Oracularities from Digests 1100-1199
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Tell me, oh Oracle most grand - why does the DC Metro system suck more > than any other public transportation system in any major city besides > Atlanta, and why is it the most expensive!? > > Oh, and why can't I live in Boston? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } You're going about it all wrong. You know those lights on the edge of } the platform that supposedly get brighter the closer a train is to the } station? Stare into one of them. Look closer. Closer. } Clo-o-o-o-o-ser... } } There, you see? It's not bad at all. You enjoy the long, slow } escalator ride behind the dense pack of gaping tourists because it } gives you plenty of time to think. The turnstiles never fail to read } your card correctly and deduct the proper fare, which you feel is a } completely reasonable price, because you didn't need that dental } checkup anyway. You love the dark "semicircular waffle iron" } architectural motif of all the underground stations. And the fact that } they all look exactly the same means there are no jarring surprises } during your commute! The only surprises are gentle ones, such as when } you finally figure out what that substance is that's been ground into } the carpet under your feet. Yes, you now have five favorite colors, } and they are Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue, and assuming they ever finish } the construction that's been going on since the days of Pierre } L'Enfant, Green. } } Boston, on the other hand, ew, what a nasty place. At any moment, the } subway tunnels could collapse and cause you to drown in not just water, } but that icky Boston Harbor water. And what kind of a system can you } run for an 85-cent fare? They must have to skimp on all the extras. } Why, some of their trains get their electricity from ugly overhead } wires, not a warm and soothing third rail. And then they have to go } right out on the street, where they could hit a car or worse at any } moment. So just relax, sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the } never-ending ride you're being taken on by the Washington Metropolitan } Area Transportation Authority...the governmental body with the happy } difference. } } Meanwhile, you owe this Southern California-dwelling incarnation of the } Oracle residence in an alternate universe where the Los Angeles subway } system is of comparable size to the New York subway system.
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > The outlook wasn't brilliant for the IU nine that day; > The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play. > And when Kinzler died at first, and Lisa did the same, > A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game. > > A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest > Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast; > They thought if only Orrie could but get a whack at that-- > We'd put up even money now with Orrie at the bat. > > But Og preceded Orrie, as did also Zadoc Worm, > And the former was a caveman and the latter was a germ; > So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat, > For there seemed but little chance of Orrie's getting to the bat. > > But Og clubbed out a single, getting seeds on all his suit, > And Zadoc, much despis-ed, smacked the fur off of the fruit; > And when the kiwi juice settled, and we saw what had occured, > There was Zadoc safe at second and Og a-hugging third. > > Then from 5,000 nodes and more there rose a lusty yell; > It rumbled through the Usenet, it rattled in the Dell; > It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat, > For Orrie, mighty Orrie, was advancing to the bat. And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } There was ease in Orrie's manner as he raised his mighty staff; } Omniscience in Orrie's bearing, and from Orrie's throat, a laugh. } And when, responding to the cheers, he said, "You all sound flat," } No fighting fish could doubt that it was Orrie at the bat. } } Ten thousand eyes were on him as he got his shirt a-tuck; } Five thousand tongues dared not say the forbidden word "woodchuck." } Then while the Purdue pitcher ground the fruit with hidden file, } Orrie's eyes grew full of hate, yet on his face, a smile. } } And now the Chinese gooseberry came hurtling through the air, } And Orrie stood a-watching it, trying to comb his hair. } Knowing just what would happen, he watched it as it sped -- } "Foul behind third," said Orrie. "Strike one," the umpire said. } } From mail servers and from Usenet, the mood got rather dark, } With frowns made up of nearly every punctuation mark. } "K1LL H1M!!!!!!!!!! K1LL THE UMP1RE!!!!!!!!!" said someone on WebTV; } And they would have killed him had they not crashed mysteriously. } } Orrie looked out upon the crowd and sadly shook his head; } Which stilled the rising tumult, causing voices to stop dead. } He yelled back at the pitcher, "Here's a knuckleball from you"; } And just as Orrie had foreseen, the umpire said, "Strike two." } } "FRAUD!!!!!!" cried the maddened thousands, and the echo said, "me } too"; But the FAQ upon the scoreboard made the "bies" somewhat less } "new." The audience saw Orrie snarl, his teeth begin to grit, } And they knew that Orrie predicted this time, he'd get a hit. } } The smile is gone, but still his brain holds knowledge without bound; } RealVideo goes dark without a picture or a sound. } And now only those at the game can see the fruit take flight, } And now only those at the game see Orrie's blinding light. } } Oh, somewhere newsgroup posts resound with humor and with wit; } Somewhere people transcribe every Monty Python bit, } Somewhere minds just come alive with comic genius thought, } But there is no joy at IU--'twas an accidental zot.
The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was: > Ketchup spurting stuntmen are not one zillionth as amazing as > the wise and powerful Oracle! > > How does falsehood differ from imagination? And in response, thus spake the Oracle: } When I tell you I had a good answer to this question, but the dog ate } it, that's falsehood. } } When I tell you I had a good answer to this question, but, you know, } it's a funny story...I was driving down the freeway the other day when } I see a tethered advertising blimp in the distance. Well, I'd been } halfway listening to X-106, the local oldies station (I'm only into it } for the jingles), and I suddenly make realize that the blimp is } pointing the way to an appearance by one of their DJs, "The Fake" Don } Blake, and my favorite early '60s doo-wop group, The Dardanelles. } Needing no further prompting, I quickly take the exit and follow the } blimp to a strip mall parking lot, where a crowd has gathered around a } mobile stage. Don Blake is asking oldies trivia questions for prizes. } Of course, I've soon accumulated an X-106 keychain, T-shirt, } sweatshirt, baseball cap, water bottle, fanny pack, 12 bumper stickers } and a promise from Don that he'll have his intern mail me a tape of the } station jingles. And then it's time for the Dardanelles to take the } stage! Of course, they're quite a bit older than in the pictures on } their original albums, and the 8-track reissues of their albums, and } the CD reissues of their albums, but their pipes are still sounding } real good. I, of course, get right up front and lip-sync the words to } all the songs they perform, from their biggest hit, "When Loving Lovers } Love," to one of their obscure songs that was only released in Sweden, } "Under the Pomegranate Tree Tonight." Several times during the set, I } notice the Dardanelles nudging each other and pointing at me, as if to } say, "Get a load of that guy." Well, after the set, Don Blake urges } everyone to keep listening to X-106, hands out a couple of leftover } bumper stickers, hops into his Porsche and peels out of the parking } lot. Most of the crowd follows suit. I'm about to do the same, but then } the Dardanelles come up to me. The leader, Vince Darden, says something } to the effect of, "Wow, you must be our biggest fan, to know all the } words to everything!" I refrain from mentioning that, being omniscient, } I know all the words to songs I hate, too. We talk for a while, but } then they have to go ("We're playing at a wedding in Muncie tonight"). } First, though, they offer to autograph something for me. Unfortunately, } I hadn't brought any of their recordings with me, so all I have for } them to sign is a piece of paper in my pocket. } } Now, flash forward to earlier today. I'm reading the paper, and right } there on page B-7 is Vince Darden's obituary! He had died quite } unexpectedly, it turns out, the day after I had seen them perform. I } get up to load my Dardanelles CDs into the CD player to do some } listening in memoriam, when the phone rings. It's the Rock and Roll } Hall of Fame, who tracked me down via the surviving Dardanelles. I have } Vince Darden's last autograph, and they want to know if I'll loan it to } them for exhibit. I say I will, and I go so far as to take it } immediately to FedEx so it'll be in Cleveland tomorrow. } } Unfortunately, that piece of paper that the Dardanelles signed had the } good answer to your question on it. } } And that, you see, is imagination. } } You owe the Oracle a tape of music that doesn't really exist, to } include a song by the Dardanelles and some X-106 jingles.
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Page Last Updated: September 29, 2000