'henna tattoos' didn't go over
} too well."
}
} "Just the same," says the fat man. "Perhaps we didn't promote it enough.
} Now then, what do we have planned for 2000?"
}
} "Well sir," says a woman with outrageous glasses and wild hair. "For our
} men's line, we were thinking, 'What's the stupidest thing we can make
} people wear this year?'"
}
} "And you came up with..." says the fat man, impatiently.
}
} "Codpieces."
}
} "Codpieces?" gasps everyone in the room.
}
} "Yes," continues the woman. "Codpieces. We plan to release early
} prototypes to the Gap and Ralph Lauren by the end of the month.
} We've already got N'Sync signed up to model them, and we're hoping
} to nab either 98 degrees or the Backstreet Boys."
}
} "Brilliant," whispers someone in the room.
}
} "I think so. We plan to secretly promote a war between N'Sync and
} whoever signs the opposing contract. We'll see who can wear the
} biggest codpieces. It'll be hysterical."
}
} "And you think the kids will buy this?" says the fat man.
}
} "Absolutely."
}
} "Good," the fat man says as he rolls his cigar around a thick, gold
} signet ring. "What about women's wear?"
}
} "Well," says a thin, acne-covered man with bottle-rim glasses. "We were
} fairly successful in pulling back the 'lingerie as clothing' look this
} past year. We were thinking of going a step further. Pasties."
}
} "WHAT?!?" sounds of choking come from around the room.
}
} "You can't be serious," says someone at the end of the table.
}
} "Oh, absolutely. We've already done the demography on it. We're going to
} start by having Madonna wear them in a video."
}
} "Madonna?" says the fat man. "She's not big with the kids anymore."
}
} "Ok," says the acne-man. "How about Brittney Spears? She just had the
} boob job, they'll look great on her."
}
} "Yeah," says someone else. "If you can get her to wear them, every
} pedophile daddy in the country who drools over Spears will get a set
} for his daughter!"
}
} "That's right," continues the acne-man. "Then, before we start
} mass-marketing them, we're going to leak a few pairs to our friends in
} the Southern Baptist Convention. Nothing stirs up sales like a good
} banning. Maybe we can even get a public school district or two to ban
} them, or at least require a shirt over them."
}
} "Excellent," says the fat man. "By the end of summer, every teenage girl
} in the country will be walking around in pasties and no shirt."
}
} "What about Fox Mulder?" says the cigarette-smoking-man in the corner.
} "He's already discovered what the Schwah keychains really are. He could
} be a threat to us."
}
} "So we kidnap his partner to make him back down."
}
} "Tried that, it didn't work."
}
} "Then we'll give his partner a hideous disease."
}
} "Tried that."
}
} "Then we'll kill his partner."
}
} "Done that."
}
} "Damn! Doesn't he care about his partner at all? Oh, I got it, we'll
} just send him some photos of Brittney Spears modelling the pasties.
} He'll never leave his apartment."
}
} Murmers of assent from around the room.
}
} "Well then," says the fat man, "I think we have a plan."


1141-03    (57ant dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Ross Clement <R.P.Clement@westminster.ac.uk>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> NULL QUESTION

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That one caught the President off guard. "I'm sorry?"
}
} > NULL QUESTION
}
} The other reporters had stopped their clamor, surprised at the audacity
} of the request. They were equally fascinated by the President's
} reaction: discomfort, certainly, but the color creeping into his face
} implied that there was something he definitely -didn't- want to say.
}
} "L-let me say that about this...." The President trailed off into
} silence. Since he'd begun his first campaign nine years ago, he'd never
} been at a loss for words. Until now. A confused murmur began among the
} reporters. What was wrong? He had always been good for a few sound
} bites at each conference, and his Middle-American good looks made the
} print photographers' jobs a lot easier. Now, it looked like the
} reporters would actually have to -writsomething. They began to fear for
} their jobs.
}
} The press secretary was the first to regain his composure. He went to
} the podium and whispered in the President's ear. At first the President
} seemed oblivious, but after a moment he caught on and managed to
} understand what was being said. From the look on his face it was
} obvious that the press secretary had suggested something outrageous,
} but after some heated whispers the President finally nodded and turned
} to the microphone.
}
} "Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, please make careful record of what
} you observe here today. This is an historical moment in the making.
}
} "As many have noticed, American politics over the past few centuries -
} clear back to the founding of this great nation, even before it was an
} independent state - has been an excellent example of Newton's Third Law
} of Motion: 'For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.'
}
} "The success of our system of government by officials elected by the
} populace hinges on an informed electorate. The position of every
} candidate on every issue must be explored before the best choice can be
} made for the job. Of course, and I am proud to be the first government
} official to admit this out loud, most candidates aren't as concerned
} about making a good government as they are about having a position of
} power and influence." The reporters murmured in surprise, not at the
} revelation, but at the candid way it was given. "Toward that end, most
} candidates (and all successful ones) have applied Newton's Third Law
} toward questions directed to them by the press. The political
} interpretation would be 'For every question of substance, there is an
} answer of equal and opposite value.'
}
} "Since most reporters are trained to seek the heart of the matter, it
} follows that they should ask questions of great substance and global
} import. Therefore, I and my colleagues in government are obligated to
} give meaningless, misdirected, and frequently false answers to preserve
} the 'balance' implied in the Third Law. But today, I have received a
} question of less than zero substance - not negative substance, mind
} you, but null: the null question. Therefore, I must give an answer that
} is substantial and true."
}
} The President took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Here goes."
}
} "I sought this position, not for the benefit of the Nation, but for my
} own bank account. The companionship I have enjoyed since my arrival in
} Washington was a fringe benefit. I have made a fortune behind the
} scenes in the buying and selling of favors and influence, and plan to
} continue after my term ends.
}
} "Never have I acted in accordance with my conscience or my
} constituency. I have no conscience, and if I seemed to go along with
} public opinion, it was because it coincided with the opinion of major
} contributors to my personal goals.
}
} "None of the other candidates who ran against me in any election,
} except one, were any different from me. That one exception died in an
} unfortunate car crash. I did NOT engineer that crash. I had someone
} else take care of it for me.
}
} "The apparent benefits to the economy, the nation, and the world, that
} have occurred during my administration are simply the up-end swing of
} the socio-economic pendulum, a phenomenon that has been known for
} centuries but never revealed. Nothing I or any government official have
} done, or could ever do, will influence that swing. Expect a period of
} severe depression about 15 years from now. By then I should be happily
} divorced and living on a private Caribbean island.
}
} "The former Soviet Union, far from being a threat to the United States,
} was actually our ally. They caused us to pull together in building a
} war machine, developing new technologies and putting thousands of
} people to work, to fight a bunch of farmers and goatherds who wouldn't
} know which end of an AK-47 to point at an American if they ever saw
} one. The menace of Communism was nothing more than a red herring that
} created wonderful opportunities to curry favor, peddle influence, and
} misdirect funding into the pockets of government officials and
} corporate officers.
}
} "And now, perhaps the most telling truth of all: not one single
} American gives a rat's ass about any of this. They have their MTV,
} their beer, and their welfare checks! They have the "bread and
} circuses" that led to the downfall of the Roman empire. They are fat
} and happy and as long as the lines for lottery tickets are shorter than
} their belt size, they'll keep voting for me and anyone else that's good
} for a few sound bites and photographs well."
}
} The President paused for breath. Not a reporter moved, not a camera
} clicked. The recorders were still running - not a word was missed - but
} nobody could say a word. Finally, after a long pause, the sound of
} someone clapping came from the back of the room. After some hesitation,
} other joined in. Moments later, the entire room was on its feet
} applauding the President. After about five minutes he motioned for
} quiet, and five minutes later he could finally speak again.
}
} "Thank you! Thank you! It was a risky thing to do, and had you not
} responded this way my press secretary would have been involved in a
} tragic auto accident." The secretary paled, until he saw the president
} wink. "But I do have one more thing I'd like to get off my chest." He
} looked at the correspondent who had asked the question, and had also
} been the first to applaud.
}
} "Orrie, if you EVER forward one of those questions to me again, I'll
} hunt you down like a dog and nail your sorry hide to my garage!"


1149-01    (14jwn dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Ross Clement <R.P.Clement@westminster.ac.uk>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> I am a 34 year old adult male. I have a bean stuck up my nose, well,
> a chick-pea actually, if you must know. I really don't want to go
> to the Emergency Room, it would be very embarrassing. How can I get
> this damn thing outta my nose???

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} *sigh* I won't ask you how it got there, since I'm omniscient and I
} already know. But honestly, supplicant, this happens every time you
} make hummos.
}
} Fortunately, you do have some options...
}
}   [ The Internet Oracle's Top Ten Ways of Getting A Chick-Pea  ]
}   [                  Out of Your Nose                          ]
}
} (10) Use an electric carving knife to remove your nose. When you get
} to the Emergency Room, no one will pay any attention to the chick-pea.
}
} (9) Withdraw $500 and go to the corner of Broadway and Main, where you
} will meet a "lady" named Yvonne, who has the reputation of being able
} to suck the nickel plating off a quarter. Tell her you want "a nasal".
}
} (8) Buy a plane ticket to Cairo. In the back alleys of Cairo, ask
} around and you will eventually find an incredibly ancient man named
} Hadeem, who is the last man living who can perform the ancient
} Egyptian mummification process. Have him use the iron hook used to
} remove a corpse's brain through the nose to remove the chick pea. Be
} *very* specific about what you want. He is hard of hearing.
}
} (7) Go to the local frat-house and tell the boys you'll buy a keg for
} whoever can stuff the most chick-peas up their nose. After the
} contest, proceed to the Emergency Room. It's far less embarrassing
} being one of 57 nitwits with beans up their nose than being the only
} nitwit with a bean up his nose. Whatever you do, don't forget to stop
} at the beer store on the way home.
}
} (6) Go to see your local gardening pedant. Tell him that you have a
} broad bean stuffed up your nose. He will argue that you couldn't
} possibly have a broad bean up your nose, as broad beans are far too
} wide to fit comfortably in the nostril. Bet him twenty dollars.
}
} (5) Two words: Nose weasels.
}
} (4) Try holistic, non-Western, non-judgmental medicine. An experienced
} acupuncturist knows exactly where to stick a needle so as to stimulate
} the right muscles that will force the chick-pea out like a cork from a
} champagne bottle. However, you may not like where the needle goes.
}
} (3) Use a Zen approach. Do not remove the chick-pea from your
} nose; you must remove your nose from the chick-pea.
}
} (2) Consult you nearest four-dimensional neighbour. If you ask nicely,
} he/she can simply step up a little ways, reach into the offending
} nostril and pull the bean out as simple as you please. For this
} gracious act, take him or her to the pub, buy him or her a beer and
} some pretzels. It's a lot of fun to watch these guys untie the
} pretzels.
}
} (1) If all else fails, you'll have to swallow your pride and go to the
} Emergency room solo. Defuse the situation with humour. When the nurse
} asks sternly why you have a garbanzo bean up your nose, start laughing
} hysterically, and say, "That's nothing! I saw the [insert favourite
} ethnic group here] guy coming around the corner with a watermelon!".
}
} You owe the Oracle some hummos (made by somebody else) and the number
} of a good ear, nose, and throat specialist.


1137-09    (05nrg dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Paul L. Kelly" <zymurge@mindspring.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> All-seeing Oracle,
>
> If you're really omniscient tell me what I'm thinking about right now.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You're thinking about that girl who... no, wait, you're thinking
} about the time that... no, wait, you're thinking about what you'd
} like to... no, wait, you're thinking about your sister's... no, wait,
} you're thinking about who should... no, wait, you're thinking about
} whether... no, wait...
}
} Oh, for crying out loud, if you're going to ask questions like that,
} would you be so kind as to lay off the caffeine first.
}
} You owe the Oracle a half hour of meditation.


1144-01    (34nhk dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce M. Wilson" <awilson@uplink.net>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> I have no life, and I must scream.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} And there we have it, modern music summed up in one tidy sentence.


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