Home Page Internet Oracle


About Me




Radio Shows

Travel Narratives

Internet Oracle


TV Guide


Contact Me

Oracularities from Digests 1000-1099


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

> O luciferous Oracle,
> My son is afraid to go to school because he thinks it might be bombed
> by NATO. And we live in Kansas! How can I reassure him?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I don't think you can.
} Unfortunately, he's not worried about the North Atlantic Treaty
} Organization, he's worried about the Nebraska and Tennessee
} Organization. It's not as well-known as the North Atlantic folks...yet.
} Nebraska and Tennessee are tired of all the other states getting all
} the attention.  The other states have snow-capped mountains,
} sun-drenched beaches, famous historical sites, or all of the above.
} But the only time anyone ever hears of Nebraska and Tennessee is during
} college football season, on the Valvoline Halftime Report.
} The new NATO is soon going to begin their campaign to wipe all the
} tourist attractions in other states off the map.  Bombings will
} certainly be a major component, but that's not all.  There will be, of
} course, the intentional spillage of billions of gallons of oil, enough
} to foul all the miles of ocean, gulf, and even bay coastline in the
} country.  There's the intentional release of millions of cubic
} centimeters of CFCs into the upper atmosphere, which will cause
} unprecedented global warming that will keep mountains snow-free
} forever.  And there's even the top-secret "Project Unravel," which is
} supposed to have a disastrous effect on the World's Largest Ball of
} Twine.
} The good news is that unless your son's school is a tourist attraction,
} he's probably safe there.  But make sure you and your son never, ever
} again go anywhere near any museums, monuments, amusement parks, large
} shopping malls, or (and I think this goes without saying) anything
} "Wizard of Oz"-related.
} Of course, the other option is to try to defeat NATO before the mayhem
} starts.  I think the best strategy at this point would be to create
} internal dissension.  Remind Nebraska that Tennessee not only has
} Graceland and Opryland, they had that mutual fund commercial ten years
} ago that created a catch phrase ("Tax-free in 49 states...sorry,
} Tennessee!").  And remind Tennessee that Nebraska has, uh, cool state
} highway markers with a covered wagon on them.
} My personal strategy is to keep a close eye for any Nebraska or
} Tennessee license plates in the parking lot here at the Oracular
} Temple.  If necessary, I can disguise things by temporarily shutting
} down the Staff of Zot ride and moving a potted plant in front of the
} door to the gift shop.
} Actually, come to think of it, you owe the Oracle some new billboards
} on Interstate 65:  "How many tourists could a tourist attraction
} attract if a tourist attraction could attract tourists?  Visit the
} Oracular Temple in Bloomington and find out!  (NE, TN Residents: This
} is NOT a tourist attraction.)"

Danger...inside joke1096-05

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

> Oh Great Oracle, who could easily win a Best of Ten Test of Knowledge
> against Ben Stein, please enlighten this humble supplicant.
> Has Zadoc been taking lessons from Jimmy Kimmel?  He seems to have
> appropriated Jimmy's style in a recent appearence in the
> Oracularities...

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, the truth is that we finally decided Zadoc's official role should
} be that of "sidekick," mainly because we noticed that the average
} sidekick is alternately demure and incredibly annoying, much like
} Zadoc.  We weren't sure exactly how he should play his role, so we had
} him respond to a question chosen at random from the queue in a variety
} of different styles. I don't want to reprint the question here, but I
} think you'll be able to get the gist of it.  Here is a sampling of the
} results...
} ANDY RICHTER: As much wood as a...what was the question again?
} KATHIE LEE: All I know is that my Cody could do it better than any dumb
} old woodchuck!
} ART GARFUNKEL: Ooh ooh ooh ooh aah.  [This is a textual representation
} of the harmony portion of "The Only Living Woodchuck in Indiana."]
} KEVIN EUBANKS: Hee hee hee hee.  That's funny, Jay.
} JERRY LEWIS: Oh, Dean, I do not think woodchucks can do the wood
} chucking with the logs and the stubby little armsenheiven.
} ED McMAHON: Two quarts an hour...oh, I'm sorry, two CORDS.
} JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, I think a better question would be where is he
} chucking it?  I mean, I wouldn't go around the forest chucking my wood
} just anyplace, if you know what I mean.
} When all was said and done, we decided to pick the least of 275 evils,
} and so Zadoc has adopted a Jimmy Kimmel persona.  I don't mind, because
} he's so into his role that, every weeknight at 7:30, he asks me a few
} easy questions and then hands me $5,000.
} I invite you to write, call, or e-mail to cs.indiana.edu in the hope,
} infinitesimal as it might be, that on some planet, on some distant day,
} you might not owe the Oracle anything.


Note: After another extended dry spell (about six months), I made the Digest again with a fairly non-humorous reply to a non-question. It's almost all true, too.

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

> Oracle, dear Oracle...
> In my life, I've been shot at and missed, shot at and hit, stabbed,
> burned, half-drowned and nearly snake-bit (once by a cottonmouth and
> another time by a diamond-back rattlesnake).
> I've seen a great grey owl and watched an ermine chase a mouse over the
> frozen snow. Once, at 2:00 in the morning, I danced under the northern
> lights in Churchill, Manitoba.
> I've been lied to, lied about and lied for. I've had good friends, bad
> friends and best friends. I've been a son, a brother, a husband and a
> father. I've been an archaeologist, a marine, a librarian and a
> businessman. I've been rich, I've been poor and I've been
> flat-on-my-butt broke.
> My great-grandfather fought in the Great War, my grandfather fought the
> Klan, my father fought the communists and, once, I fought a black bear
> (I lost).
> I've been in cathedrals, museums, some of the greatest libraries in the
> world and, one time, I was even in a topless bar in the French Quarter
> of New Orleans.
> I've eaten sushi in Tokyo, potato soup in West German inns and steak on
> the U.S.S. United States. I've been in storms in the Bering Sea and saw
> the most magnificent thunderstorm in my life in the Badlands of South
> Dakota.
> I've seen cat fights, dog fights, squirrel fights and even an alligator
> fight. I was even in a bar fight in a seedy lumberjack bar in southern
> Oregon (it wasn't that much fun).
> I've read books, written books, borrowed books, bought books, sold
> books and lost books.
> A lot of people think that life is a straight line from point "A" to
> point "B". Personally, I don't see it that way. I've zigged and zagged
> all my life. I probably always will.
> As strange as it sounds, with all the very strange things that have
> happened to me, and despite all odds, I can't wait to see what God has
> planned for me tomorrow morning.
> So, please, don't worry about me. It'll be fine.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Supplicant, dear Supplicant...
} In my life, I've been shot on film, shot on video, stabbed with a
} pencil, burned by the sun, held my breath for two minutes underwater,
} and bit by a disagreeable hamster.
} I've seen someone dressed in a Woodsy Owl suit and watched police cars
} chase a Ford Bronco over the L.A. freeways.  Once, at 2:00 in the
} morning, I danced under the incandescent lights in my college dorm's
} lounge.
} I've lain in bed a lot.  I watch "Friends" every Thursday night.  I've
} been an incarnation of the Oracle.  I get a lot of preapproved credit
} card applications.
} Once, I fought the urge to eat an entire 8-ounce block of extra sharp
} cheddar cheese (I lost).
} I've been in airports, train stations, some of the most depressing bus
} depots in the Midwest and, once, I was even in the same men's room as
} Jerry Springer.
} I've eaten McDonald's in London, I've eaten McDonald's in Stockholm and
} McDonald's on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  I've been in storms in
} science museums where you can get in a room and pretend to be in a
} storm.
} I've seen HBO and Showtime rebroadcasts of heavyweight fights (they
} weren't that much fun).
} As far as I know, the computer system at the Tampa, Florida, public
} library thinks I've had a book out since 1988.
} A lot of people think that life is a straight line from point "A" to
} point "B".  Personally, I don't see it that way.  I've passed points
} "B" and "C" already and am nearing "D".
} As strange as it sounds, with all the dullness and boredom that has
} happened to me, I'm planning on getting up tomorrow morning and going
} to work, then going out with a couple of friends to see a band play.
} So, please, don't worry about me either.  I may not have seen and done
} anywhere near as much as you, but it'll be fine.

Danger...inside joke1030-01 (Made the "Best of the Oracularities")

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

> Did you write the book of love and do you have faith in God above, if
> the bible tells you so? Now do you believe in rock and roll? Can music
> save your mortal soul and can you teach me how to dance real slow?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A long, long time ago
} I can still remember sacrifices
} That were lit on fire
} I put the priestess in a trance
} And I would watch the women dance
} Around the blazing wooden pyre
} But then things became really rotten
} The gods and I were all forgotten
} Temples went to ruin
} No phoenix ever flew in
} I think I let out one quick sob
} When I heard that Zeus got a temp job
} He became just another slob
} The day the worship died
} So bye, bye, Miss Grecian Ideal
} Drove the chariot to Sparta, it was missing a wheel
} The gods on Mount Olympus sat on their sandaled heels
} Singing "This'll be the day that I die,
} This'll be the day that I die."
} Did you come out of the sea
} And do you want to marry me?
} If your father wants it so
} Now, are you the one with inward eye
} Or the one who cannot tell a lie?
} Forgive me, for I do not know
} Now, I know you cursed his family's name
} 'Cause omniscience is my claim to fame
} The sword went through his heart
} Man, it tore the world apart
} I gave my answers read in goat entrails
} Ambiguity never fails
} But I chewed on my fingernails
} The day the worship died
} I started singing
} (repeat chorus)
} Now, for centuries, I was all alone
} With no temple to call my own
} But I didn't just sit there and grieve
} As I wandered over all the Earth
} Far from the land that gave me birth
} I met up with a man named Steve
} He said, "Do you know the Internet?"
} I said, "I know it all, so, yeah, you bet."
} He said, "I've got a job for you!"
} I had nothing else to do
} His job offer was firm
} The contract was long-term
} And so I moved up to Bloomington
} I thought I might have lots of fun
} But I knew not what I had done
} The day the worship died
} I was singing
} (repeat chorus)
} Unix, Windows, see how my e-mail grows
} The priests selecting the best ten of those
} 80 megs and rising fast
} The storage capacity passed
} The admin tried to make it last
} With Steve Kinzler standing there looking aghast
} Now, the scientists and engineers
} Had been alone for years and years
} They kept it all hush-hush
} Oh, but then came the newbie crush
} 'Cause the college kids discovered me
} AOL set its users free
} That was in the fall of '93
} The day the worship died
} They started singing
} (repeat chorus)
} And the priests were all in one place
} With worried looks upon their face
} With a question asked repeatedly
} They said, "What do you want us all to say?
} This came ten thousand times today."
} I said, "What could that question be?"
} It rhymed and was alliterative
} Forever would this question live
} No zot staff forged in hell
} Could break this question's spell
} And as the papers piled in front of me
} No groveling did I see
} I saw rodents chucking wood with glee
} The day the worship died
} They were singing
} (repeat chorus)
} I wasn't having too much fun
} I searched for a decent question
} But no good answer could I make
} I walked down to the temple floor
} Where I got good questions years before
} But the priests had no good questions I could take
} And meanwhile, there you were, you know
} Listening to your radio
} The DJ's smoking, that's why
} He played "American Pie"
} And you sent half a verse off to me
} Thinking enigmatically
} I replied with a song parody
} The day the worship died
} I was singing
} Bye, bye, Miss Grecian Ideal
} Drove the chariot to Sparta, it was missing a wheel
} The gods on Mount Olympus sat on their sandaled heels
} Singing "This'll be the day that I die,
} This'll be the day that I die."


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

> Oracle, you are the apex of all knowledge, your briefest utterance
> contains enough wisdom to get a family of four through a harsh winter.
> What is the story behind Pythagorean sects?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I believe it goes something like this:
} Given three people of heights a, b, and c, the best possible menage a
} trois occurs when a^2+b^2=c^2.
} You owe the Oracle a better hearing aid.


Note: Whoo-hoo! I got an answer in the much-anticipated Digest #1000!

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

> O Oracle most technological, please deign to answer this unworthy
> supplicant's stupid question...
> How do I make that (&*@#%^ "12:00" stop flashing on my VCR, short of
> pulling the plug?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Continually blink your eyes in rhythm to the clock.  The clock will
} either then turn off or steadily display "12:00," but your VCR's
} operation will remain unaffected.
} You owe the Oracle a DVD player.

Back to Top

Page Last Updated: June 17, 1999