[IO]
Internet Oracle
22 May 2017 home : about : create : digests : bestofs : specials : priests 23:20:00 GMT

Best of Internet Oracularities #1176-1200

Goto:
1176-1200, 1189-07, 1182-07, 1176-04, 1176-08, 1184-07, 1190-02, 1191-09, 1194-10, 1196-07, 1199-01, 1199-03, 1200-04


Best of Internet Oracularities #1176-1200    (3.6 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: 9 Feb 2001 12:02:05 -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 #1176
through #1200 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.


1189-07    (28iln dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> A million times a day the Wise Oracle thinks a thought far too
> weighty for mortals to comprehend. Hear me please Splendid One,
>
> What mysteries does the American Dream hold?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Will I get the loan?
} Do I have the down payment?
} Will I really have to eat Ramen for thirty years?
} I just locked in my rate! What do you mean the interest rate dropped
}   three percent?
} I just gave you a check for $9,000! Why do I have to pay you another
}   $300?
} You're my neighbor?
} Is that your stereo?
} Can you turn it down?
} Where the @#$! are the movers?
} What do you mean lost?
} How could you confuse Virginia with Illinois?
} When *will* you arrive?
} What am I going to sleep on for three weeks?
} Why isn't my stove getting hot?
} Where's the damn warranty?
} What do you mean appliances aren't covered?
} Do you deliver?
} Did I close my sunroof before it started raining?
} What is dripping on my head?
} Why is there a big water spot on the ceiling?
} Where the $@#! is the attic entrance?
} Where's the rest of the chimney!?
} What do you mean chimneys aren't covered!?
} Which aisle has tarps?
} Do you take Visa?
} Why did I decide that this was a good idea?
} Why didn't I decide to take tomorrow off?
} HEY, DO YOU MIND? WOULD IT KILL YOU TO TURN YOUR RADIO DOWN?
} ARE YOU DEAF AND DUMB OR JUST STUPID?
} Have you been working out?
} Would someone call an ambulance?
} Do you accept Aetna health plan?
} Why is a cab ride from the hospital $40?
} Who locked the door?
} Where are my house keys?
} Where did I see that ladder?
} What's the problem officer?
} Well, why is it that you don't show up when I'm beaten silly, but now
}   you're hassling me while I try to get into my house?
} Why would my driver's license have an address for a house I just bought?
} Does the ink from the fingerprinting wash off?
} Didn't I ride in your cab from the hospital?
} How could this ride cost $60!?
} Why's my back door open?
} Who are you?
} Does it look like I have any valuables?
} Can you at least leave me the phone?
} Hello?
} New Haven Realty?
} Can I list my house through you?
}
} You owe the Oracle 3%.


1182-07    (25hqd dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Exploratory Oracle, you know all the best places!
>
> After the Space Station gets built and Mars colonization starts, I want
> to be a Cowboy On Mars.  I want to have a cattle ranch there, and raise
> an appropriate breed.  I was thinking that Black Angus or perhaps
> Dexters would be good, as the black colour would allwo them to soak up
> more heat when it's cold.  But then they would radiate it away at
> night.  Dexters generally have neat horns.  Would that help?
>
> Or maybe sheep would be better, with that layer of wool for Natural
> Insulation and for padding when landing.  Whaddya suggest?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       You want to do what?
}
} I'm gonna be a spacecowboy!
}
}       A space cowboy. Before I can grant you this loan I need to
}       know a bit more about your business plan.
}
} Easy. I'm gonna fly a couple of cows to Mars and set up my ranch.
}
}       I see. And how far away is Mars.
}
} Well because of the distance involved, and required trajectory,
} it's a trip of just over 50 milliion miles.
}
}       And this trip would take.
}
} Well, current estimates say about 180 days.
}
}       Ah, good. Let's do some math then. How many heads of cattle
}       are you planning to bring?
}
} Well, I'm figuring I should start with a small herd. Probably
} just start with four. Two male and two female.
}
}       Good, and they weigh?
}
} About a thousand pounds each.
}
}       Got it, four thousand pounds. And how much food do cows eat?
}
} About 24 pounds of grains and ruffage a day.
}
}       Twenty four, times four... And how much water do you expect
}       they will require?
}
} Well, since they'll be in a climate controlled environment, we
} can adjust it to just two gallons a day.
}
}       Ok, a quick bit of calculations, well according to this,
}       you'll be shipping 33,472 pounds.
}
} Yep, and it costs $10,000 a pound to launch 'em.
}
}       Well, that means that you'll require about $334,719,500 in
}       shipping and handling...
}
} And that's what I wrote down.
}
}       I see, and you've added the vehicle cost here, of
}       approximately...
}
} $75,000,000. I found an old Atlas on ebay.
}
}       I see, and you list launch rights of..
}
} $34,000,000. I've got a cousin who has an abandoned oil platform,
} but it needs new plumbing and a paint job.
}
}       That's all well and good.
}
} Plus I need $18,000,000 for ground support and maintenance crews.
}
}       Yes I understand, and that brings your total to nearly $500,
}       000,000. That's a very large sum of money. What may I ask are
}       you planning on using for collateral?
}
} Well, I've got a car, and my trailer.
}
}       You drive a Yugo and your trailer has a tree growing through
}       the back half.
}
} I also got these here shares from a feller named Gates when I got
} him out of the Arizona pokey once.
}
} <Some time later>
}
} And we're back. I'm Larry King and my guest is the first space
} cowboy. Tell, me, if you had to do it all again, what would you
} do differently?
}
}       Well, I'd try to get some smart feller to come up with a
}       space suit for a cow.
}
} You owe the oracle 800 lbs. of really expensive beef jerky.


1176-04    (0aoif dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Right then, here's the list so far....
>
> You owe the Oracle a ring.
> You owe The Oracle photographs from your next fish party.
> You owe the Oracle new batteries for the remote.
> You owe the Oracle any spare parts you may not need in the near future.
> You owe the oracle a faster notebook.
> You owe the Oracle some stove-top stuffing.
> You owe the Oracle a diploma.
> You owe the Oracle a better equation.
> You owe the Oracle the shirt off your back.
> You owe the Oracle the manual for your computer -- you apparently
>   don't have any use for it.
> You owe the Oracle a rhyme for omnipotent.
> You owe the Oracle a retractable antenna.
> You owe the Oracle the word "Back-up" written in Indian Ink.
> You owe the Oracle some cat paws.
> You owe the Oracle the words to the Captain Density Theme Song.
> You owe the oracle a prompt he can deal with better late on a Thursday
>   afternoon.
> You owe the Oracle a political rally.
> You owe the Oracle a loofah.
> You owe the oracle some french bread and a bottle of Beaujolais to
>   complete it's picnic.
> You owe the Oracle a good, hard, slow neckrub.
> You owe the Oracle a pint of Exxon.
> You owe the Oracle some prescription mirrored shades.
> You owe the Oracle some baby Swiss.
> You owe the Oracle a way to convince the rest of America that no matter
>   what Pink Flyod said, there is no Dark Side of the Moon.
> You owe the Oracle an infinite loop not involving the Supernatural.
> You owe the Oracle front row tickets for the Undertaker's comback
>   match.
> You owe the Oracle 128 hours of overtime.
> You owe the Oracle a big juicy steak.
> You owe the Oracle a copy of MS Bounty Hunter 98 Deluxe, Version 3.3,
>   on CD-ROM.
> You owe the Oracle a sheepskin seat cover.
> You owe the Oracle some 4D ascii art.
> You owe the Oracle something a bit harder to foretell.
> You owe the Oracle a hand-delivered apology to Richard Wilson and New
>   Scientist.
> You owe the Oracle a copy of the Slovakian football anthem CD.
> You owe the Oracle a question that you haven't asked yet.
> You owe the Oracle a fugue in the key of F Major.
> You owe the Oracle a subscription to the Limbo Listserv.
> You owe the Oracle a promise to stop calling him "froody", for the love
>   of God.
> You owe the Oracle the _Medicine of Star Trek_ book.
> You owe the Oracle a seeing eye skunk.
> You owe the Oracle a Post-It Notes (TM) pad.
> You owe the Oracle a lint roller to get this hair out of my labcoat.
> You owe the Oracle a Cheddar-O-Matic 2061 and three cows.
> You owe the Oracle a case of Fosters Lager and a bottle of Aspirin.
>
> Well, the truck is out front....Where do you want all this stuff?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} New York (AP) World Panic Continues as things continue to disappear.
} This morning when the citizens of New York woke up they were greeted
} with the latest instance of 'The Great Disappearing' to hit the
} world. The left arm of The Statue of Liberty was missing. As usual
} no one knows where the item went, or why it was taken. The arm is yet
} one more item to vanish from the face of the Earth over the last two
} months. Scientists and police alike are baffled. Not only have items
} of great value, such as the Mona Lisa and all the world's panda bears
} vanished, but also items of note but no worth, such as Prince Charles'
} ears and 42 percent of the stoplights on the island of Maui. Panic
} grows as. . .
}
} [ The Oracle sets down the morning paper and takes another sip
}   of the finest coffee in the universe from a china cup once
}   used by Catherine the Great. ]
}
} Orrie: Hee, hee. Dang, I should have thought of hiring Lucifer
}        and his boys to act as my collection agency centuries
}        ago. Even with his 25% cut off the top I'm still raking
}        it in.
}
} [ Zadoc rushes in and falls to the floor. Zadoc is wearing an
}   Armani silk suit, four gold Rolexes and a pair of blue suede
}   shoes once owned by Elvis himself. ]
}
} Zadoc: Great one whose every utterance is like a coin of
}        infinite worth tossed into a fountain of joyous
}        enlightenment, the first of the day's tribute trucks
}        has arrived.
}
} Orrie: Very good worm, I'll be right down.


1176-08    (39hik dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Otis Viles <drey@speakeasy.org>

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

> This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
>
> ------=_NextPart_000_005C_01BFFCD1.E8A8BC40
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>
> Oh almighty Internet Oracle, please tell me, how much wood could a =
> woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
>
> ------=_NextPart_000_005C_01BFFCD1.E8A8BC40
> Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>
> <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
> <HTML><HEAD>
> <META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
> charset=3Diso-8859-1">
> <META content=3D"MSHTML 5.50.4134.600" name=3DGENERATOR>
> <STYLE></STYLE>
> </HEAD>
> <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
> <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Oh almighty Internet Oracle, please =
> tell me, how=20
> much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck=20
> wood?</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>
>
> ------=_NextPart_000_005C_01BFFCD1.E8A8BC40--

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This is a multi-part message in MIME format
}
} -----Next Part
} Content Type: Text/Mime
}
}    O *                               O
}   \|/|                              \|/
}    | |                               |
}   / \|                              / \
}
}   The Internet Oracle         You
}
} -----Next Part
} Content Type: Text/Mime
}                          \
}                           \
}    O *                               O
}   \|/|                              \|/
}    | |                               |
}   / \|                              / \
}
}   The Internet Oracle         You
}
} -----Next Part
} Content Type: Text/Mime
}                          \
}                           \
}    O *                     --        O
}   \|/|                       \--\   \|/
}    | |                               |
}   / \|                              / \
}
}   The Internet Oracle         You
}
} -----Next Part
} Content Type: Text/Mime
}                          \
}                           \         \|/
}    O *                     --        O
}   \|/|                       \--\   |||
}    | |                           \-*ZOT*
}   / \|                              / \
}
}   The Internet Oracle         You
}
} ------Next Part
} Content Type: Text/Mime
}
}    O *
}   \|/|
}    | |
}   / \|                           \/___|O
}
}   The Internet Oracle         You
}
} ------Next Part
} Content Type: Text/Owed
}
} You owe the Oracle a dead mime.


1184-07    (28cpc dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

>  Great and Explosive Oracle, I tried asking you a question in French
>  and you replied with a very rude comment about the French in
>  particular, and about anyone who would bother to speak that language
>  in general.
>
>  Here, to show you that even the French can be nice sometimes (and
>  that's not just when they are -in- Nice), I'll grovel in French.
>
>  Oracle eet ees wizz grate deeficultee zatt I adress ewe een zee
>  Frainch langwich.  I fall on zee head and cnoc out zee brain for ewe.
>
>  There.  Now can you give me an answer that is (for once) nice to the
>  French?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Jean-Claude and Michelle are a couple living in France. One day, Jean-
} Claude comes home from work in the snail factory and his super hairy
} legged girlfriend Michelle says: "Jean-Claude, today ze light-bulb,
} it has gone out. You must fix it for me."
}
} And after guzzling a bottle of wine and reading a boring and absurdly
} incomprehensible novel about nothingness Jean-Claude says, "What am I?
} Ze Electricien?"
}
} The next day, Jean-Claude comes home from work in his silly little
} car that has a horn that sounds like a sick duck and Michelle, who
} has spent the day posing at a cafe pretending to be reading a tiny
} newspaper while drinking sludge says: "Jean-Claude, today ze carpet
} eet eez dirty, you must beat eet for me."
}
} Jean-Claude ponders capitulating without a fight to Germany and then
} says, "What am I? Ze Carpet-beater?"
}
} The very next day, Jean-Claude comes home from work wearing a really
} stupid beret and wearing a striped shirt even though he doesn't play
} rugby and Michele who is carrying around two loaves of really long
} bread says: "Oh, Jean-Claude, today your friend Pierre came over. He
} changed ze light-bulb and he beat ze carpet for me."
}
} Jean-Claude ponders taking a bath sometime within the next month, but
} instead says "Oh, but I know zis Pierre. He never does anysing for
} nossing.  What did he want?"
}
} "He gave me 2 choices: he said I can make him ze dinner fancy or ...
} sleep wiss heem."
}
} "Which one did you choose?"
}
} "What am I? Ze Chef French?"


1190-02    (3aiok dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: "BJ" <bjbackitis@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh Oracle, of winding explanations and unrelated answers:
>
> If you pressure Nat King Cole enough, does he turn into Neil Diamond?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Of course.  Well spotted, dear metamorphic supplicant.
}
} You'll also find that Metallica and Iron Maiden will be fashioned into
} Tool.
}
} Hot Chocolate were dehydrated to form Eminem.
}
} The Mammas and the Papas gave birth to - of course - The Offspring
}
} Fortunately, Godsmack were miraculously transformed into Collective
} Soul.
}
} Unfortunately, Bread just putrefied into Limp Bizkit.
}
} 98 Degrees was all that was left when Canned Heat burned out.
}
} Pearl Jam are a direct descendent of the Blue Oyster Cult by way of
} Preservation Hall.
}
} Jewel was faceted for fame by The Cutting Room.
}
} And Ruby Tuesday was originally a little poem composed on a Wednesday by
} an unformed piece of impure carborundum.
}
} You owe the Oracle a sequined segue.


1191-09    (47goe dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: "Kirsten R. Chevalier" <krc@erythrea.wellesley.edu>

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

> .

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Period.  Finish.  End.  Termination.  Final.  Heat-death of the
} Universe.  Armageddon.  Death.  All gone.  All done.  All over.  That's
} it.  Good-bye.  See ya.  Poof.  Vanish.  Finito.  Complete.  Ciao.
}
} The sum amount of space a brain cell occupies.  The total IQ of the
} average television viewer.  What happens to the cat while it's in the
} box.  What Pavlov's dogs are really thinking.  Earth from really really
} far away.  A person as viewed from an airplane three kilometers up.
} The only truly perfect statement.  The Big Bang before the actual Bang.
} The beginning of an ellipse.  An incomplete ASCII art piece.  A
} missing bead from an abacus.  Where the socks go when they die.  What
} lint sees when it looks at other lint.  A winning chat-up line.  Your
} sole possession. The amount in your bank account.  Gold, dyed black.
} Anything small dyed black.  e. e. cumming's lost poem.  What happened
} when Picasso went post-modern.  A sign that a sentence somewhere has
} begun to ramble unabated.  What happens when punctuation goes bad.  How
} to signify silence in an empty room.  What you see when you look
} through the wrong end of a telescope.  The ultimate vanishing point --
} artists take note. That annoying piece of dirt that you just can't
} sweep away, which means you'll actually have to mop this weekend.  A
} speck in your eye.  An alien life form.  A target according to a person
} who has never fired a gun before.  An expression of complete surprise.
} What powers the average brain.  The complete rules of everyday
} etiquette.  Vaporware.  The best error message ever.
}
} You owe the Oracle a semicolon.


1194-10    (45glg dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

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

> Eh?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Great, now even the Canadians are asking null questions.


1196-07    (1ajmd dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: "Kirsten R. Chevalier" <krc@erythrea.wellesley.edu>

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

> I need to get to California in the worst way.  Can you help?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
}             The Ten Worse Ways to get to California
} ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
}
} 10) Go to nearest police station and tell them that you killed a
}     Kangaroo Rat once while in California. You'll be extradited
}     there pronto. If you don't need to get to California real
}     fast tell them you killed a human in California, it'll take
}     longer for them to get you to California, but on the plus
}     side though you'll spend less time in prison when you get
}     there.
}
} 09) Dress up like Jay Leno, run from the people throwing rocks
}     at you, when you get someplace where they don't throw rocks
}     at you, then stop, you'll be in California.
}
} 08) Walk towards the setting sun. Stop when you get to the
}     sea. Then go north or south depending on where you run into
}     the ocean at. (This applies to North/South Americans only,
}     all others follow above directions and when you get to a sea
}     change your mind and go home, trust me on this one.)
}
} 07) Win a trip to Hollywood, by entering a "I want to be in
}     a sleazy porno flick" contest, details available at the
}     nearest bus depot, ask for Vinnie.
}
} 06) Take a shovel and toss into outer space all parts of the
}     Earth that -are not- California until you are where you
}     want to be.
}
} 05) Go to Alaska and duct tape yourself to the back of a Grey
}     Whale, when it migrates to Mexico for the winter get off
}     as you pass California.
}
} 04) Join the Marines, but only under the condition that you
}     train at Camp Pendelton, CA.
}
} 03) Ingrate yourself to some Deadheads and follow them about,
}     sooner or later you'll get to California.
}
} 02) Become a lawyer, 1 in 7 of them are in California, chances
}     are good you'll get lucky.
}
} 01) Take lots of drugs and adopt weird political views, join a
}     cult, even if you stay put, you'll be in California.
}
} You owe the Oracle a postcard from Venice Beach, CA of the chain
} saw jugglers.


1199-01    (57gkj dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

>  Listen to me humans of Earth! The greatest of all your benefactors
>  is the Wise Oracle! In requital of his glorious deeds, you have
>  justly allotted by statute a share of your libations and drink-
>  offerings in every temple and at every public service, whom, in
>  hymns and in worship, you treat as the equals of gods of old and
>  the demigods of your own feeble times!
>
>  What is the Ancient Egyptian God Set up to now a days?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} He started up a law firm with his buddies Game and Match.
}
} Yeah I know, I know, that was a real sucky answer. But - let's face
} it, supplicant - all the good answers have been done. There's no way
} anything one of these latter-day incarnations can come up with is
} going to get within waving distance of the all-time top 1000 digested
} responses, so what's the point of even trying? For your benefit?
} You're probably some pubescoid CS student with all the charisma and
} lively intellect of two-week-old roadkill.
}
} Don't start crying on me! God, I hate it when supplicants blub.
}
} *sigh* All right, I'll try again. Just this once, mind - don't think
} I'm making a habit of it. Lemme see now...
}
} He's not doing too well, actually. After the murder of his brother
} Osiris and attempted murder of his nephew Horus, Set wasn't any too
} popular with the rest of the Egyptian pantheon. So when he arrived in
} the underworld after his own mortal form was killed at the battle of
} Edfu, they weren't about to give him one of the plum jobs, as this
} excerpt from the Address to the Gods of the Tuat, Papyrus of Nu
} (British Museum No. 10477, Sheet 24) testifies:
}
}   THE FOLLOWING ARE THE WORDS WHICH THE HEART OF TRUTH THAT IS SINLESS
}   SHALL SAY WHEN HE COMETH WITH THE WORD OF TRUTH INTO THE HALL OF
}   MAATI; THEY SHALL BE SAID WHEN HE COMETH TO THE GODS WHO DWELL IN THE
}   TUAT; AND THEY ARE THE WORDS WHICH ARE TO BE SAID AFTER HE COMETH
}   FORTH FROM THE HALL OF MAATI.
}
}   Homage to you, O ye gods who dwell in your Hall of Maati! I know you,
}   I know your names. Let me not fall under your knives of slaughter,
}   and bring ye not forward my wickedness. Let not evil hap come upon
}   me through you. Speak ye the truth concerning me in the presence of
}   Neb-er-tcher, for I have done what is right and just in Ta-Mera.
}
}   Homage to you, O ye who dwell in your Hall of Maati, and deliver ye
}   me from Beba, who feedeth upon the livers of the mighty on the Day
}   of Great Judgement! Grant ye that I may come before you, for I have
}   not committed sin, and I have heard that great word which the Sahu
}   spake to the CAT, in the House of Hapt-ra. I have borne witness to
}   Her-f-ha-f, and he hath given a decision concerning me. I have seen
}   the things over which the Persea tree, which is in Rasta, spreadeth
}   its branches. I have come, travelling a long road, to bear righteous
}   testimony, and to set the Balance upon its supports within Aukert.
}
}   Then shall the two-and-forty gods say unto me, "Who art thou?" And
}   they say unto me, "What is thy name?"
}
}   And I reply, "Sept-kheri-nehait-ammi-beq-f is my name."
}
}   And Anubis saith: "I will not announce thee unless thou tellest
}   the name of the god who dwelleth in his hour. Speak it."
}
}   And I reply, "Au-taui, who is called Thoth."
}
}   "Speak up," saith Thoth, "for what purpose hast thou come?"
}
}   And I reply: "I have come, and have journeyed hither that my name
}   may be announced to the gods."
}
}   Osiris saith: "In what condition art thou?"
}
}   And I reply, "I, even I, am purified from evil defects, and I am
}   wholly free from the curses of those who live in their days, and I
}   am not one of their number."
}
}   Set saith, "Hast thou anything to declare?"
}
}   And I, somewhat taken aback, reply, "Come again?"
}
}   And Set saith, "Hast thou duty free goods or alcohol? Hast thou
}   more than the permitted four bottles of wine or two of spirits upon
}   thy person? Hast thou firearms? Art thou bearing fruit?"
}
}   And I reply, "I think not."
}
}   Then Set saith, "Art thou carrying a parcel for anyone else? Hath
}   anyone packed thy bags apart from thee thyself? Have thy bags been
}   out of thy sight for any length of time?"
}
}   And I reply, "Look, is all this really necessary? I'm dead, for
}   crying out loud!"
}
}   Set saith, "What is the purpose of thy visit to the afterlife -
}   business or pleasure? Hast thou filled in thy immigration form?
}   What is the expected duration of thy stay?"
}
} Hmm... On reflection, I think I liked my first answer better.


1199-03    (6b9lk dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: "Kirsten R. Chevalier" <krc@erythrea.wellesley.edu>

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

> Flowers For Thagernon
> A Short Story

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}    (From the Journal of Doctor Orrie) Tuesday, the 27th - The mouse,
} Piezo, continues to excel in every intelligence test I can give him. It
} would seem that the surgery was a success. Today, I arrived at the lab
} to discover that he had escaped from his cage by jamming the water bowl
} underneath the exercise wheel and climbing up it like a latter. Then he
} attached one of the Bunsen burners to the portable heater and was
} attempting to cut through the laboratory door when I arrived. Of
} course, this may have been a learned behavior. If only I had some proof
} that he was truly intelligent.
}
}    Doctor Orrie continued his speech into the small black box. Thag
} shifted the bucket of sloppy water around to the other side of the
} doctor and continued mopping. It was often that the doctor used words
} that Thag didn't understand, but it was only recently that the small
} mouse Thag fed late at nights began to use words that were too big.
} Thag used to have no trouble understanding him. Lately, however, it was
} all Thag could do to keep his mind focused on the poker games he and
} the mouse played.
}
}    "I would like to further my research," continued the doctor, "with a
} mammal of higher order. Unfortunately those bastards at the FDA won't
} allow it without further trials on mice."
}
}    Thag grunted as he scrubbed a small, burnt spot on the floor where
} the doctor had, in a fit of rage, thrown a vial of acid at Zadoc
} yesterday. When it seemed that the spot wouldn't clean, Thag got down
} on his knees and pulled out the wire brush that he kept in his shirt
} pocket for just such stubborn stains. If there was one thing that Thag
} knew how to do, it was be a janitor, and Thag was proud of that fact.
}
}    "If only I had some form of creature that the FDA had no knowledge
} of," the doctor said. "Some creature that could prove the abilities of
} my research once and for..."
}
}    At that point, Thag was moving the bucket around behind the doctor
} again, having given up on the burnt spot. The doctor, who was obviously
} paying more attention to his notes, stepped directly backward and
} planted his foot firmly in the bucket of soapy, grimy water.
}
}    "Dangit!" he yelled. His foot was covered in slime and hairballs. He
} looked at the foot, then at Thag. "You idiot! You worthless, mindless,
} incompetent, stupid..."
}
}    At that point the doctor's eyes lit up. He glanced up and down Thag,
} sizing him up.
}
}    "Yes. An idiot. A perfect idiot! Oh Thag! I could kiss you!" he
} said, placing his hands on Thag's shoulders.
}
}    "Thag not like men," Thag said, shooing the doctor's hands away.
} "Thag heh-ter-uh-ro."
}
}    The doctor called Zadoc into the lab and the two had a private
} whisper at the door, both looking in Thag's direction. Thag thought for
} sure that he was to be fired and when the doctor and Zadoc approached
} him, he was certainly frightened. He looked at the doctor and lowered
} his eyes to the floor. He never noticed Zadoc circle around behind him
} and it was too late when he felt the sting on his rear end. Soon, he
} grew drowsy and everything went black.
}
}    (From the Journal of Doctor Orrie) Wednesday, the 28th - I anxiously
} await Thag's awakening. The operation went smoothly, much more smoothly
} than it did with Piezo, perhaps because there was more room to work and
} their brains are about the same size. I have Lisa bringing Thag some
} coffee with breakfast in the hopes that it will awaken him.
}
}    The smell was unlike anything Thagernon had ever experienced. It
} wasn't fear, it wasn't a rutting female, it was something unlike any
} scent Thagernon had ever detected. It was...
}
}    "Food!" Thagernon said, sitting up. "I've never really smelled food
} before!"
}
}    "Well," Lisa said, sitting the tray down next to the bed. "I see
} you're feeling better."
}
}    "My head is a bit woozy, but I'll be all right," Thagernon replied,
} itching mindlessly at the bandages around his head. "This is truly
} amazing! I've never smelled anything except the scents on the hunt! Oh!
} This bacon smells incredible! Mmmm! I've never imagined that properly
} cooked meats could taste like this!"
}
}    "Here," Lisa said, handing him a mug. "Drink this coffee, it'll
} clear away the grogginess from the anesthesia."
}
}    At that moment, the doctor and Zadoc arrived, carrying a large,
} cardboard box. The two glanced at Thagernon, who was using a fork and
} holding a folded napkin in his lap, and then at Lisa. Finally looking
} toward each other, they proceeded the rest of the way into the room.
}
}    "Thag," the doctor began.
}
}    "Please, call me by my full name, Thagernon."
}
}    "Very well," The doctor said, with a look like he had just been
} slapped. "Your vocabulary is incredible, Thagernon."
}
}    "Thank you. I was awake for about ten minutes before Lisa arrived,
} so I read this New York Times you left here."
}
}    Again, the doctor and Zadoc exchanged glances.
}
}    "Um, Thagernon, Zadoc and I would like it if you would consent to
} some tests."
}
}    "What kind of tests, doctor?"
}
}    "Nothing frightening or painful, I assure you. Merely some
} intelligence tests."
}
}    "You mean like ink blots and those two-tone cubes and the
} pattern-matches?"
}
}    "Exactly."
}
}    Several hours later, long after darkness had crept over the outside
} of the windows, the doctor and Zadoc left. Thagernon did his best at
} the tests, and was hoping that eventually they would prove a challenge
} so that he could show how well he was doing to the doctor, but the
} doctor was obviously taking it slow at first. All the tests he was
} given were easy, and Thagernon, sitting alone in the silence of his
} room, recalled the doctor cursing the IQ charts for being inadequate.
} If the charts were inadequate, Thagernon thought, then perhaps he was
} inadequate as well. There must be more that he could learn to show the
} doctor he truly was better.
}
}    Climbing from the bed, trying to make as little noise as possible,
} Thagernon reached into the small night stand and produced the fork he
} had kept from dinner. Bending the tongs slightly, he used it to pick
} the lock on the door to his room, and stepped into the dimly lit
} hallway.
}
}    He had cleaned the temple floors daily for what must have been three
} years now, at least since his last digest appearance, and knew the
} layout fairly well. The doctor's library was off limits, but Thagernon
} knew if he had any hope of gaining further knowledge, it would be
} there.
}
}    The door to the library was heavy, and it took much more effort to
} pick the lock than it had to open the door to his room. However, once
} inside, Thagernon found himself surrounded by mountains of books. There
} were more tomes of knowledge than Thagernon had ever dreamed of. In one
} corner sat piles of atlases, in another sat mounds of mystical
} encyclopedias filled with arcane knowledge. Where to begin?
}
}    Overwhelmed at the amount of information at his fingertips,
} Thagernon found himself mildly disoriented. He sat down on the doctor's
} easy chair and put his hands on the armrests. He tried to think where
} the doctor would begin in his situation, but found that he couldn't
} because he had never known the doctor to be without a fact or idea
} already in his mind. It took a second for Thagernon to realize he had
} been idly playing with a small, black box that was lying on the armrest
} of the chair. Was this the doctor's recorder on which, Thagernon knew,
} were all the notes pertaining to his case? Perhaps. Thagernon picked it
} up. It seemed much smaller than he recalled, but was still lined with
} buttons. Overcome with curiosity, he tapped the one marked "power."
}
}    He was rather startled when, instead of a voice coming from the box,
} a light came from a larger box on the other side of the room. This new
} box, which Thagernon believed was a "television," was pointed just so
} that a person sitting in the chair Thagernon was in would have an ideal
} view. He thumbed the arrow next to "volume" that pointed up, and was
} reward with sounds from the television.
}
}    "Now entering the studio," began a voice, "are today's contestants."
}
}    Well, thought Thagernon, moments into the show, this seems to be
} some sort of contest of wits. I'm sure the doctor would approve of my
} ingesting such mental exercises.
}
}    The overcast sky of that stormy morning kept Thag from understanding
} that time was rapidly spinning past him. He sat before the television,
} entranced. The two characters on the show he was watching were laughing
} and jibing each other good-naturedly.
}
}    "I've never known a woman to eat as many hotdogs at a company picnic
} as Kathy Lee does," said the man. The audience laughed.
}
}    "Oh Rege," the woman said, patting him on the arm. The audience
} laughed again.
}
}    Suddenly, the door opened and the doctor entered. He was unaware, at
} first, that Thag was in the room. Curiosity dictated, however, that he
} enter further to find the source of the sounds, and when he saw the
} television on and Thagernon sitting, enmeshed in the show, he howled.
}
}    "Thagernon! What are you doing?!"
}
}    Thag glanced up from the television at the doctor, who was yelling
} and smelled of fear. The scent made Thag angry and he jumped up from
} the chair, ready to defend himself.
}
}    "Thag not do anything! Thag watch Regis!"
}
}    The doctor howled again and called for Zadoc. When Zadoc arrived,
} Thag spotted the needle in his hands and bolted for the windows. Zadoc
} was quick, but Thag was quicker. However, the needle did strike Thag,
} although the plunger wasn't pushed all the way down.
}
}    Thag climbed onto the ledge by the window. The rain was soaking his
} face, and the wind was driving it against him so that it stung. He
} squinted through the downpour and saw a light further ahead along the
} ledge. He began to inch his way toward the light, beginning to feel
} drowsy from the medication. The doctor's head appeared at the window he
} had left.
}
}    "Thag! Thag! Come back!" the doctor was yelling. Thag paid no
} attention to him, but kept inching toward the light. "Thag! We can fix
} it! You can be smart again! Please!"
}
}    Thag reached the light, coming from the window at the end of the
} ledge. He was dizzy, and his vision blurred as he held on to the
} shutters, but held on he did. He glanced in the window and saw a blurry
} Lisa stepping out of the shower. The door in the room burst open and
} Zadoc entered. Lisa screamed and Zadoc quickly said something to her,
} pointing toward the window. Lisa looked to the window, saw Thag, and
} screamed again. She quickly grabbed a towel and wrapped it around
} herself while Zadoc kept talking. She nodded something in Zadoc's
} direction and slowly made her way to the window, opening it carefully.
} Thag knew it was already too late.
}
}    "Thag! You must come inside," Lisa began, but Thag knew her heart
} wasn't in it. She belonged to the doctor, and he could never have her.
} "Please, Thag. I want you to come inside."
}
}    "No, Lisa," Thag said, placing his rain-soaked hands on her cheeks.
} "Thag not come back. Thag sleepy. Lisa?"
}
}    "Yes Thag?" she asked, looking into his eyes. A bolt of lightning
} split the sky behind him and for a moment she was lit up like an angel.
}
}    "Not rember Thag like this," he said. It was getting hard for him to
} think, the medicine was taking effect quickly, even the small amount
} that had been administered.
}
}    "Rember Thag smart," he gasped. "Rember... Thag-er-non."
}
}    "Oh Thag!" Lisa said, a tear at the corner of her eyes. Thag wanted
} to remember that tear, to hold her, to tell her everything would be all
} right, but he couldn't. His hold on the shutters slipped and for a
} brief moment he was dangling in space, flying like a bird, then he
} dropped away with the rain drops, and out of Lisa's sight, never
} uttering a sound.
}
}    (From the Journal of Doctor Orrie) Friday, the 13th - I'm afraid
} this is, indeed, a day of bad omens. More than two weeks have passed
} since Thag's demise, and the experiment continues to degrade around me.
} The love ghoti I had performed the surgery on all drowned themselves.
} The woodchuck was a total failure, never getting farther than the
} spit-bubble stage. And poor Zadoc; when he awoke from his surgery, his
} frail frame couldn't handle the new intelligence and he exploded. Even
} Piezo, the mouse, is gone. I arrived at the lab yesterday morning and
} found that he had climbed to the top of the filing cabinet and leapt to
} his death. I found a tiny Wall Street Journal and a miniature portfolio
} in his cage. Having glanced at it I'm sure I would have done the same
} thing in his shoes. I'm afraid I have no choice now but to abandon the
} experiment completely.
}
}    The doctor turned off the tape recorder and walked toward the door.
} The floor was sticky now, having not been cleaned since Thag was gone.
} He glanced behind him and his eyes scanned the room. He took in every
} detail, every piece of equipment, every piece of furniture, to fixate
} the image in his mind, before turning off the light and shutting the
} door.
}
}    As he walked down the hallway he knew that his time would come and
} that someone, somewhere, owed him tribute.


1200-04    (25mpd dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Can you in your infinite yet magnanimous wisdom explain something
> that's been troubling me for years? When pigeons bob their heads
> as they walk is it because their legs are connected to their necks
> or what?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Pigeons want to make sure that at all times no human
} will ever, ever mistake them for a statue.


© Copyright 1989-2017 The Internet OracleTM a Kinzler.com offering Contact oracle-web@internetoracle.org