Questions 51-60

Question #51


The question was:

After almost a year of campaining and complaining, I must admit defeat
in trying to make your old name stick.  So I've decided to write a
song about it:

       The Internet was the Usenet Oracle
       Now it's the Internet, not the Usenet Oracle
       Been a long time gone, the Usenet Oracle
       Now it's Woodchuck Delight on a moonlight night
       Every answer from the Usenet Oracle
       comes from the Internet, not the Usenet Oracle
       So if you've sent some mail to the Usenet Oracle
       It'll be coming from the Internet
       Even the old Internet
       was once the Arpanet
       Why they changed it I can't say
       NSF just liked it better that way
       So ask me, tell me, the Usenet Oracle
       No, you can't go ask the Usenet Oracle
       Been a long time gone, the Usenet Oracle
       Why did the Usenet Oracle get the works?
       That's nobody's business but those jerks

What do you think?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Supplicant man, Supplicant man
Doing the things a supplicant can
What's he like? It's not important
Supplicant man

Is he a troll, or is he a hack?
When he's online does he get net?
Or does the net get him instead?
Nobody knows, Supplicant man

Political man, Political man
Political man hates Supplicant man
They have a fight, Political wins
Political man

Oracle man, Oracle man
Size of the entire universe man
Usually kind to supplicant man
Oracle man

He's got a wand with a Usenet hand
Internet hand and a zot-zot hand
When they meet it's a scary land
Powerful man, Oracle man

Question #52


The question was:

Oh strong looking Oracle, he whose nostrils I am unworthy to gaze into
and whose hair I am unworthy to pick through for fleas, whose thighs
are stronger than a legion of warriors, and whose taller than a statue
please answer my question.
Why exactly do all Oracles require people to grovel?

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And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

                     "WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?"

                         (a play in one act)

SCENE:  HOTMAIL, INC., a fully-owned subsidiary of ORACUCO INDUSTRIES.
        JOHN, the foreman, is with JACK, a minor executive.  VARIOUS
        WORKERS hustle back-and-forth.  Suddenly, a crisis occurs (but
        then again, that's the nature of crises).

JOHN:   Dammit, we're losing power!

JACK:   What?  Again?  How do they expect us to keep these
        Sparcservers on line without electricity?  How are we to offer
        free e-mail if we have to pay for electricity?!?

WORKER: Central office on the line, sir!  They want to know what's
        with the slow-down.

JOHN:   Can't those jerks tell?  Our Egion generator's down to 30% power...

JACK:   What did it?  A malicious rumor?  A gaffe on the Great One's
        part?  Kinzler threatening to change the name again to the
        Microsoft Network Oracle?

JOHN:   No, looks like attrition from lack of grovels.

JACK:   Dammit, won't those fools ever learn?  The Oracle's ego
        supplies power for systems around the world!  Our entire setup
        here will fail!  People will have to start PAYING for e-mail

VARIOUS WORKERS: (Shocked gasps)

JOHN:   (panicking) You, and you!  Go tell him how white--no,
        bright!--his toga is.  You, go tell him that you'd be unworthy
        to floss with his nasal hair!  Do it, do it, do it!

JACK:   (as lights fade) I just hope we're not too late...


Question #53


The question was:

Oh aptly named oracle, who knows all and shares it too...

Now that Dennis Rodman's going to change his name to Orgasm, will people
have to stop calling you, "Big O"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

No, but ever since I changed my name, a bunch of wise-asses have been
calling me "the supernatural entity formerly known as the Usenet

You owe the Oracle some respect.

Question #54


The question was:

Why the Gehenna am I getting duplicates of the same question over and

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

From the Wall Street Journal, May 27:

                         ANNOUNCE MERGER

   BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA -- Dismayed by the quality of this quarter's
subcontracted questions, Oracuco Industries has initiated a merger
with another high-tech company, Cyber Promotions.
   Cyber Promotions uses an advanced technology called e-mail to
advertise on the International Network of computers, or "Inter-net."
Their technology allows them to reach millions of people for only a
few dollars.
   Oracuco Industries is responsible for 83% of the wisdom on the
Inter-net, which it provides to its end-users through a patented
question-and-answer format.  Those not directly involved with this
process can also receive the distilled wisdom through newsletters
called "Oracularities" and "Best of's."
   "We're very excited here," said Oracuco CEO Steve Kinzler.  "Our
software was designed on a one-in, one-out model.  With the
integration of Cyber Promotions' "spamming" technologies, we'll be
able to disseminate questions to large numbers of people, improving
the odds of getting an answer that not only makes sense, but is funny
as well."
   Added Cyber Promotions' Sanford "Spam King" Wallace, "This is great
for both companies!  Oracuco will get a much-needed boost in volume,
and the endorsement of the Oracle will disperse some of the negative
publicity Cyber Promotions has been getting."
   "We've received very few complaints so far," said Lisa, the Oracuco
Press Representative.  "We have been testing the spamification
software in our system for a week, and have found few interface
problems.  I'd say it's a go."
   The Chairman of Oracuco Industries, the Usenet Oracle, was
unavailable for comment.  Rumor has it that he is displeased with the
merger, and may be planning on using his <ZOT!> gun, a powerful weapon
designed to atomize his enemies.
   Also questionable is the numerous legal problems, both criminal and
civil, which haunt Wallace.  Various Inter-net factions have joined
forces in a lawsuit against Wallace, claiming his bulk e-mailings are
in violation of the same law that prohibits unsolicited fax messages.
   Upon news of the proposed merger, Oracuco Industries went up 3/4,
Cyber Promotions down 2.

Question #55


The question was:

What are the features of Oracle 8 ?
Whart are the fearutes of Forms 5 ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Spell checking?

Question #56


The question was:

But I didn't order any pizza!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Doesn't matter.  I knocked, you asked "Who's there?" and I answered.

As part of my contract with humanity, you owe me any payment I demand
for answering your question.  Just because I am working a second job
as a Domino's delivery guy so I can pay off Lisa's VISA bill this
month does *not* mean I am exempt from my duties and privileges as an

You owe the Oracle $15.75, plus a tip would be appreciated.
(Also an explanation of how anyone could rack up a $553 tab at any
place called Spatula World would be a big help.  That boggles even my

Question #57


The question was:

Oh great all-knowing, all-seeing Oracle, who's toes I am unworthy to 
clean by licking,

Why does my campus pop machine give me extra Mountain Dews?  I mean, the 
machine even said it was out of Mountain Dew, so I got a Dr Pepper, and 
it still gave me a Dr Pepper and a Mountain Dew.  To the best of my 
knowledge, it only does this for me.

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And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

                          "NO TIME FOR LOVE"

                    (a superspy movie in one act)

SCENE:  HOTMAIL, INC., a fully-owned subsidiary of ORACUCO INDUSTRIES.
        Chaos and confusion reigns.  Computers are smashed, showering
        the floor and walls with electric sparks.  A thin haze of
        smoke fills the air.  The firing of machine guns can be heard
        in the distance, along with the agonized screams of wounded

           (Enter THE ORACLE, leading A BABE by the hand.)

ORACLE: I've got to get you out of here, then go back and activate the
        self destruct mechanism for this complex.  If I'm right, it's
        the only way "Operation Mountain Dew" will be a guaranteed

BABE:   Oh, Oracle, you're so brave!

VOICE:  (offstage) ... and so stupid!

        (A figure emerges from the haze.  It is WILLIAM GATES,
      villain.  He is cradling an oversized white mouse, one of
      those annoying Microsoft mice that only righties can use.
                    BABE clutches ORACLE in fear.)

ORACLE: Gates.  I should have known.  How did you find out about
        "Operation Mountain Dew"?

GATES:  Simple, Oracle:  I didn't.  Hotmail, Inc. (a fully-owned
        subsidiary of Oracuco Industries) was impacting 1% of
        Microsoft Network's profits.  Therefore, it had to be
        destroyed.  But you're a fool, Oracle.  Now you've told me
        about your secret project.

ORACLE: But you'll never figure it out in time, Gates.  I can hold out
        for at least an hour, and that's all the time I need to see it

GATES:  Perhaps, perhaps ... (pauses to stroke mouse) ... but can she?

BABE:   (screams)

      (Suddenly klaxons erupt all over the complex.  The gunfire
                        diminishes slightly.)

ORACLE: (laughing) It's too late, Gates!  That sound you hear is the
        complete success of "Operation Mountain Dew"!

GATES:  (showing a tiny bit of fear)  What ... what do you mean?

ORACLE: I patched into the software for every single soda machine on
        the planet, and reprogrammed them to dispense a can of
        Mountain Dew with each purchase.  The additional can was
        charged to your account.  The world drinks a billion dollars
        of soda a day, Gates, and "Operation Mountain Dew" has been
        going on for six weeks now...

        I'm melting... melting...

     (GATES dissolves into a smoldering pile.  His HENCHMEN look
              at the pile, shrug, and wander offstage.)

BABE:   What happened?

ORACLE: That's all he was, hon': money.  When it was gone, so was he.

BABE:   Oh, Oracle, I'm glad you've got substance!

ORACLE: You've got that right, babe.  Now, I believe tradition says we
        have a steamy sex scene now...

           (BABE laughs.  ORACLE chuckles.  Fade to black.)

Question #58


The question was:

Who's draining your queue?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Sheesh.  Can't a celebrity go to the doctor without everyone making rude

Question #59


The question was:


And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Ah, yes, the FQUIGLY keyboard.  (Don't be embarrassed about
misspelling it.  The Oracle knows of many people that write about the
QUERTY keyboard.)

The FQUIGLY keyboard was invented by a twisted orthopedic surgeon, who
feared "natural" keyboards with Dvorak layouts would reduce the number
of cases of Repetitive Motion Trauma and therefore his income.  The
FQUIGLY keyboard was guaranteed to give anyone carpal tunnel within a
matter of minutes.

The only adopter of FQUIGLY keyboards was Microsoft (always the first
with the worst technology).  Fortunately, FQUIGLY was bundled with
Microsoft Bob(tm), and both quickly met with a well-deserved death.

You owe the Oracle a FQUIGLY keyboard for his Hall o' Computing
Nightmares, to be placed in the slot between the NeXT cube and the

Question #60


The question was:

Oh, Almighty Oracle, whose feet are fungus-free and whose
breath smells of elderberries...

Why is Babylon 5 so much better than Star Trek: Voyager?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Whoa there, pardner.  Before we ask "why," we better be sure of our
facts (and, just for fun, I'm going to throw in "Dr. Who" to boot):

Babylon 5: Capt. Scarecrow
Voyager:   Capt. Columbo
Dr. Who:   Various
Winner:    Voyager
Comment:   Actually a tossup, but Kate is much more easy on the eyes.

Babylon 5: Giant space station
Voyager:   Speedy little starship
Dr. Who:   Phone booth
Winner:    Voyager
Comment:   Like "DS9," the characters spend more time OFF the station
           than on it.

Babylon 5: "Government is evil."
Voyager:   "Get off my ship."
Dr. Who:   "No matter where I go, trouble."
Winner:    Babylon 5
Comment:   While it is nice to see Kate running around in a tank top,
           it gets tiring after a while.  Besides, Babylon 5 is the
           most realistic.

Bablyon 5: Shadows
Voyager:   Borg
Dr. Who:   Daleks
Winner:    Babylon 5/Dr. Who (tie)
Comment:   In all of the Star Treks, the enemy was always America's
           enemy du jour:  Roddenbery had little imagination (or a
           great sense of irony).  The Klingons were Russians (gruff,
           aggressive, but fun on an odd level), the Romulans were
           Chinese (devious, manipulative), the Cardassians were Iraqi
           (totalitarian, brutal), and the Borg were Microsoft
           ("Resistance is useless.  You will be assimilated").

Voyager:   Models, matte painting
Babylon 5: CGI
Dr. Who:   Latex, Papier-mache
Winner:    Voyager
Comment:   The Oracle *hates* Gouraud shading.

Voyager:   Lots
Babylon 5: Lots
Dr. Who:   None
Winner:    Voyager/Babylon 5 (tie)
Comment:   Considering how perverted the British can be at times, this
           is surprising.  There wasn't even innuendo.

Voyager:   Yes
Babylon 5: Only on TBS
Dr. Who:   No (the BBC is twisted scum)
Winner:    Voyager
Comment:   Considering how loyal TBS is to its series, I don't give B5
           much longer.  (The Oracle is still furious with TBS for
           canceling "Swat Kats.")

And the winner is... "Dr. Who."
Reason:    The least pretentious of all the series.  A simple,
           easy-to-follow plot that doesn't require hiring Frontline
           to analyze (unlike Babylon 5) and doesn't require deus ex
           machina particles to seal plot holes (unlike Voyager), but
           still thoroughly entertaining for everybody.  If you don't
           like the story, laugh at the special effects.

You owe the Oracle Tom Baker's autograph.