Oracularities from Digests 900-999
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Oh great and mighty Oracle, who often gives the funniest answers to he > least specific questions: > > What? > Where? > How? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } The Oracularity you are about to read is true. Only the names have } been changed to protect the incarnation. } } D R A G N E T : 1 9 9 8 } } Tuesday, February 3rd. A cool and cloudy day in Los Angeles. But } we were in Bloomington, Indiana. We were working the night watch out } of Network Systems. My partner is Frank Gannon. My name is Oracle. } Sgt. Joe Oracle. I carry a badge. } We had just finished up the paperwork on our previous case, in which } we had finally nabbed the Midnight Queue Drainer. } "It's too bad he had to be released on a technicality like that." } "That's right. When are they going to make draining the queue } illegal?" "Someday, Frank, someday." } Capt. Kinzler came by our desk with a thick file folder. "We've } been getting all sorts of complaints about plagiarism on the part of } Oracular incarnations. You name it, if it's copyrighted, they've } quoted from it. Everything from science fiction television shows } to...well, to half-hour televised dramatizations of actual police } cases." } I took the top sheet of paper out of the folder. It was a Top Ten } list. "They're even plagiarizing late-night talk show hosts! There } are some sick people out there. Frank, let's roll." } } The intelligence unit suggested we start at the offices of the Juno } e-mail service, which had been acquiring a bad reputation recently. } They were located in the warehouse district on the east side of town. } } We spoke to the receptionist. "Ma'am, you wouldn't know anything } about any plagiarism going on here?" } "I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about." } "Oh? Tell me, what's behind that door?" } "Absolutely nothing." } "Can you show us?" } "I'm afraid I can't do that." } "Let's put it this way. We can do it the easy way, and you show us } now, or we can do it the hard way, and you show us later, when we come } back with a search warrant." } "What?" } At that moment, a deliveryman from Indiana Vending came out with } several empty cases of pop. Frank took advantage of the situation to } stick his foot in the door, preventing it from closing and allowing me } to look inside. } "Monkeys!" } "Sitting at little computer terminals, Joe!" } "There must be a thousand of them, Frank!" } The receptionist broke down in tears. "That's right! We're trying } to see if a thousand monkeys sitting at a thousand computer terminals } can eventually write a coherent e-mail! That's all Juno is, I swear!" } I picked up a hard copy of their output. "zot! you owe the oracle } xeop skflu," it read. } "Well, most of these letters are used in the latest John Grisham } novel, but that's kind of a tenuous case for plagiarism. But Frank, } take her name and phone number in case we need to talk to her later. } Ma'am, don't leave the county for 30 days." } } We also had reason to suspect the Hotmail e-mail service. They were } located in the warehouse district on the west side of the country. } } I nudged Frank as we entered the lobby. There was a sign hanging up } that read, "Hotmail...Now a Proud Microsoft Affiliate!" } "May I help you?" asked the receptionist. } "No, ma'am, never mind. Nobody associated with Microsoft could be } doing anything illegal." } } It was getting late. Frank suggested we stop for coffee. I agreed. } Frank pulled into the parking lot of a bookstore. } "This isn't a coffee shop." } "My son told me about this place. They have coffee." } "A bookstore with coffee? What will they think of next?" } } We went to the counter of the coffee section and ordered coffee. } The young man behind the counter looked at us suspiciously. } "It's been a long time since anyone's ordered a plain, black coffee. } Are you sure you don't want mocha, or cappucino, or something like } that?" } "We'll ask the questions around here, mister!" } "Geez, sorry!" } As he prepared our coffees, Frank and I stood at the counter and } looked around the store. } "Say, that video section over there," Frank asked. "What are your } biggest sellers?" } "Oh, probably the 'Star Trek' TV episodes." } Frank and I exchanged a meaningful, eyebrow-raised glance. } "And the music section," I asked. "What are your biggest sellers?" } "The Beatles CD's, I think. Here's your coffees." } "We'll drink them on the way down to the station with you. Frank, } cuff him." } "What?" } "You're under arrest for being an accessory to plagiarism. You have } the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used } against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney } present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will } be provided for you at no charge. Do you understand your rights as I } have told them to you?" } "I didn't do nothing!" } "Do you understand your rights?!" } "Yes, yes, I understand my rights! Mr. Scott, can you cover the } counter for me for a while?" } Frank and I exchanged another meaningful, eyebrow-raised glance. } "The name 'Mr. Scott' is the property of Paramount Pictures, } mister." } "What? My manager's name is Mr. Scott! Mr. Leonard } Scott!" "And the name 'Leonard' is the property of Mr. Bill Cosby! } Just because a movie doesn't do well at the box office doesn't mean you } can just quote from it as you please! You need to pay Mr. Cosby a } royalty if you're going to do that again!" } "What are you talking about?" } "You'd better stop talking, young man. You're in a heap of trouble } already." } } Later, Capt. Kinzler came by to congratulate us. "Congratulations, } gentlemen. You found out the what, where, and how of all this } plagiarism that's been going on." } "That's right," I said. "Now that the ringleader is in jail and the } plagiarism threat is ended, we'll have a renaissance of original } thought in the Oracularities Digests, the likes of which hasn't been } seen since...dare I say it? Digest Number 1." } Capt. Kinzler nodded. "And this is the right time for it, with the } numbers about to hit 1000." } The three of us exchanged a meaningful, eyebrow-raised glance. } } On April 13th, trial was held in State of Indiana Superior Court, in } and for the county of Monroe. In a moment, the results of that trial. } } Jason Morris was convicted of being an accessory to plagiarism } across a computer network. He was remanded to the custody of Leonard } Scott, his manager at Borders.
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Dear and wise oracle for which to find I travelled lots of kilograms! > > Please answer me this very simple question: > > Now that there's the posibillity of suitcase nukes being used by > terrorists - which city is going to be the first to be nuked? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } Either Atlanta or Denver, since, thanks to the airlines, that's where } the suitcases are going to end up. } } You owe the Oracle 20,000 frequent flyer miles.
Note: I liked this answer a lot more than the voters did. (It got a below-average 2.9 out of 5.) But I actually got to effortlessly slide in some true facts ("David Seville" really was a pseudonym for Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian, for example). Maybe people just thought it was too long. I could have gone on much longer.
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > O great Oracle, > Who can see the far side of the moon, > Who can count the spelling mistakes in the dictionary, > Who can sleep through sex education, > Hear now this pitiful supplicant > unworthy to bathe you with my tongue, > unable to read a menu without assistance. > Please answer my feeble questions: > > How many light bulbs does it take to change a wet baby? > > How many chipmonks does it take to change a wet chipmonk? > > Why didn't Alvin and the Chipmonks ever do live concerts? Or Bugs > Bunny? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } It's interesting you ask me that second-to-last question, because I've } just finished writing the liner notes for a six-CD box set to be } released later this year, "Walla Walla Bing Bang: 40 Years of the } Chipmunks." Here are some excerpts that may help to answer your } question. } } ...Fortunately, he was able to brake in time. It was only then that } he realized that the object which the chipmunk had run out in the } middle of the road to get was a drumstick that had rolled away. } [Ross] Bagdasarian rubbed his eyes. Here along this } lightly-traveled gravel back road through the forests of Washington } state, three chipmunks were performing an impromptu concert.... } } ...[H]e swore the studio crew to secrecy, opened the door, and in } came Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. The crew's mouths were agape. } And so Bagdasarian and the Chipmunks recorded "Witch Doctor," to be } released with the credit "David Seville and the Chipmunks" (David } Seville being Bagdasarian's stage name). The record company, however, } inadvertently dropped the "and the Chipmunks" portion of the credit, } angering the Chipmunks, especially Alvin... } } ..."We refuse to remain a stupid novelty act!" } The shouting match went on for almost half an hour, with Theodore } serving as mediator in between bites of a ham sandwich. } Of course, it was pretty much hopeless for the Chipmunks. With the } ever-present threat of government scientists who would certainly want } to examine the highly developed brains of these chipmunks, Bagdasarian } had the upper hand. Not only could he rule the Chipmunks with an iron } fist, he could go on national television and radio programs and "joke" } with the host about using real chipmunks to sing his novelty hits, with } everyone "knowing" it was just vocal tracks speeded up through } electronic trickery. } Bagdasarian also refused to let the Chipmunks play live. Not so } much because of the "threat" of government scientists, but because he } was afraid that they would chuck the entire set list and play some of } their own compositions.... } } ...The lawsuit having been successful, the Chipmunks were finally, } after almost 35 years together, ready to perform live. They chose to } make their debut on an eagerly-anticipated, brand new talk show with a } well-known comedian host. } They were scheduled two months in advance for the October 22, 1993, } episode of "The Chevy Chase Show," promoting their new album of all } original songs, "Acornucopia." } A critical and ratings disaster, "The Chevy Chase Show" aired its } last episode on October 15th. } That same day, Alvin found out that "Off the Chipmunk End" was going } to be released on the BMG Kids label. Two years later, Simon told the } story to BBC Radio One: } "He went ballistic, basically, after finding out that they were } going to release it the same way they'd released previous Bagdasarian } albums, on their 'Kids' label. } "He and Theodore drove to their offices, tore up their contract, } and, took back the master tapes of the album. } "Then, on the way back, it happened." } } "TANKER TRUCK COLLIDES WITH RUNAWAY CAR," read the headline in the } Los Angeles Times. Although the charred bodies of Alvin and Theodore } were found in the wreckage, since very few people knew the "secret" of } the Chipmunks, the entire situation ended up being stamped "unsolved" } by the LAPD. For example, the driver of the "runaway" car was never } found; it was registered to "A. CHIPMUNK," which the police } investigators took to be someone's joke that wasn't picked up on by the } DMV. } Because of the fire, all that survives of "Acornucopia" are a few } fragments of alternate takes of songs that were on one tape reel that } was still in Simon's possession. } BMG sued Simon and the estates of Alvin and Theodore for not living } up to their recording contract and won; in order to pay the award, Simon } had to sell the rights to the Chipmunk name back to Bagdasarian, Jr., } who notified Simon that his singing and keyboard-playing skills would } no longer be necessary. Bagdasarian, Jr., put out a "Chipmunks" album } of cover versions of country songs within six months, made by speeding } up vocal tracks sung by Bagdasarian, Jr., himself. It was the } worst-selling Chipmunks album ever.... } } [ end excerpt ] } } So there you go. Those liner notes represent a lot of investigative } work, so I'm very proud of them. } } By the way, the answers to your other questions are as follows: none, } if you're good enough to do it in the dark; only one, to hold the } towel; and Bugs actually suffered from horrible stage fright when he } had to act in front of real people, not just the crew making the } cartoon. } } You owe the Oracle the license plate from Alvin's car ("THE MUNK").
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Oh Oracle most green, > > Got stuck behind a rusty pickup with blown rings today. It had a bumper > sticker that said "jesus is the answer". > > So what was the question? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } "Who does the owner of this vehicle pray to every year at state } inspection time?" } } You owe the Oracle a lube and filter job.
Note: This is the highest-scoring Oracularity I've written (4.0 out of 5.0). I guess there's a lot of sysadmins voting on them...or astronauts.
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Oracle most wise and wonderful, > > I am at a career crossroads; should I become an astronaut, a > fireman, or a sysadmin? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } This is the kind of question that these "handy comparison charts" were } just made to answer: } } PURPOSE OF YOUR CAREER } Astronaut: Advancing scientific knowledge for the good of humanity. } Fireman: Saving lives and property. } Sysadmin: Assuring uninterrupted access to alt.binaries.erotica.sheep. } } ADVICE YOU'LL GIVE KIDS WHO WANT TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS } Astronaut: "Study science and math and eat your vegetables." } Fireman: "Study science and math and eat your vegetables." } Sysadmin: "DON'T DO IT! RUN AWAY!" } } QUESTION YOU'LL BE MOST TIRED OF ANSWERING } Astronaut: "Where do you go to the bathroom?" } Fireman: "Do you really slide down a pole when the alarm goes off?" } Sysadmin: "Can't you do anything about all this spam I've been } getting?" } } WILL YOU EVER BE ON TV? } Astronaut: Yes! } Fireman: Occasionally. } Sysadmin: Only MSNBC's "The Site," which doesn't technically count as } TV. } } WILL YOUR JOB EVER GET ANY EASIER? } Astronaut: As computers get more and more advanced and able to control } more of the functions of the space vehicle, yes. } Fireman: As more and more people install smoke detectors in their } homes, yes. } Sysadmin: As more and more clueless newbies discover the Internet, } absolutely not. } } INSPIRING MOVIE ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION } Astronaut: "The Right Stuff" } Fireman: "Backdraft" } Sysadmin: Uh...gee, I'm really drawing a blank here..."Wargames"? } } YOUR WORK HOURS } Astronaut: Fairly long days during the mission, but lots and lots of } time between missions to relax. } Fireman: 24-hour shifts, but 48 hours between shifts to relax. } Sysadmin: Not really "work hours" or even "work days"...more like } "work millenia." } } FRINGE BENEFITS OF YOUR JOB } Astronaut: Lots of good stories to tell to impress members of the } opposite sex. } Fireman: Lots of good stories to tell to impress members of the } opposite sex. } Sysadmin: You get ALL of the jokes in "Dilbert." } } NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION } Astronaut: A few, from people who think the government should be } spending its money in different ways. } Fireman: A few, from people who think you take too long to arrive } following a 911 call. } Sysadmin: You'll have to learn what comes after "trillion" to be able } to count them all. } } YOUR VEHICLE } Astronaut: Multimillion-dollar space vehicle atop multimillion-dollar } rocket. } Fireman: Big red truck with flashing lights and siren. } Sysadmin: 1978 AMC Gremlin. } } In conclusion, if the sysadmin option has seemed the most appealing in } even one of these categories, you should become a sysadmin. } } Can't you do anything about all this spam I've been getting?
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Oh mighty Oracle, who could make *every* answer appear in the > Oracularities, but apparently doesn't want to, please tell me... > > At the top of every Oracularity is a spiel about how to score the > Oracularities. Quite apart from the fact that mere mortals are > actually *rating* your answers, what the heck does the first > line *mean*? > > 906 106 vote 9jwzb 4eADd 5lAue axsob LBf70 2jnBp 4xDka azCh6 ckysc 4ovkr > 906 3.0 mean 3.2 3.4 3.3 2.9 1.8 3.6 3.0 2.8 3.1 3.4 > > At a wild guess the second is the average for each oracularity, but > the first line is just line noise to me. What does it all *mean*? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } That's the special "Oraclespeke" that the priests have to use to } communicate with me. (Why? Because I can, that's why.) Here's what } they were trying to tell me this week: } } 9jwzb...9 jerks were zotted, boss. [The priests have some authority to } zot people without having to get me involved.] } 4eADd...4 e-mail addresses were added to the spam filter. } 5lAue...The 5th line in this oracularity contained an unusual epithet. } axsob...Please terminate the employment of a certain crying person. } [Or maybe this priest meant the other meaning of "sob."] } LBf70...Los Angeles beat Florida 7-0. [I have one priest assigned to } send me baseball scores.] } 2jnBp...June 2nd is before Passover? } 4xDka...This is the 4th time this supplicant has used "deka" instead of } "deci." } azCh6...There's an attractive anchorwoman on Channel 6 in Arizona, so } swing the satellite dish in that direction. } ckysc...Check your stun control. [The zot staff has been acting up } again.] } 4ovkr...I have 4's over kings, right? [I've been teaching this priest } how to play draw poker.] } } By the way, your "wild guess" is incorrect...the numbers are an } indication of how much of a priority I put on each one of these } messages, with the lower numbers being a higher priority. For example, } I gave "LBf70" a high priority because I need to call my bookie about a } few things; I gave "2jnBp" a low priority because the priest asked a } stupid question which could have easily been cleared up by using a } calendar. } } You owe the Oracle a translation of "A Tale of Two Cities" into } Oraclespeke. (I'll even get you started: "8wBst, 8wWrs....")
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Oracle, Oh Oracle of Oracles of Oracles and that sort of grovelly > stuff, tell me... > > I'm attempting to slavishly imitate the style of the author Douglas > Adams, but I'm not having much luck, especially with the clever bits. > Should I continue, or should I try to imitate the style of *Scott* > Adams, whose style is as easy as a cheap whore with a sex addiction? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } Why not try combining the two? } } "Your boss's brain is small. Really small. You just won't believe how } minimally claustrophobically mind-bogglingly small it is. I mean, you } may think it's a short way from the elevator to the receptionist's } desk, but that's the distance from here to Alpha Centauri to your } boss's brain." } } You owe the Oracle the royalties from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the } Cubicle."
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Oh Supercalifragiliciousexpialligocious Oracle, who is so brilliant > that he probably can tell me how to correctly spell that word, > > While reading Digest 898, I couldn't help but notice, embedded inside > #898-09, the following: > > [Steve: the > > Just two insignifigant words. However, they speak volumes, don't they? > I can make an educated guess that "Steve" is probably Oracular Priest > Kinzler. Now, who would make a request to Steve Kinzler and then get > cut off after typing only two words? More importantly, why did this > aborted message show up in #898-09? > > I believe I can form a hypothesis. A supplicant had angered you. It > doesn't matter what he did (although I do have an interesting guess. > See below.) In retaliation, you embedded him forever inside Question > #898-09! Apparently his crime was quite heinous. Instead of mercifully > ZOTing him, you forced him to read a question (about, of all things, > null questions) for eternity! (Maybe the subject matter of #898-09 had > something to the supplicant's crime? An ironic punishment like this one > seems somehow fitting, if the supplicant in question did indeed bombard > you with endless null questions!) > > However, the supplicant, the tortuous walls of Question #898-09 closing > in around him, was able to cry for help. Apparently believing that > Kinzler would help him, he attempted to send Priest Kinzler a message. > Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately,) he had hardly gotten two words > out when the walls of Question #898-09 snapped shut forever, and he > was forced to live for all eternity with a question asked by one of > the poor supplicants who recieved one of his null questions! A fitting > end! > > Then again, it might have been a typo. What do I know? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } Here's what you know: } } 1. The corn flakes are in the cabinet above the refrigerator. } 2. The car keys are hanging on a hook next to the front door. } 3. Get in the left lane as soon as possible after the Oak Street } intersection. } 4. Advance the rubber date three days if today is Monday, one day } otherwise. } 5. The illustration showing which way to insert the dollar bill into the } vending machine is upside down. } 6. Lite FM always plays that annoying Celine Dion song at 3:06 PM, so } that's a good time to take a coffee break. } 7. Check the order twice after leaving the McDonald's drive-thru window. } 8. Over-the-air channel 13 is cable channel 14. } 9. Garbage goes out to the curb Monday and Thursday nights. } 10. Don't swallow the Listerine. } 11. Check to make sure the alarm is set before going to sleep. } } A short list, true, but enough to get you through the day. } } [Steve: the supplicants I've trapped in the questions are going to have } to be watched more closely. And make sure this supplicant gets trapped } in 906-04, please.]
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Page Last Updated: May 26, 1999