Questions 31-40

Question #31


The question was:

O mighty oracle of wisdom!!

I have a quick question...

I attached a piece of toast (buttered side up) to the back of a cat.

I then dropped the cat off of a table.  The cat is now rotating at
about 50 rpm 6 inches off the floor.  I think I've discovered
perpetual motion, but I'm not sure how to keep the cat alive...what
should i do??

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

No, you have not discovered "true" perpetual motion.  What you have
discovered is a principle akin to superconductive levitation.  I
originally dubbed this "anti-gravity" in an Oracularity some time
back, but I did so only to simplify for the layman, and have been
getting flack from physicists ever since.

Anyway, back to your problem.  Air resistance will eventually slow
the cat down, and it will stabilize (but a gentle push will start it
rotating again).  Thermodynamics will have its way, you know.  The
system is in a metastable state anyway, since the cat will
eventually get hungry, eat the toast, and crash to the ground (feet

FUN FACT #367:  Did you know, as long as a piece of buttered toast
is adhered to the cat, it is impossible to discover if the cat is
alive or dead?  This queer phenomenon is known as Schroedinger's
"Cat/Toast" problem.

You owe the Oracle a piece of toast.

Question #32


The question was:

 That is it woman?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Because of the lack of punctuation in your question, I must interpret it
in various ways:

> That, is it woman?

Obviously you have a problem discerning what is a woman.  Here is a simple

  1) Pick any two individuals at random.
  2) Count the number of negatively-curved surfaces
     on each individual.
  3) If the number of negatively-curved surfaces are
     equal, return to step (1).
  4) The individual with the greater number of
     negatively-curved surfaces is the woman.

> That is, it woman?

Obviously a line yanked from the popular comic book, "It Woman (and her
sidekick Troglodyte Boy)."  Since the Oracle is trying to avoid
non-sequitur questions like these, as well as Monty Python, Star Trek,
Douglas Adams, and other references to pop culture, he'll pass.

> That is it, woman?

Yes, without flowers, dinner, or a ring on this finger, that is as far
as you'll get.  If you want a cheap floozy, you'll have to go out and
pay for one.

Sheesh, some men.

You owe the Oracle a natural language parser.

Question #33


The question was:

where did you come from baby? and ooh won't you take me there?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Man, the answer lies in the song!  Why are you asking me?  Oh, and you
got the lyrics wrong, too.  The correct lyrics are:

      Where do you come from?
      Where do you go?
      Whose baby are you?
      I really wanna know.
      Ooooh, Batgirl!

You owe the Oracle Yvonne Craig's autograph.

Question #34


The question was:

Oh great and wise Oracle, please help me, I am in desperate need of
advice.  You see, last night I recieved via UPS my brand-new
build-it-yourself television/entertainment-center stand and counter.
It is a neat thing that has a place for your tv and VCR and whatnot
and is pretty nice mahogany wood.  However, as I opened up the box
and got out my tools, the task of assembling it grew more and more
daunting.  I tried to put it together, but things kept going wrong.
I attached the stupid panel backing a little too high forcing me to
saw the second half a little smaller so that it would fit properly.
Then I did an uneven job so that the left leg wouldn't meet properly
with the bottom shelf and I had to nail that in instead of the
'simple screw method' that was supposed to work.  I was completely
missing the right-back-flange-gate -door-hinge, so I took one off my
wife's dresser.  Anyway, the thing is a complete mess now, and my
wife is in the kitchen with the neighbor lady making fun of me for
being a typical inept man who is too proud to ask for help.  Well,
now I'm asking for help (but don't tell my wife, please.)  HELP!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:


The Oracle suddenly appears inside the supplicant's living room, wearing
only a pair of jeans and a massive tool belt.  The sunlight gleams off
his tanned back as the muscles in his chest ripple with unleased power.
He adjusts the massive bulge in his jeans as he surveys the situation.

The neighbor lady faints dead away.

The Oracle strides over to the entertainment center.  After raising a
disbelieving eye to the supplicant cowering in the corner, he
dismantles it and reassembles it in under five minutes.  The completed
unit looks better than the one on the cover of the carton; in fact,
it looks better than the one in "Home Beautiful."

The Oracle strides over to the supplicant's wife.  After kissing her
hand, he says, "Call me... anytime," and disappears.  The supplicant's
wife wipes the drool off her chin and goes to her husband, who is still
in the corner whimpering for his mommy...

(MARRIED WOMEN, TAKE NOTE -- Have you ever wondered why your husband
refuses to allow others to do repairs that he is obviously incapable
of doing?  The above scenario is what all married men believe WILL
happen if they call for help.  Please understand this, have patience,
and call the repair stud when your husband is at work.)

Question #35


The question was:

what would happen if I did not sleep for 256 hours?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

You'd require an extra byte to count your sheep.

You owe the Oracle 65,536 sheep.

Question #36


The question was:

The spamity spam, oh spam, oh spam.
The spamity spam hath spammed the spam.
And the spam cries "oh spam",
And the spam is spammed.

The spam hath been the victim of spam, 
and the spamity spam hath no more spam.
If there is no spam, then what spam?
The spam of spam this cannot spam.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

                                              Dewey, Cheetum, and Howe
                                              Attorneys at Law
                                              1 Litigation Lane
                                              Los Angeles, CA 90613

The Usenet Supplicant
42 Infinite Loop
Marmot, CA 94031

Dear Sir:

I represent a Mr. Monty Python.  While I have not had the pleasure of
actually meeting Mr. Python, I have been retained by his talent agency
to handle his legal matters.

In regard to your recent query (included above), I must inform you
that you have infringed upon my client's intellectual property rights,
namely "The Spam Sketch."  My client has a prior copyright on a song
based upon the Armour meat product known by the trademark "Spam," and
I believe that there is not sufficient difference between your "Spam"
song and his for you to claim independent development.

Therefore, I request you cease development of Spam-related songs until
you can prove that your songs were developed without reference to my
client's prior work.

                                                        I. Cheetum

.cc Python, M.
.cc Oracle, U.


Question #37


The question was:

Some people have the rude and annoying habit of clipping their
fingernails in public, especially in classrooms or churches?  

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

You cannot change a statement into a question by replacing a period with 
a question mark.

There are many options available to you if you want to pass a statement
off as a question.  Two of the most popular are:

The Legal Method -- This involves adding "are you not?" or "were you not?"
to the end of statements.  In a courtroom, this serves two purposes:
1) it shows the jury just how smart the lawyer is, and 2) it defines the
statement as true, even if the witness denies it.  Thus, if the lawyer
hates the witness, he can say, "You are the murderer, are you not?"
and that witness is doomed.

The Canadian Method -- This is characterized by the superfluous use of the
interjection "eh?" at the end of statements.  The problem (or benefit) of
using this method is that the recipient of such a statement feels obligated
to reply but cannot because no question was really asked.  "Welcome to
Canada, eh?"  This is how Canadians amuse themselves with American tourists.

You owe the Oracle a Canadian-to-English dictionary.

Question #38


The question was:

Oh Oracle with a very long memory,

I was watching a re-run of The Lawrence Welk Show
and was struck with a horrid fascination. People
actually watched that? and the outfits are just
too campy. Were they serious, or was it a put-on?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

"Lawrence Welk" is truly a black mark in the annals of American
History, a dubious honor shared by such tragedies as the Jonestown
Mass-suicide and the recent Branch Davidian Massacre.

Empowered by hallucinogenic gases released upon unsuspecting people
through innocent-looking bubbles, Lawrence Welk established a cult of
mindless followers.  America trembled in fear as millions of drones
scurried through the streets, playing elevator music, wearing tacky
clothing, and voting Republican; all triggered by the seemingly
innocuous act of the placing of a finger in the mouth and making a
"popping" sound.  This country owes its existence today to the timely
arrival of Disco and Heavy Metal, although recovering Welkians
(especially in Congress) decry such music.

Weakened but not forgotten, the cult survives today thanks to their
clandestine control of local and public television stations.

You owe the Oracle a hallucinogenic bubble machine.

Question #39


The question was:

Dear Oracle:

In the discussing of human foibles, it is often said that a person has
"an ego the size of Cleveland, Ohio."

Why is Cleveland, Ohio used as a unit of measuring the size of an ego?
And what exactly is meant by "size"; population, area, et cetera?
Does this refer to the total of all the egos of the populace, or does
it refer to some collective ego that is intrinsic to the city itself?

                              Anxiously waiting your response,
                                 An Armchair Psychologist

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Your mistaken assumption that Cleveland, Ohio actually denoted the
city of Cleveland in the state of Ohio is expected, even in a person
of your obvious intelligence.  The reference is actually to a man by
the name of Ohio Cleveland.  People referred to him last name first
because he thought that it would make him sound more debonair (a
concieted guy, let me tell you).
In 1947, Mr. Cleveland's ego became so large that an official
investigation ensued by the International Institute of Behavioral
Studies into the average size of the human ego.  An official unit of
measurement was agreed upon, the "Egon", & the average human ego was
painstakingly determined to be 10 deciEgons.  After finally
measuring Mr. Cleveland's ego, it was determined to be approximately
20 Egons.  This measurement being well over 100 times the average
human ego, it was quickly determined that Ohio Cleveland officially
had the world's largest ego.  The media showered Mr. Cleveland with
attention due to his incredible Egonic state, thus increasing his
ego to 22.5 Egons.  Being that no one before or since has achieved
the stellar mark of 22.5 Egons, Mr. Cleveland to this day is cited
as a shining example of the supreme human ego.
If you have any questions concerning this brief history lesson,
please inquire with the Oracle's happy servant at  Have a nice day!!!

Question #40


The question was:

Oh very powerful and slightly weird Oracle, something strange happened
to me recently.

I apparently annoyed one of your Incarnations, and she sent me the
following impressive display of pyrotechnics:

}     ZZZZZZZZZZ              OOOO           TTTTTTTTTT
}                   Z                O          O                   T
}               Z                   O            O                  T
}           Z                       O            O                  T
}       Z                             O         O                   T
}     ZZZZZZZZZZ              OOOO                     T

Although there are some superficial structural similarities, this
does not actually appear to be an authentic ZOT.  What manner of
special effect does it designate?  How does it compare with a ZOT
in potency?  And how would you pronounce it?

Please do not send me an authentic ZOT for comparison.  I've
received several already, and have no wish to repeat the experience.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

That is a Microsoft ZOF(tm).  As you noticed, it has remarkable similarity
to an Oracular <ZOT!>(tm), but when you get right down to it, it's nothing
but a cheap, ineffective copy.

You owe the Oracle a successful lawsuit against Microsoft.