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Best of Internet Oracularities #476-500

Goto:
476-500, 493-10, 499-04, 500-10, 481-10, 485-02, 491-09, 485-06


Best of Usenet Oracularities #476-500    (4.1 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1992 12:34:38 -0500

Oracularities are the distilled wisdom and sagacity of the Usenet
Oracle, as incarnated in its many anonymous e-mail participants.  This
collection has been compiled from the regular Oracularities postings #476
through #500 and contains the Oracularities rated by its readers as
among the funniest.

To find out more about the Usenet 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 Usenet 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.


493-10    (027ai dist, 4.2 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Disser <disser@engin.umich.edu>

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

>         [Scene:  the bridge of the starship _Enterprise_]
>
> Sulu:   Object to starboard, Captain.
>
> Spock:  It is the Usenet Oracle.
>
> Kirk:   Mr. Sulu, set a course for it.
>
> Sulu:   [casually flips a few switches, then flips them back and
>         forth a few times, a bit more frantically]  No response
>         from helm, sir.
>
> Kirk:   Manual override!
>
> Sulu:   [flips a few more switches back and forth]  Still nothing,
>         sir.
>
> Kirk:   Bypass!
>
> Sulu:   [a few more switches]  Helm control restored, Captain.
>
> Chekov: Brilliant, Keptin!  You know, the bypass system was
>         inwented in Russia.
>
> Spock:  The bypass system was designed by engineers at Starfleet
>         Academy, in San Francisco, Ensign.
>
> Chekov: Well, Starfleet Academy...
>
> Kirk:   Bridge to Engineering.
>
> Scott:  Engineering.  Scott here.
>
> Kirk:   Engage the groveller, Mr. Scott.
>
> Scott:  The groveller wasna designed for our system, sair.  She'll
>         likely overload!
>
> Kirk:   It's a chance we'll have to take, Mr. Scott.  Engage!
>
> Scott:  Aye.  [trembles and sweats, as he slowly presses the button
>         on the groveller]
>
> Groveller:  Oracle.  [Makes a horrendous buzzing sound.  Sparks fly,
>         and smoke billows out of the groveller.]
>
> Kirk:   "Oracle"?  That's it?
>
> Scott:  She overloaded, sair!
>
> Kirk:   How long to repair, Scotty?
>
> Scott:  The database is completely burned out, sair!  At least
>         twenty minutes.
>
> Kirk:   Spock!  Sensor readings!
>
> Spock:  The Oracle is showing signs of impatience.  Understandable,
>         since this is the fifty-ninth line, and we have yet to
>         produce a grovel, or even a question for the Oracle.
>
> Kirk:   We don't have twenty minutes, Scotty!  You've got five!
>
> Scott:  Aye, sair.
>
> Kirk:   We may have to come up with a grovel without the machine.
>         Spock?
>
> Spock:  "Oracle, most logical..."
>
> McCoy:  Blast it, Spock!  Not everybody is so hung up on logic as
>         you are!  The Oracle doesn't want to hear about logic!
>
> Spock:  The Oracle is known to be highly intelligent, Doctor.
>
> McCoy:  I rest my case!
>
> Kirk:   Well, so much for Spock's grovel.  You got a better idea,
>         Bones?
>
> McCoy:  How about, "Oracle, most _il_logical"?
>
> Spock:  Doctor, your failure to grasp the simple virtue of logic
>         never ceases to amaze me.  It would be interesting to see
>         the Oracle incarnated as you; the resulting stream of bad
>         Oracularities would be most amusing.
>
> Kirk:   Gentlemen, this isn't getting us anywhere.  Chekov?
>
> Chekov: "Oracle, most Russian..."
>
> Kirk:   That's a grovel?
>
> Chekov: Eet ees a wery high compliment, Keptin!
>
> Kirk:   Scotty!  What've you got down there?
>
> Scott:  I replaced the database with items from my quarters, sair.
>
> Kirk:   Good work, Scotty!  Engage the groveller!
>
> Groveller:  "Oracle most grand, who could drink a hundred Scotsmen
>         under the table (or a thousand Irishmen), who has a blue
>         first-place ribbon under his kilt..."
>
> Kirk:   A blue *what*?
>
> Scott:  Have ya never haird the one 'bout the Scotsman an' the blue
>         ribbon?
>
> Spock:  A very crude joke, Captain.  Undoubtedly, not an appropriate
>         first impression for a respresentative of the Federation.
>         It would be most illogical to employ such a grovel for our
>         meeting with the Oracle.
>
> McCoy:  Now listen here, you pointy-eared Vulcan!  Scotty's grovel
>         may not be based on so-called "universal virtues" like
>         virtues, but at least it has character-- which is more than
>         can be said for yours!
>
> Spock:  "&$%@! Oracle" would also have character, Doctor, yet I
>         would hardly recommend it.
>
> Kirk:   Damn.  I can't believe we've come all this way, to be
>         stopped by a lack of grovelling material!
>
> Spock:  In chess, when one has insufficient material, the game is
>         over.  Checkmate.
>
> Kirk:   Not chess, Mister Spock--  Poker!  Lieutenant Uhura, hail
>         the Oracle!
>
> Uhura:  Hailing frequencies open, sir.
>
> Kirk:   Oracle.  This is Captain James T. Kirk of the Federation
>         Starship Enterprise.  Our mission is one of peace, but we
>         have the means to defend ourselves, and will use it if
>         necessary.  I warn you not to test us.  We have a device
>         called Corbomite.  If anyone or anything attempts to <ZOT!>
>         this vessel, the Corbomite absorbes the energy, and
>         generates a counter<ZOT!> of equal magnitude, destroying the
>         attacker.  [gestures]
>
> Uhura:  Hailing frequencies closed.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oracle: Corbomite?  Feh.  The Oracle is all-seeing, and It knows that
}         there is no such thing as corbomite.
}
}                       <ZOT>
}
} [The Enterprise explodes.  The Oracle is not affected.]
}
} Oracle: Good riddance.


499-04    (1385n dist, 4.2 mean)
Selected-By: CLHP19@VAXB.STRATHCLYDE.AC.UK

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

> Okay Orrie,
>
> This planet isn't big enough for the two of us. I'll meet you in front
> of Delphi at High Noon tomorrow.
>
>               Thor.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The scene is Delphi.  The cheering crowds are composed of Vikings
} warriors armed with battle axs, spears, broadswords, daggers, maces,
} slingshots, etc. and computer science students armed mostly with a WAN
} network of UNIX machines and several cases of Jolt.  The referee steps
} into the ring.  He is small energetic man from Chicago.
}
} "Ladieees and Gentlemen..."
}
} The Vikings boo.  Someone throws a mace.
}
} "...iiin This Corna!  The boy from Valhalla, the wielder of
} Mojllinier.. THOR, God of Thunder !"
}
} A heavily muscled god (I mean we are talking he has muscles on his
} muscles) stands up and waves a very large hammer.
}
} The Vikings cheer and go wild.  Three monitors and a laser printer are
} smashed. The Vikings are amply stocked with mead and begin to drink
} heavily.  Most of the Vikings suddenly have their credit ratings
} DRASTICALLY reduced in computer files around the world.  This does
} not appear to worry them.
}
} "Iiiiiiin This Corna!  The local champion! The Omnicient, Omnipotent
} Uuuuuuusenet Oracle!"
}
} A wise, and good looking god wearing a toga stands and raises his
} hands. A beautiful goddess looks on in adoration.  The CS students seem
} to cheer more for her than the Oracle.  A Viking standing behind her
} does something rude.  He receives a quick knee to the groin, goes down
} and does not get up again.  The Vikings give Lisa a little space.
}
} "Awright boys, come here and shake hands."  Thor blows snot on the
} ring. "Now you know the rules, no hitting below the belt, no rabbit
} punchs and no destroying the world in your struggle.  Now go back to
} your corna and come out fighting."
}
} The ref jumps out of the ring and gets behind some heavy lead
} shielding.
}
} (ding)
}
} <ZOT>[RUMBLE]<ZOT><ZOT>[CRASH][BOOM]<ZOT>[BOOM][Cr-aaa-ks][BOOM]
} [THUMP]<ZOT><ZOT><!!ZOT!!>[rumblerumblerumblerumbleB O O M]<duck>
} <ZOT><ZOT>[Ka-BOOM!><zot>[BOOM][!!BOOM!!][CHRUSH][GRIND]<zot>[B O O M]
}
} (ding)
}
} Several hundred of the Vikings are incinerated.  The CS students had
} politly "allowed" them to get ringside seats.  Thor goes to his corner
} and drains a keg of mead.  The Oracle stagger back to his corner and
} collapses onto his stool.  He is bleeding from his nose and both ears.
} "Orrie, you idiot! You are fighting his kind of fight.  Don't let this
} Nordic redneck from the Ice Age kick your butt!".  Gasp, pant  "Your
} right Lis'.  Okay."
}
} (ding)
}
} [rummmbleBOOM]<rm -r /dev/Mojllinier> "Hey! vot are you doing?"
} <cntl-C> "I vill get you!" <kill -9 T...> [lighting bolts all over the
} world rain down on computer centers everywhere.  California is
} devastated, as is other localized areas such as New York and Boston.
} Surge protectors everwhere kick in but in most cases they just melt.
} Many hard disks are crashed.  Much of the backbone connections for
} internet are wiped out. IBM declares a fire sale.]
}
} (ding)
}
} The Oracle is seriously burnt.  Lisa doses him with a bucket and puts
} out his toga.  Thor does not look well either, he is pale and glassy
} eyed.  "Orrie, koff, koff, you got to do something!" The Oracle manages
} a nod.
}
} (ding)
}
} "How much wood co.."  Thor craftily kicks the Oracle in the stomach.
} The two foes circle warily, looking for a hold.  The CS students start
} chanting "Thor is obsolete.  He is a great big geek."  The surviving
} Vikings rush them but are repelled with great losses.  This give the
} Usenet Oracle an idea.  Pointing his finger "You are old Thor.  You're
} out dated. That what this is all about!" Thor screams "Shuten Upen!"
} and rushes.  The Oracle step one side and sticks out his foot. Thor,
} the towering mountain range of muscle that he is, does a face plant.
} The Oracle jumps on his back.
}
} (ding)
} "shit"
}
} Both fighters go to their corners.  Thor drains two kegs of mead.  Lisa
} rubs the Oracles shoulders.  "Orri, keep up the attack. I have an
} idea."
}
} (ding)
}
} Thor looks dangerous. He makes slow pawing motions with his hands as he
} circles.  "Admit it Thor, supermarkets confuse you.  You like M-TV
} but only heavy metal.  You can't fill out a tax form."  Thor rallies
} "Der Viking live un looten und pillagen."  "An old idea based on an old
} system.  Free market economics prevail today." "Girly Mun!" "You
} are old fashioned and quaint."  "Real mun don't eat quiche!"  Suddenly
} Lisa stands up waving a cellular telephone.  "Yoo hoo Thooooooor.
} I have a phone call for you."  Thor looks suspicious.  "It's your wife."
} Thor looks scared. He cradles the reciever. "Um, goodenmuning
} dukinshin.. NO! I...I vork late....No i din't get fired again....
} ...yes I know dur economy is not that good...no..but..but...no..
} awcomon...no."  He sighs and absently crushes the phone.  Without
} looking the Oracle in the eye, Thor climbs out of the rings and head
} home.
}
} Disappointed and sobered Vikings (which amount to the same thing)
} trail after him, dragging broadswords and battleaxs in the dust.  The
} CS students let out a cheer.  The ref sticks his head up.
} "The winner and still champiiiooon, the Usenet Oracle!"
}
} [Much later after a very large party]
}
} The Oracle leans back back with hands on his head.  "Ya know Lis'
} I guess family values are good for something after all."


500-10    (234ao dist, 4.2 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> ** TIME PARADOX TURBO E-MAIL **
> DATE : 20th December 2017
> SUBJECT : Operation COUNTERZOT
> FROM : connorj@rebelhq.garbage.dump  (John Connor, Shock Resistance)
> STATUS : URGENT
>
> There are two Terminators trying to blow my ass off right now so I'll
> be brief.  SKYNET has sent back a Series: X9000 Terminator to
> assassinate you! Why?  Well, we've discovered the best way to attack
> SKYNET is by repeatedly sending it variations of the wood chuck
> question by e-mail, thus crossing it's circuits and confusing the hell
> out of it.  SKYNET is convinced that you are the reason the wood chuck
> question was invented.  Boy, does it *hate* you!  We sent back an agent
> to help you, but he was arrested for indecent exposure (why can't they
> invent a time machine that works on clothes ?)  The X9000 can change
> into a series of electrical pulses and travel across the net at twenty
> times the speed of normal e-mail.  Its chief weapon is its <ZIT> ray,
> which afflicts whoever it strikes with such bad acne they commit
> suicide.
> Good luck.  You, humanity and wood chucks are depending on you.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Egads.  There's only one thing to do: clone a Schwarzenegger simulacrum
} and teleport my consciousness into it.  With Arnold's brawn and my
} brains the X9000 will be /dev/null fodder in no time.  Here goes...
}
}         %clone -o schwarzenegger
}           fatal error: insufficient body mass
}           attempting to reduplicate with two smaller bodies...
}           _______                                 ________
}                  \       *** RRRRIIIIP ***       /
}                   \_____________   _____________/
}                                 \ /
} Hello!  I am Hans Orakel...      | ... und I am Franz Orakel, und ve
}                                  | are hier to
}                                  |
} WISE *YOU* UP!!                  | WISE *YOU* UP!!
}                                  |
} Ja, Frans, look vot I haf hier   |
} today, a puny little brainless-  |
} Supplicant vot is zo schtupid    |
} he doesn't even know how to      |
} grovel!                          |
}                                  | Ja, he doesn't know how to
}                                  | praise der magnificence of our
}                                  | extremely enormous cerebellums
}                                  | mit his puny little macho-man
}                                  | cranium!
} Oh, und he is so schtupid--      |
} listen now und hear me later--   |
} he vants to know, "Vot is der    |
} meaning of life?"                |
}                                  | Such a pea-brain little macho-man
}                                  | qvestion!  The silly television-
}                                  | watching-person has surely never even
}                                  | read Kierkegaard or Jean-Paul Sartre!
} Ja, aber me and Franz, we read   |
} L'Etre et le neant in French     |
} while ve brush our teeth!  Und   |
} we speak fluent Danish, too!     |
}                                  | Ja, und listen, puny little macho-
}                                  | brain: "Der world is all dat is
}                                  | der case!"  Dat is Wittgenstein,
}                                  | whose name you probably cannot even
}                                  | say mit your big ape-like mouth!
} Ja, und Franz, hear his oder     |
} qvestion, "Hau much vood could   |
} a voodchuck chuck if a voodchuck |
} could chuck vood?"               |
}                                  | Ach, der tiny microbe-brain suppli-
}                                  | cant, der poor baby does not know
}                                  | dat Russell und Whitehead haf
}                                  | answered der Voodchuck Qvestion
}                                  | so long time ago in Principia
}                                  | Mathematica!!
} Ja, zo listen now and hear us    |
} in the future, dachshund-brain:  |
} pump yourself up mit some smart  |
} drugs und do many brain teasers  |
} und read der Usenet until your   |
} itsby-bitsy flabby macho-man     |
} brain has many strong neural     |
} connections!                     |
}                                  | So nau, Hans, hier is another
}                                  | qvestion from a foolish Supplicant
}                                  | in der Futur varning us about a
}                                  | Terminator coming to kill us!
} Ooooh, a Terminator, I am so     |
} scared I might not remember      |
} pi to 10,000 places!             |
}                                  | Ja, vot is der overgrown macho-man
}                                  | Terminator going to do to us, mit
}                                  | all his brains in his massive
}                                  | buttocks?  He cannot even count
}                                  | higher than ten because he has
}                                  | no more fingers!
} Ha-ha, Franz, you forget his     |
} enormous overgrown macho-man     |
} male organ!  I am zo impressed   |
} that he can count to eleven!     |
} But wait until he sees us doing  |
} binary division in our heads!    |
}                                  | Ja, die Terminator will go running
}                                  | back to his macho-man Futur ven he
}                                  | sees our enormous cerebral organs
}                                  | engaged in massif cogitation!  Shall
}                                  | we show der audience hau ve vill
}                                  | terrify die flea-brained Terminator?
} Ja, like ZO:                     |
}                                  |
}    <KNITS BROW FURIOUSLY>        |      <KNITS BROW FURIOUSLY>
}                                  |
}                                  | Zo remember, friends, take many
}                                  | logic und computer science classes
}                                  | und someday you may have big
}                                  | nerdy-man brains like ours!  Until
}                                  | next time, I am Franz Orakel...
} Und I am Hans Orakel, und ve     |
} are hier to.....                 |
}                                  |
}       WISE *YOU* UP!!            |       WISE *YOU* UP!!!


481-10    (037cg dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> You're a much better poet than Frost,
> And your teeth are so perfectly flossed.
>      Now I've grovelled real well,
>      So I hope you will tell
> Where virginity goes when it's lost.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} There once was a man named Einstein
} who asked me just how did light shine
}      he wanted to know,
}      just where do they go,
} those photons that move in a line
}
} I told him his thinking should swerve
} along a non-classical curve
}      for just like virginity,
}      in any proximity
} photons just are not conserved.


485-02    (225bi dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: CLHP19@VAXE.STRATHCLYDE.AC.UK

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

> --

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Somewhere in the North Atlantic.  Aboard the USS Dallas
} -------------------------------------------------------
}
}   "Skipper, I've got something on passive!"
}   "What is it Jonesey?" the skipper scowled.  He was a good man, and he
} regarded this particular stretch of ocean as his own.  If there was a
} ship out there, his job was to destroy it.  Or die trying.
}   "I'm not sure.  It was a real strange noise.  I don't think I've
} heard anything like it.  Not since Cal Tech at least.  It was almost
} like someone," Jonesey paused, "well, like someone picked up the line on
} an active modem, sir." Jones had a thought what the strange noise might
} really be, but he knew that nobody would ever believe him.  At least
} not without proof.
}   "Well, keep an ear out for it.  Let me know the instant it returns."
}
} Langley Virginia, Central Intelligence Headquarters
} ---------------------------------------------------
}
}   "I know it's quitting time Jack, but I've got something I want you to
} see."
}   Jack Ryan sighed.  He desperately wanted to get home and see Cathy,
} his wife, but he also knew that if Admiral Greer wanted to keep him
} after work, that something pretty important was in the works.
}   "I'll be right there Admiral."  Jack hung up the phone, and grabbed
} his briefcase.  In ten minutes, he was in his boss' office.
}
}   "All right Jack, listen to this, and tell me what you think."  The
} Admiral played a fragment of tape.  All that Jack could hear were two
} drawn out pulses of noise.
}   "Where did this come from?"
}   "Come on, Jack, you know better than to ask me that."
} Jack frowned.  That meant that this was important, and that the Admiral
} was probably risking his commission just by playing the tape for him.
}   "It wouldn't by any chance be from the North Atlantic, would it?"
}   "What makes you think that?"
}   "Just that we know that the Russians have been trying to establish a
} secret Internet feed somewhere near Greenland, and that sequence you
} just played for me happens to be the tonal equivalent of the null
} message generated by a buggy newsreader, using the new news protocol
} for signature files.  But if that's true, then it means they are still
} using acoustic lines, and not fiber optics.  Why?"
}   "That's what we want you to find out."
}   "When do I leave?"
}   "Right now."
}
} Moscow, K.G.B. Headquarters
} ---------------------------
}
}   "Dostoy, you are a fool."  The Major was angry, and the pathetic worm
} before him had made yet another blunder.  Major Korsikov would have
} loved to have had Dostoy sent to a camp somewhere, but unfortunately
} the fool's brother served on the Politburo, and as such, he was
} untouchable.
}   "Please Vladimir, you know that it wasn not my fault.  And besides,
} no damage was done."
}   "No damage indeed.  You very nearly single handedly destroyed months
} of work.  If we do not establish this Internet feed, we will be unable
} to corrupt the west through Usenet news, and destroy the west's
} industrial backbone.  You are quite fortunate that nobody discovered
} your little blunder."
}
} Somewhere in the North Atlantic.  Aboard the USS Dallas
} -------------------------------------------------------
}
}   "Skipper, you're gonna hate this."
}   "What is it?"
}   "You remember that ex-Marine who decided he wanted to get on board
} when we were out to sea a few months back?"
}   "Ryan, the one that almost got himself and a couple of my men
} killed?"
}   "Yeah him.  Well, he's back."
}   "Shit."
}
}   Aboard the Navy helicoptor, Spirit of Duluth, Jack Ryan was
} remembering everything he hated about flying.  At least there were no
} storms this time. This time, the transfer to the Dallas was much
} smoother.  Soon, he was talking to the submarine's CO.
}
}   "So what you're telling me is that the Ruskies are building a secret
} Internet feed, right in our own backyard?"
}   "That's what it's starting to look like, yes.  And somehow, you
} managed to stumble right on it.  Where did you discover the noise?"
}   The captain was dubious, at best.  But still, Ryan had been right
} before, about the defecting Russian submarine.  For the time being at
} least, he probably deserved the benifit out the doubt.  He pointed to
} the map.
}   "Right here."
}   "Take me there."
}
} Three Days Later, aboard the Dallas
} -----------------------------------
}
}   "Well I'll be damned, there it is."  The Dallas had surfaced, and
} there floating on the water was an old PC with a phone and acoustic
} modem attached.  "Break out a raft."
}   Ryan, the captain, and Jones rowed out to the floating computer.
}   Suddenly Jonesey grinned like a cheshire cat.  "That was what was so
} familiar!" he exclaimed.
}   "What it is?"
}   "The tones, it wasn't ASCII sir?"
}   "So, we know that, I don't understand?"  Ryan was a little confused.
}   "No, that's just the point, it wasn't binary either.  The reason the
} Russians weren't able to compromise our system is that they were using
} EBDIC."  Jones smiled again, "I remember back at Cal Tech one time we
} tried to get the scheduling computer to output everthing in Latin.
} Well we couldn't do it until we..."
}   Fortunately for the bored occupants of the raft, they had reached the
} makeshift workstation.  Ryan picked up the phone and was greeted by
} horrendous static.
}   "Nasty," Jonesey muttered, "1200 baud."
}   Reaching around the back of the machine, Jack Ryan found the power
} switch and turned it off.  Finally, he thought, I can rest.
}
} Home of Dr and Dr Jack Ryan, Alexandria, Virginia
} -------------------------------------------------
}
}   Jack slipped into bed next to his wife.
}   "Mmm, back so soon," she muttered.
}   "This time for good," he replied, slipping his hand down her
} nightgown. Then the phone rang.
}   "Awww f*ck," whined Cathy as her husband answered.


491-09    (152cl dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: CLHP19@VAXB.STRATHCLYDE.AC.UK

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

> The news cameras and reporters had already gathered at the scene.
> "Vultures," Mulhooey thought as he pushed his way through the crowd.
> The reporter from the City NewsCam crew stepped in his path and
> asked the question he'd come to expect.  "So, Lieutenant, will this
> be ANOTHER unsolved one?"  Mulhooey was considering whether it would
> be worth ending his 15-year career for the pleasure of decking her
> when a blue uniform appeared in his field of vision.  "This way,
> Lieutenant."  Saved by the bell again.
>
> The upstairs apartment wasn't a pretty one, but then, he knew that
> already.  He knew it from the moment the phone rang.  He wondered
> again why that kind of call always seemed to come right when he and
> Kay had found a few precious moments for intimacy.  The scene in the
> room brought him back to reality.  He'd seen it all before: a
> typical grad-student hole in the wall, some posters, a few sticks of
> Salvation Army furniture, the blackened computer, pieces of a cheap
> 2400-baud modem, and the charred, contorted form on the floor,
> barely recognizable as having once been human.  A rookie patrolman
> stepped in, and quickly stepped back out again.  Mulhooey counted to
> five.  A retching sound came from the hallway.  "He'll learn," he
> thought, "maybe."
>
> By the desk, the lab boys were still at work.  "Anything?"  "Looks
> pretty much the same as the others, LT."  Evans, the lab tech,
> always called the officers by the initials of their rank.  It
> irritated Mulhooey, and Evans knew that, but Evans was good at what
> he did.  "How about that little idea of yours?"  "Worked like a
> charm, LT."  Mulhooey gave a curt nod.  He felt a grudging respect
> for the man, but would rather die than show it.  "So what can I tell
> those buzzards outside?"  Evans showed a nasty smile.  "Let 'em
> stew.  Say we'll have more in an hour."  "Will it really take you an
> hour?"  The smile got nastier.  "Not even close.  I just think we
> should let them enjoy standing around in the rain for a while."
>
> Mulhooey was smiling, too, as he stepped outside into the glare of
> the TV lights.  "I have an announcement," he shouted above the
> babble of questions.  He gave them a minute to settle down, then
> continued.  "As you all know, there have been numerous unexplained
> homicides involving computers, the so-called Usenet Zot Killings.
> I'm sure you are all eager to find out how our investigation is
> proceeding."  He was enjoying himself thoroughly.  "In cooperation
> with the FBI, the Secret Service, the Indiana State Police, and the
> phone companies, this department has set up a monitoring system.
> The system activates only when an abnormally high voltage is
> detected, so the ACLU can rest easy.  The route is then traced back
> to its origin, something happening even as I speak.  In about an
> hour...."
>
> He broke off as Evans unexpectedly appeared next to him.  His usual
> cockiness had evaporated; he looked scared.  So scared, in fact,
> that he forgot to be irritating.  "Lieutenant, I'm done with the
> trace.  It's ... it's ... "

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Mulhooey grabbed the scrap of yellow memo paper that Evans was holding
} out to him.  There was nothing on it but the number "42" written with
} a soft pencil, several thick strokes to each line.
}
} "I don't get it.  What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
}
} "It's the telephone number," stammered Evans.  "We triple-checked the
} results and ran it through the line deoscillator a dozen times.  The
} originating call is coming from 42.  That's our Zotter."
}
} "42?  Just 4-2?"  Evans nodded.
}
} "What kind of bullshit number is that supposed to be?  Hell,
} that isn't even an area code.  Joseph and Mary and the papoose, man,
} have you lost it entirely?  Look here..."
}
} Mulhooey pulled the handset of a cellular phone out of his squad car
} and angrily stabbed at the "4" and then the "2."  Scowling, he held the
} phone up as if to flaunt the silence, but suddenly he froze as he heard
} the click of a connection.  He slapped the receiver to his ear, cutting
} its sound off from the onlookers.
}
} What was this nonsense he was hearing?  Answers to all your questions?
} "Look, Mac," Mulhooey barked, "I don't give a pig's left ball if you
} can tell me how much woo--"
}
} "NO, Lieutenant!" Evans screamed as his boss began to mouth the rounded
} vowel.  Then everything happened at once: the TV cameras shorted,
} the NewsCam reporter shrieked, and the pungent odor of burnt gumshoe
} filled the air.
}
} If Mulhooey could have counted to five, he would have smiled just then.


485-06    (4358i dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: ewhac@ntg.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

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

> I've had enough of your abuse!  I'm going back to ELIZA!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} DO YOU FEEL GOING BACK TO ELIZA IS RIGHT?


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