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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.

Danger...inside joke1123-06

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.

1104-04 (Made the "Best of the Oracularities")

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