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Best of Usenet Oracularities #176-200 (Steve Kinzler)

Oracularities are the distilled wisdom and sagacity of the Usenet Oracle, as incarnated as its numerous e-mail participants (only you know who you are). This collection has been compiled from the regular Oracularities postings #176 through #200 and contains the Oracularities rated by its readers as among the funniest.

176-02 00103 4.5

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

What has been done in america to help the iranian earthquake victims?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Americans have taken over the responsibility of burning their flag, which should free up about a dozen Iranians to help dig out the survivors.

You owe the oracle a seismograph.

193-09 01215 4.1

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

What is the difference between software and hard water?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Bugs drown in hard water, but live forever in software.

177-10 21017 3.9

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

What is true stress?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

True stress is when you have invited the vicar over, and he's supposed to arrive in half an hour and the cook has cut the cucumbers too thick for cucumber sandwiches, only when she tries to cut them in half they come out too thin and look ever so sloppy, and Fifi is sitting on the settee in the parlor and scratching as if she has fleas and might just very well leave some of them on the settee and give them to the vicar if he should chance to sit upon the settee, only the butler is off polishing his shoes and the gardner is too grubby to even so much as look at the settee, much less touch it.

And then you discover that your white gown is half an inch too short, and your blue gown is half an inch too long, and the only one remaining is the red one that looks as if you are some sort of loose woman, but you haven't any choice and the vicar is sure to inquire about it.

And then the butler comes in and he must have polished the soles of his shoes, as they leave black footprints on the floor and on the oriental rug, and it's not to be endured.

And then the cook announces that there are no currants for the scones, and should she make due with sultanas, or could the gardner be sent to town to get some currants if you don't mind having the scones a little late, and by the way there's only salted butter, no fresh, so maybe the gardner had better be sent to town for that even if it will take him longer, and by the way Fifi got into the cream cake and sat in it, and went hopping around the kitchen leaving little creamy footsteps, and so there won't be any cream cake for the vicar even though everyone knows that it's his favorite, and there's no helping it at all.

And then Fifi comes into the parlor, still covered with cream, and sits on the blue chaise lounge and starts licking her hinder parts just as if she weren't absolutely ruining the rug and the lounge and her dear beloved mistress' party all at the same time, and the cook goes to pick the poor dear up, and she trips on the rug which you had lifted to see the extent of the damage, and she flounders wildly into the Ming vase to the right of the fireplace, and it falls over and smashes a crystal decanter of port into tiny shards, and a tiny chip breaks off of the mouth of the vase, and the cook has a black eye, and Fifi gives a little shriek and jumps up and runs across the room leaving more footprints of cream, and the cook is too upset to clean up the decanter before she goes and puts a slice of beefsteak on her eye, so the room shall smell of port when the vicar comes in.

And the gardner has just changed his clothes, and he comes in to move the settee rather than the lounge, and when you finally tell him to move the lounge rather than the settee, and bring one or two of the chairs from the library, and he does, and then he sits on the settee and you notice that he's forgotten to change his jacket, and now the settee will smell faintly of perspiration as well as probably having fleas.

But there's no helping it, for now the doorbell is ringing and you go to answer it and it's not the vicar, but three Denebian slime devils who have crash-landed their flying saucer in the back yard, and now they want to use the hyperspace radio and if they can't they'll just have to eat everyone in the household and then turn them into mindless slaves and sell them beyond the Dark Nebula, only it's the nineteenth century and you haven't got a hyperspace radio, but the butler comes out and engages the slime devils in a bit of an imbroglio.

And then the vicar arrives, punctual as always, and finds your house in total disorder. That's stress.

The Oracle has stressed out. You owe the Oracle a stress-pill.

192-01 10224 3.9

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

How can I make her love me? Any love-potions or implantable devices?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

The following eight-step plan will lead to her loving you and craving your body with a desparate passion, though not necessarily at the same time.

1. Wrap your body in a blue-green sheet, the feathers of a condor ("the gigantic carrion-eating bird of love"), fifty carnations, a bastinet, a red trash bag, and a tub of peanut butter (with marshmallows if possible).

2. Approach her, speaking sweetly, and speaking with the most pleasant of breath. Kiss her hand when she is not expecting it. Caper extravagantly. Show off your fine plumage. Whisper sweet nothings into her seven ears. Ply her with delicacies, crawdads glazed with honey and thyme (the crustacean of love). Serve her small elegant glasses of the finest liqueurs. Bring her a whole roasted zucchini bedecked with apples and custard, a soup of the finest mussels and slippery-elm leaves. Exquisite!

3. Declare for her your undying passion. You should not be too specific at this point. Rather than saying "Oh, Emily, I want you to perform Act #32 from the Kama Sutra, except with you in the trapeze rather than astride the llama," you must say something more abstract and ethereal: "Ah, Emily, behold! The stars in the sky are like goldfish (the spiny fish of love) tonight! They experience such joy as they swim around the heavens nibbling crunchlets of fish food scattered unto them by the hand of the Goddess." Indirection is the key here.

4. At this point9 she will get the idea of what you are after. She will pretend not to understand, as a way of avoiding the issue.

5. Suddenly, become cold and despairing. Declaim "Alas, Emily! Would that I loved a spiny anteater instead of thee! I cannot bear the coldness, the despair! Alas! I am foredone and done for! Doom is my fate, and gloom is my mate, that I must endure without thee! Woe, woe is me! Alas, alas! I must swiftly hie me away to far Paris, where with expensive wines and garlic-drenched snails (the escargot of love) I will strive mightily to forget thee!" [Warning: do not say this unless her name is actually Emily.]

6. Remove from your pocket a carefully-prepared plane ticket to Paris. Wave it dauntingly in front of her face. As if by accident, allow an identical ticket (the famed "Coach class transportation of love") to fall from your pocket in a most visible place on the floor. Make sure she sees it.

7. When she inquires about the provenance and teleology of this second ticket, explain in lofty terms that it need not concern her: it is a matter of complete irrelevance to her life, and she must never think of it again. Especially, she must no longer think of sharing "poulet de fou en moutarde" (the famed "chicken of love") on the banks of the River Seine, not dream of climbing the spires of Notre Dame de Paris, not even dream idly of the long lines at the Louvre. Never once should she consider the possibility of drinking the fine wines of Chateau sur la Piscine '45 after an evening dancing at the bistro. In a fit of rage, tear up the second ticket and set it aflame. Stomp out of the room.

8. At this point, she will decide to get a ticket to Paris herself. Run into her, as if by accident, at the Arc du Triomphe, where you have been trapped for half an hour struggling with a parking ticket (the famed Parisian "official tourist-hassle of love"). Allow her to help you deal with it. The rest is up to you.

You owe the Oracle a year's supply of drugs. I wanna get high on pennicilin.

180-07 11114 3.8

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

Lisp is the language of god, Fortran is the language of the angels, Pascal is the language of satan, modula 2 is the language of the devils, french is the language of the living, german is the language of the dead, but what is the language of dogs?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

There's no English word for it, nor can I transliterate their language's name via a computer keyboard. They communicate almost entirely by sniffing crotches, you see. (Many people incorrectly believe them to communicate by barking, but this is clearly false--in fact, a number of breeds, including basenjis, never bark at all. Barking is simply an extra form of communication, much like facial expressions in humans.)

It would be almost impossible to describe their language's grammar or structure, since it is one of the most unstructured and freeform languages ever devised by intelligent creatures. To give you a feel for what a dog's world is like, the following is an attempt to translate one of the works of the single greatest dog poet of all time, Husky, who lived in the Bronx and marked this poem on a fire hydrant in 1932:

        Shit wow wow wag wag wag! 
        Meat human heat bitch fuck! 
        Warm pat scratch eat eat eat! 
        Kill flea! 
        Kill car! 
        Kill DUCK! 

Now, a dog, reading this poem, wouldn't see a string of words in any particular order; he'd sense all of it at once, and understand the poem not as a story, but as an observation of a single moment in time. This particular poem is about a day when Husky was stuck inside, and gazed out the window at the other dogs, watching them play, and remembering a long-ago day in the park, when he'd taken (and rolled in) a particularly satisfying dump.

I'm sorry I can't teach you more about the language, for it's a fascinating one. But I hope I've given you a greater respect for the canine kingdom.

You owe the Oracle a box of Bonz and a scratch behind the left ear.

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