SYD AND HARRY

I know, I know. Lovable Cockney rogues are just so music hall. But shouldn't the Oracle - who otherwise excels in Star Trek, THHGTTG, the X-Files, UNIX and other forms of entertainment - also have a foothold in this genre?

Anyway, I like playing with language. I also like presenting the mainly Western Hemisphere corpus of incarnations and supplicants with a largely impenetrable variant of their own tongue. Hence the fact that Syd and Harry's earlier exploits were more frequently to be found in questions than answers. Hence also the fact that, for a long time, the Oracular digests remained entirely unpolluted by their presence - as we all know, 80% of all Oracular responses are produced by amoebae. Two years of persistent endeavour finally yielded some good responses, however (items 1-4 below). I had intended to spare the priesthood any further attempts, but then I thought "What the hell, pain is their lot in life", which seems fair.

Digest:
1. Life, Death and Exceedingly Savage Dogs        
2. Lisa Kidnapped!        
3. The Bullion Van Job        
4. My Fair Sydney        
5. Swansong for Two Tea Leaves        
6. Spilwinex   #1057-02    
7. S&H Meet Cthulhu: The Movie        
8. The Bank Dickhead   #1080-03    
9. Saturn or Bust!        
10. Somewhere, over the Rainbow        
11. The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse   #1176-05    
12. When Harry Met Syd   from rec.humor.oracle.d    

For those who actually want to understand what's being said, there are numerous rhyming slang sites to be found via Google, Alta Vista et al. Or, if you're too lazy for that, here's a couple that hadn't succumbed to link rot at the time of writing:

http://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk
http://www.phespirit.info/cockney/
http://www.aldertons.com

 


1.

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

> [Listen, this 'ere's the caper. I'll keep 'is nibs jawin' whiles
> you sneaks rahnd the back an' makes orff wiv all the lolly.]
>
> [Wot makes yer fink 'e's got any lolly?]
>
> [I'm tellin' yer, Syd -- this bloke's loaded! I've been readin' the
> digests, inni? The punters gives 'im all sorts of stuff -- cars,
> jooles, valerable books -- 'e's rollin' in it, I tells yer!]
>
> [Wot if yer carn't keep 'im talkin'? It's me can kiss me jacksie
> goodbye.]
>
> [I know wot I'm doin', me old china -- trust me.]
>
> [I've got a bad feelin' abaht this, 'Arry.]
>
> [Shurrup, 'e's 'comin' now. On yer bike!]
>
> Wotcher, yer Oracleship. Me an' me mate wus wonderin' -- wot'm I
> sayin'? It's jus' me 'ere, innit? No mate. You must be finkin' of
> two other fellers.
>
> Stone the crows! Yer wants a grovel, dontcher? 'Ang on, guv'nor --
> I've got one prepared, right 'ere on this piece of paper. [Ahem] O
> Oracle wot knows all there is ter know, 'ose mince pies sees all
> there is ter see, 'ose I s'pose smells all there is ter smell, 'ose
> ladylove 'as the most gorblimey pair of bristols yer ever did saw,
> blah, blah, blah, tug forelock, thankin' yer kindly guv, please
> 'earken ter this 'ere 'umble supplicant.
>
> It's like this, yer 'onner. All me life I've devoted meself ter the
> study of philoserphy, corse I wants ter learn the secrets of the
> universe an' fings like that, donni? Long nights I spent porin' over
> the works of, er, wotsisface, the one wiv the beard, an'... an' other
> famous philoserphers. Then I finks ter meself -- strewf, blow this
> fer a lark! That Oracle geezer -- beggin' yer pardon, yer 'onner --
> 'e know all there is ter know. Why donni jus' ask 'im? Saves readin'
> all these flamin' books, dunnit?
>
> So 'ere I am, yer lordship. I sits at yer feet waitin' fer yer ter
> henlighten me, an' tell me wot a bloke needs ter know abaht, well,
> lifean' deaf an'... an' everyfing, y'know. I knows it's a lot ter ask,
> so takes yer time -- I hain't got ter be anywhere fer a few 'ours.
>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

I beg your pardon? Oh, you mean the Oracle! I'm sorry -- for a minute there I couldn't penetrate your accent. You're not from these parts, are you?
Well, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong address. The Oracle is next door. This is the Indiana School for Training Exceedingly Savage Guard Dogs. Could I interest you in one? No?
Look, I'd love to stay and chat with you about the meaning of life and so on. That kind of thing really interests me too. But it's my assistant's day off today and I'm a bit behind with the chores, so you'll have to excuse me. The dogs should have been fed an hour ago. That's them you can hear in the back.
Yes, they do seem rather noisy, don't they? I hope some kids haven't got into the cages again. There was all hell to pay last time. You should see our insurance premiums. Still, I'd better go and see.
Good luck with the Oracle, sir. I'm sure he'll set you straight.

 


2.

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

> I got it, Syd! This time it's foolproof, I tells yer.
>
>       Oh yeh? Go on then, 'Arry, giz a larf.
>
> We kidnaps 'is bird. Whats'ername, wiv the big Bristols. Lisa,
> 'is ladylove.
>
>       We carn't do that, 'Arry!
>
> Corse we can! She's always flittin' abaht the place, no bodyguard,
> no nuffink. Piece of piss, innit? Yeh, we kidnaps 'er an' we
> demands, as ransom, everyfink wot the punters gives 'im fer all of
> next monf. That orter do it. I mean, last monf 'e got some poor
> bugger ter give 'im the State of New York. The hentire bleedin'
> state, I mean! Wiv an 'ole monf of that sorter stuff we're larfin',
> in't we?
>
>       Wot if 'e don't cough up?
>
> Then we gets rough. We cuts orff one of 'er King Lears an' sends
> it to 'im.
>
>       I ain't cuttin' orff 'er ears!
>
> Fair do, Syd -- we cuts orff one of your ears if it'll make yer
> 'appy. 'E won't know the diff.
>
>       Oh, all right.
>
> That orter do it. Or else, pr'aps a toe... nah, your toes pong
> fit ter choke a wart'og. Be a bit of a giveaway, that.
>
>       Oi, 'e ZOTs people, dunn'e? Wot if 'e ZOTs us, 'Arry?
>
> I thort of that. We 'ides 'er in the fallout shelter under the
> 'Ouses of Parliment, an' yer wears free layers of flak jackets,
> rubber wellies wiv six-inch soles an' a deflector dish strapped
> ter yer bonce.
>
>       I 'ave ter wear all that? Wot abaht you?
>
> I does the negotiatin', dunni? Told yer -- it carn't fail.
>
>       I s'pose. So 'ow do we find aht where this Lisa bint 'angs
>       aht so's we can kidnap 'er?
>
> Easy! We just arsks 'im.
>
>       Yer carn't do that!
>
> Watch me.
>
>
*** comms link activated ***
>
> Wotcher Orrie, me old China, me old mucker! This 'ere's the
> chairman of Camelot PLC, you know, them wot runs the UK national
> lottery. Well it so 'appens that the light of yer life, the
> scrumpchous Miss Lisa, 'as just gone an' won the flamin' jackpot
> in a four-week rollover, in't she? That's 14 million quid in proper
> money, not that naff green stuff yer got over there. 'Ow's that fer
> a bit of cushty, eh? Well, I'm just poppin' over on Concorde so's I
> can 'and over the swag personal-like, so's if yer could give me a
> detailed breakdahn of 'er movements fer the next two weeks, I'd be
> much obliged. Ta ever so.
>
>
*** comms link deactivated ***
>
>       'E'll never fall fer that, 'Arry!
>
> Corse 'e will! Amazin' wot a bit of greed'll do even if yer
> homniscient. You just watch.
>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Lisa, honey, big news! You just won the British national lottery, something like 7 million dollars or twenty million or something, and they're coming out to give it to you in person! They want to know where you're going to be for the next two weeks, so I'm going ahead and telling them.
        ...Okay, hon, thanks!...
(Odd... I didn't know Lisa bought British national lottery tickets. It must have been when I was going to pick up New York last month, that crazy girl. [chuckle] Anyway, this guy seems like a decent professional. I'll answer his question.)
[ahem]
In answer to your query, o supplicant, know thou that this is the detailed breakdown of Lisa's movements for the next two weeks, as I, the Net Oracle, have foreseen it:
Day 1 (Today):
Takes a nap, finishes the novel she's been reading, and convinces me to take the night off and watch the moon rise with her.
Day 2 (Tomorrow):
Sorts through the morning's sacrifices, has lunch ready for some unexpected guests, pays some bills before we get them, and goes for a walk in the woods near the oracular caverns. She is picked up by one Harry Sleestack, who, luring her with promises of large cash payments, kidnaps her. She proceeds, largely against her will, to a waiting Concord jet and thence to London.
Day 3:
Spends an uncomfortable night in the fallout shelter of the Houses of Parliament with one Sydney "Replacement" Endochrine. She doesn't move, on account of being tied up, but watches Endochrine clumsily don forty-seven pounds of rubber insulation, body armor, and reflective headgear. She stays in the same place for the remainder of the day.
Day 4:
Endochrine feeds her a horrid breakfast of cold, mealy English things. Little else happens until approximately 4:11pm local time, when she manages, despite being tied up, to dodge the pieces of concrete that crumble from the ceiling in accompaniment to muffled ZOTing sounds from overhead. That night a woodchuck surreptitiously gnaws through her rope bindings without Endochrine noticing. She pretends to remain immobilized, and her whereabouts, as before, remain fixed for the remainder of the day. She speaks guardedly with Endochrine, assessing his weaknesses and the extent of his plan.
Day 5:
Similar breakfast, but worse. Meets Sleestack again, who comes running into the shelter, clothing burnt and torn and one eye swollen half-shut, at about 3:06pm local time. He demands repeatedly from her that she explain "why he won't crack," and threatens her with mutilation. She taunts him, unmoved. At 5:43pm, she hears the sounds of ZOTting again. She shouts obscenities at Sleestack as he departs somewhat hurriedly from the shelter at 5:44. Lisa then reveals to Endochrine that she is actually free, claiming that she was only waiting for a chance to be alone with him. Endochrine is suspicious.
Day 6:
At 1:35am, finally manages to get Endochrine to let her take off his headgear "so she can get to know him the way she really ought." Sleestack returns, and, shouting "No, you plonker!" attempts to cover Endochrine's head. Lisa suddenly jumps several feet to the left to avoid the massive ZOT that brings fire and lightning (not to mention the rest of the ceiling) down on her two recent acquaintances. At 3:00am Inspector Thoroughly arrives on the scene to find her taking a rather unorthodox tea in the midst of a pile of rubble and two Cockney grease spots, served on fine china by several North American woodchucks. She is fingering a one-way plane ticket to Indianapolis. In response to Thoroughly's question -- "I say, what's all this then?" -- she replies "It took you boys long enough," and asks for a lift to Heathrow. On the way, she discovers that she has the winning ticket to the UK national lottery, and picks up over 14 million pounds before returning to Indiana. After reiterating her comment in several different forms to me, she eats real food in large amounts, admits that she's relieved to be home, and we proceed to become reacquainted.
Hmm.. The next eight days are pretty much like Day 1, so I guess that does it. I hope this answers your question, o supplicant.
You owe the Oracle the cost of repairing that hole in roof of the House of Commons.

 


3.

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

> Righto, guv - this 'ere's the caper. Syd 'ere - this 'ere's me partner
> Syd - say 'ello ter the guv'nor, Syd.
>
>       Wotcher, squire. 'Ow's the trouble an' strife?
>
> Don't push it, Syd. As I was sayin', Syd 'ere lies in the road pretendin'
> like 'e's 'ad a haccident, see? It'll 'elp if yer could bleed a bit, Syd.
>
>       Leave orf, 'Arry! I hain't bleedin' bleedin' me life haway fer one
>       of your daft ideers.
>
> Suit yerself, Syd - we'll use tomater ketchup. So when they sees 'im
> bleedin' in the road, they stops the bleedin' bullion van, donney? An'
> the guard, 'e like jumps aht ter find aht wot's up wiv old Syd. Yer can
> moan an' groan a bit at this point, Syd.
>
>       I likes the moanin' an' groanin' bit.
>
> Don't we just know it? At this junktcher I rides up on me bike an' gives
> the driver a squirt in the mince pies wiv me cannister of CS gas, wot I
> got orf a bent copper wot I know.
>
>       Gerraway! Since when do you know any bent coppers?
>
> Trade secret, Syd.
>
>       Smarmy git!
>
> Thanks fer the vote of confidence, Syd. So this 'ere's where we needs yer
> 'elp, guv. We hain't got no jelly, see? So if yer can sees yer way clear
> ter ZOTtin' them door orf the back of the bullion van, well, then we can
> 'alf inch all the lolly, carn't we? Piece of cake, innit? Wotcher fink,
> Orrie me old china?
>
>       I don't fink "me old china" cahnts as a grovel, 'Arry.
>
> Shurrup, Syd. Me an' the Oracle, we's mates, we is. Hain't we, guv?
>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Wotcher 'Arry. I fort you'da figured aht after the larst blag that you ain't cut aht fer a life a' crime. I coulda towd'ja there weren't no call fer bent waffle irons dahn the Saath End, butcha went ahead wiv it anyways, and wot did it get yer? Banged up, that's wot. Them coppers stitched yer up like a kipper, they did, an' no mistake.
Wotchoo gunna do wiv a load of hot bullion, anyway? Ernie the Fink aint gunna touch anyfink that large, an' it ain't like Crazy Albert is exackly reliable, nah is 'e?
Yer wanna stick wiv yer strenkfs, my sahn. Yer've gorra cushty nambah in that 'Ome Secretary job, don't go an' blow it all naah.
An' yer can stand me a pint dahn the Dog an' Whistle in payment. Fer me time, like.

 


4.

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

> Wotcher, guv'nor. 'Member me, do yer? That's right - it's Syd, old
> 'Arry's mate Syd. Where's 'Arry, I 'ears yer arskin'? Well, as it
> 'appens that's just wot I wants ter see yer abaht.
>
> The fing wiv 'Arry, yeh, you know 'Arry - always wiv the grand ideers
> an' fings, is our 'Arry. Larst monf 'Arry decides ter take up paintin'
> the Queen's piktcher, an' - no, no, 'e don' know the Queen. I mean, like,
> 'e's makin' Monopoly money, dunni? That's right - counnerfeitin', yer
> got it in one, squire.
>
> As I was sayin', 'Arry makes these 'ere flash notes an', ter celebrate,
> 'e tries passin' 'em orf in the rub-a-dub ter buy a few pints of larf
> an' titter fer the lads. But the landlord ain't 'avin' none of it, an'
> 'e calls in the rozzers. Paintin' never was 'Arry's strong point,
> y'see - 'is Queen looks more like Crueller De Vil.
>
> Anyways, 'Arry gets 'isself 'auled up before the beaks faster'n yer can
> say Cor blimey strike a light, and they slams 'im in chokey fer five
> years. 'Abitual criminal, they says. Wot a load of cobblers! It ain't
> an 'abit wiv 'Arry - 'e 'as ter work real 'ard at it, dunn'e?
>
> Well, that in a nutshell is me problem, yer 'onner. Wiv 'Arry inside,
> wot'm I supposed ter do all on me Jack Jones? I mean, we's partners
> 'Arry an' me, an' 'e's the dahn the drains of the outfit an' all, inn'e?
> So, could yer, like, you know - spring 'Arry fer me? Wiv that ZOTtin'
> fing yer does, it's a doddle, innit? Or else, could yer let me in on
> some caper wot I can get up ter by meself fer the next five years,
> so's when 'Arry get aht I'll be rollin' in the dosh, yeh? I knows yer
> don't happrove of get-rich-quick schemes, but five years ain't 'ardly
> quick nah, is it?
>
> So, 'ow's abaht it?
>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Oracle: No, no, no, that simply won't do. Come right in, Mr ... Syd, and have a seat. You'll simply never achieve success as a career offender until you shape up your speech. Now, repeat after me: You failed to make bail; now tell your tale in gaol.
Syd: Oi filed to moik bile, so's oi till my tile in jile.
Oracle: *Sigh* Please try to concentrate. You FAILED to make BAIL; now tell your TALE in GAOL.
Syd: Oi ... FILED to moik BILE, so's oi till my TILE in JIIIIIIILE.
Oracle: [shaking his head sadly] Let's come back to that, shall we? Now, try this: "How kind of you to leave your doors unlocked."
Syd: 'Ow koind of yew ter leave yer doors unlawked.
Oracle: [shakes a handful of aspirin into his hand and swallows them.] I'm afraid that simply won't do. The criminal trade has become highly professionalized, and you cannot expect leaders who have stolen nuclear weapons, threatened heads of state, and kidnapped movie stars for weekend trysts to take you seriously if you talk like a bad Dickens parody. Now, let's get at it again.
*Several hours pass*
Oracle: Oh, it's hopeless. I simply don't know what to do anymore.
Syd: Yes, perhaps we've been at it long enough for tonight. But we'll take another swing at it in the morning, shan't we?
Oracle: What . . . what did you say?
Syd: I said that we'd best make a night of it, and begin again bright and early to-morrow.
Oracle: I don't believe it! It's a miracle!
Syd: What?
Oracle: "What?" Not "wot" but "what!" Praise be to ... erm ... to ME, for this miraculous transformation! Now, repeat after me: You failed to make bail; now tell your tale in gaol.
Syd: I failed to make bail, so I tell my tale in gaol.
Oracle: I think he's got it! I think he's got it!
Syd: I failed to make bail, so I tell my tale in gaol.
Oracle: By Zeus, he's got it! By Zeus, he's got it! Now once again: how did you fail?
Syd: To make bail! To make bail!
Oracle: And what do you tell in gaol?
Syd: My tale! My tale! I failed to make bail; now I tell my tale in gaol!
Oracle: There you go.
You owe the Oracle a comfy chair and a big warm fire. That'd be luvverly.

 


5.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your imagined question deeply.
Your imagined question was:

> And so did Syd and Harry ever get rich in the end?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Ah, Harold and Sydney -- the Pete 'n Dud of the London underworld! What an... enthusiastic pair they were.
Well, no they didn't. In fact, it is a very sorry saga I have to relate. I well remember the last time I saw them...
[Scene: The lounge bar of the Crown and Ferret, Lower Cheapside, London's East End]
Syd: Wotcher 'avin', 'Arry?
Harry: Pint of beggar boy's fer me, Syd. An' a packet of oilies.
Syd: An' wabbout you, guv'nor? Wot's yer poison?
Oracle: Make mine a whisky, thanks.
Syd: Yer wot?
Oracle: Oh sorry. I mean -- I'll have a young and frisky.
Syd: Oh, a whisky! Well, why'ncher say so in the first place? Strewf! Bleedin' lardy-dah haccent. Carn't make aht a word 'e says.
[Syd wanders off muttering to himself, dodging drunks and darts players on his way to the bar to fetch the drinks. He soon disappears from view in the pall of cigarette smoke]
Oracle: So, Harry -- how are things with you two?
Harry: Funny yer should arsk, squire. As it 'appens, I got this 'ere --
Oracle: I know -- you've got this here caper lined up.
Harry: S'welp me, guv -- yer really are homniscient, incher? 'Ow'cher know that then?
Oracle: Pure instinct, Harry. So what's entailed? Or don't I want to know?
Harry: Corse yer wants ter know! It's brillyint, innit? See, I was watchin' the custard an' jelly larst night --
Oracle: The what?
Harry: Custard an' jelly -- telly. You know.
Oracle: Oh, the TV. I'm with you -- pray continue.
Harry: Fer someone 'oo's homniscient, yer right iggerant sumtimes. As I was sayin', I was watchin' the telly, an' they shows this old film -- Thunnerbolt an' Lightfoot. Know it? An' Clint Heastwood --
Oracle: What's that rhyming slang for?
Harry: Wot?
Oracle: Clint Eastwood.
Harry: Nah, nah, yer got it all wrong. Clint Heastwood, 'e's a hactor. Nah if I says Brad Pitt, that's rhymin' slang, as in: yer dropped me right in the Brad Pitt, din'cher? See?
Oracle: Sorry, it's very confusing sometimes.
Harry: Only if yer fick as two short planks, it is. Nah can I finish hexplainin' or not?
Oracle: Please do.
Harry: Clint Heastwood, 'e 'arf-inches this 'ere cannon, dunn'e? An' blows away the vault doors of this 'ere bank wiv it, so's 'im an' 'is gang can make orf wiv all the dosh. An' that set me finkin'.
Oracle: Always a dangerous sign.
Harry: Yer wot?
[Syd returns with the drinks]
Syd: 'Ere yer go, gents. 'E's tellin' yer abaht 'is new caper, inn'e? I got a bad feelin' abaht it, I tells yer.
Harry: You got a bad feelin' abaht everfink. Yer ort ter be in 'orspital. It's not yer feelin's that cahnt, is it? It's whever the Slap-an'-tickle 'ere finks it'll work.
Oracle: Slap-and-tickle?
Harry: Doncher geddit? Slap-an'-tickle: Oricle! I just made that one up.
Syd: Bleedin' fantastic that, 'Arry!
Oracle: Yes, very droll. I must remember to tell that one to Lisa.
Harry: Anyways, back ter me plan. I knows this feller, see, wot's a nightwatchman at the ware'ouse where they keeps the barrel of that supergun. You know -- the one wot they was tryin' ter smuggle aht ter Saddam 'Oossein. So I finks ter meself -- Clint Heastwood -- supergun -- Bank of England job! Dunni?
Oracle: I see... A trifle more ambitious than some of your previous schemes, if I may say so, Harry.
Harry: Fink big, is wot I say!
Oracle: Well, I'm not sure...
Syd: Wotcher mean yer not sure? See, 'Arry -- 'e don't fink it'll work.
Harry: Corse it'll work! 'E just don't wants ter be rollin' in the readies, pillock!
Oracle: It's not exactly that that I don't want in, lads, and I don't want to seem like I'm nit-picking or anything, but there are certain aspects of Harry's stratagem which could give a cautious person grounds for mild concern.
Harry: Yer wot?
Oracle: To use the vernacular, your plan pen-and-inks to high heaven.
Harry: Stone me, guv! If I'da known yer was goin' ter be such a nancy abaht it, I wouldn'ave hinvited yer in fer a cut. As it 'appens, we don't needs yer anyways - me an' Syd can 'andle it on our tod, carn't we Syd?
Syd: I really got a real bad feelin' abaht it, 'Arry.
Harry: Knew I could rely on yer, Syd.
[Fade out]
To cut a long story short, Syd and Harry succeeded in stealing the supergun. They loaded it into an articulated lorry which they parked on the opposite side of Threadneedle Street from the Bank of England one night.
Harry had Syd fire the gun out of the back of the lorry. Unfortunately, he had failed to make sufficient allowance for the recoil, and the gun departed through the front of the cab, through the next building (which happens to be the Stock Exchange), across Throgmorton Street, Telegraph Street and the London Wall, finally ending up in Finsbury Square, where it was retrieved by the police the following morning. Miraculously, Syd was unhurt, but he was so traumatised by the experience that he spent the remainder of his days in a rest home for the terminally nervous. And Harry? He was never heard of again.
You owe the Oracle a pint of salmon and trout. And a packet of oilies. That'd be cushty.

 


6.

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

> >NEW!!! SPILWINEX ALL PURPOSE SHOWER CLEANER!!! Destroys all forms of
> >anything remotely dirty in your shower... ....maybe even YOU!!!
>
> Dear Newsnet Oracle,
>
> Wishing to surprise Baroness Blackmoor (it is our anniversary on Tuesday),
> I purchased a sachet of the aforementioned cleaning product in the hope
> of restoring the master bathroom to some semblance of its original beauty
> and sophistication.
>
> Following the instructions on the packet, I donned a pair of diving
> gloves, and mixed the contents with two gallons of ammonia, before
> retiring to the billiards room leaving the mixture to bubble and fester.
>
> Imagine my surprise when returning from my brief sojourn to discover that
> several of the little baronettes had used the brew to fill their water
> pistols, and were cheerily re-enacting some of the more notable battles
> from the Boer war in the vegetable garden.
>
> By the time I had located a suitable walking cane with which to berate
> the little blighters, and exited the house via the back stairs and
> kitchens, the vegetable garden had been replaced by an enormous crater.
> Two of the little baronettes were clinging precariously to a corner of
> the potting shed on one edge, and a third had scrambled to the safety
> of the gazebo. The whereabouts of the remaining children, however,
> was indicated only by a rapidly receding wailing sound as the crater
> presumably continued its descent into the depths of the earth.
>
> Now, a couple of questions for you, if I may be so bold. I know your time
> is valuable, and I should be limited to only one question, but these two
> are interlinked, and one as omniscient as yourself should have no trouble
> in knocking them off before tiffin:
>
> Firstly, how on earth do I go about retrieving the lost ones from their
> unexpected subterrannean adventure? Personally I'm not too bothered about
> getting the children back, there's plenty more where they came from
> (Baroness Blackmoor is rather attached to them though, and even knows
> some of their names, so she's bound to be a little upset when she gets
> home). No, more to my interest, is regaining the prize marrows I was
> intending to display at next weeks show. Heaven knows what state they'll
> be in.
>
> Secondly, am I in any danger from this large pit, so worryingly close to
> the house? If this stuff keeps dissolving the dirt away, theh crater may
> become a volcano, and spit lumps of basilisk or gobs of molten vulva at
> me as I take my morning constitutional.
>
> What am I to do about it all? Any suggestions that can restore the status
> quo before the Baroness returns from her bridge club would be doubly
> welcome.
>
> Yours sincerely,
>           Horatio Blackmoor (Baron).

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Dear Your Grace,
Baron, Baron, Baron, how many times do I have to tell you? The aristocracy is congenitally unsuited to doing household chores. You'll always end up with disasters of this kind. In future, leave it to Perkins.
Oh, Perkins handed in his notice six months ago, did he? As a result of the little baronettes spiking his eggnog with Viagra? Yes, I can see how that could create something of an uncomfortable situation. The only thing one wants stiff in a butler is his upper lip.
Look, I've got a lot on here just now, Baron, so I don't have time to pop over to the Old Country and clear up your little difficulty for you. But don't worry, I've contacted a couple of excellent fellows who are experts at dealing with this kind of situation. They should be there any minute... Ah, that sounds like them now.
 
"Evenin', squire! My name's 'Arry, an' this 'ere's me partner Syd. Say 'ello ter 'is nibs, Syd."
"Wotcher, yer 'onnerable worshipfulness."
"That's right, Syd, lay it on wiv a trowel, why dontcher?"
"I wos just tuggin' the old forelock, 'Arry. Yer gotter do that wiv nobs, dontcher?"
"If yer says so. Nah lissen up, yer Baronetcy. I been 'earing from me old mucker the Hinternet Horicle that yer got yerself a bit of Barney Rubble wiv a big 'ole in yer allotment wot is - an' I quote - spoowin' up lumps of barsilisk an' gobs of molten vulver."
"Can we say gobs of molten vulver in a fam'ly noosgroup, 'Arry?"
"It's a jam jar, innit?"
"Nah, that's a Volver. I fink a vulver is sumfink rude."
"Well, we can edit it aht after. Anyway, yer dukedom, dontcher worry yer inbred little Uncle Ned abaht that there 'ole. It's 'ist'ry. It's orlready sorted."
"Orlready sorted? We hain't even started fillin' it in yet, 'Arry!"
"Oo said anyfink abaht fillin' it in? I sold it, dinni?"
"Don't be doolally! Oo'd be daft enough ter buy an 'ole wot just keeps gettin' bigger?"
"Sellerfield, that's oo."
"Wot? That noocleyer power plant fing?"
"The same. They dumps all their radieractive waste in our 'ole, then they fills it up wiv concrete. An' then they pays us! 'Ow's abaht that fer a bit of cushty, ey?"
"That's brillyint, 'Arry!"
"I hamaze meself, sumtimes."
"Wait, it's not gonner work. Wot abaht them little barrernettes? They'll be stuck dahn the bottom of miles of radieractive gunk an' concrete."
"I thort of that."
"Yer thort of a way ter get the tiny toff tots aht?"
"Nah, I thort of gettin' sum replacements. So I rahnded up sum of the hurchins 'angin' rahnd our street in East Cheapside. They're ahtside in the van."
"Oi! Me little Albert's in the van. 'Er indoors'll kill me if I lets yer give away our little Albert!"
"Oo said anyfink abaht givin' 'im away? 'Is lordship 'ere's 'andin' over a parcel of lolly fer 'im, aintcher guv? An' yer tells the trouble an' strife yer sent Albert away ter get a proper heducation. 'E'll prolly go ter 'Arrow or Heton, meet that Prince 'Arry wot they named after me, come back all posh an' snooty."
"Them god-forbids in the van don't talk posh, 'Arry. The Barrerness'll suss 'em straight orff!"
"I gave 'em all 50p not ter open their traps, ever. Seen an' not 'eard, see? Clean 'em up - not wiv that lefal shower stuff, mind! - she'll never know the diff. No bovver! Lumme, strike a light, Syd, but yer don't 'arf winge on at a feller sumtimes. It's a dead cert, I tells yer."
"Yeah, just like them dead cert inside tips yer's always gettin' fer the 3:30 at 'Aydock."
"Don't lissen ter 'im, yer 'ighness. 'E's 'avin' a male mennerporse, the silly J Arfer Ranker. Nah, it's all sorted, 'cept fer the Beecham's Pill of corse - that's the bill, case yer wond'rin'. Lessee nah - that's one 'ole fixed up, one dozen little nippers of dahtful origin, freedom from gobs of molten vulver..."
"The marrers! Yer forgot the marrers, 'Arry!"
"The marrers?"
"See! See! I knew it wern't gonner work!"
"Okay, so we got a bit of a prob vee-ar-vee next week's show. But, if yer can wait till next year, yer 'onner, I can get sum unemployed miners rahnd ter dig yer marrers up. Wiv all the radieractivity, they'll be height feet long an' glow in the dark. Yer'll win first prize right orff, long as yer don't let 'em eat the judges. An' the miners can dig aht the little barrernettes at the same time - yer missus can 'ave 'er little Albert back then, Syd."
"But all that radieractivity'll 'ave made the little barrernettes height feet long too, wiv two 'eads an' 'orrible red eyes an' big, long droolin' fangs an' fings!"
"Just stick 'em in the 'Ouse of Lords. Oo's gonner notice in there?"
"Yer a genius, 'Arry! Yer finks of everyfink!"
"White man's burden, me old China. Right then, yer uppercrustitude. 'Ere's yer replacement barrernettes - don't get too close ter 'em, yer don't wanner catch nuffink. The blokes from Sellerfield'll starts dumpin' their 'azzerdous waste this pee-emmer, so keep indoors if yer don't wants yer 'air ter fall aht an' yer skin ter peel orff. Tell yer old lady yer layin' the fahndations fer a croquet pitch or sumfink. As fer wot yer owes us, I'll let the gaffer tell yer. Come on, Syd, time we wos dahn the battle crooser."
"It's yer rahnd, 'Arry."
"Tommy Rollocks, it is!"
 
You owe the Oracle and his subcontractors half of your winnings at next year's vegetable show, and all of your leftover Spilwinex. I want to see if it'll work on Bill Clinton's private life.

 


7.

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

> Oh, Oracle most wise, who enjoys talking to Bud Abbot about mutual
> funds and Vlad Tempes about political theory...
>
> I recently heard that somebody is planning to make "Syd and Harry meet
> Cthulu". What would such a movie be like?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Planning? They're already doing it! Let's take a peek behind the scenes and see how they're progressing, shall we?
# # #
McGregor: Pinter beer! Calf an' cow! Dead 'orse... Is this really supposed to be a magical incantation?
Assistant to Mr. Spielberg: Cut!
Spielberg: It's rhyming slang for an incantation, Ewan.
McGregor: So what am I supposed to be saying?
Spielberg: "Benatir, Cararkau, Dedos, Yog-Sothoth, come forth."
McGregor: Well, the incantation's hardly going to work then, is it, if I don't say the proper words?
Spielberg: We're all kind of hoping it won't work, Ewan. We can do without Ancient Ones oozing all over the set and causing even more interruptions to the shoot than we already have.
McGregor: Sorry, Steve. It's all a bit bewildering.
Spielberg: You're doing just fine. Take it again from the incantation.
Assistant to Mr. Spielberg: Quiet on the set! Take fifteen, and action!
McGregor: Pinter beer! Calf an' cow! Dead 'orse! Yog-Soforf, cahm forf! Cahm forf!
DeVito: Ayave gort eh bard feeyalin abort this, Harrey.
Spielberg: Cut!
Assistant to Mr. Spielberg: Cut!
DeVito: Sorry, boss.
Spielberg: Still a bit of work to be done on the voice coaching front, eh?
DeVito: How can anybody talk like that? It's agony!
Spielberg: Never mind. I'm sure you'll be speaking it like a native by the end, and then we can just overdub your earlier scenes. Could we have Cthulhu on the set, please?
Assistant to Mr. Spielberg: Paging Mr. Cthulhu!
McGregor: Did you manage to get Pacino?
Spielberg: No, he claimed he had other commitments, the coward. I think I can get Jeremy Irons, though. Give the whole project a touch of class, don't you think? Meanwhile, our first deputy assistant clapperboard loader's understudy will stand in for the monster.
Kendai: Canni have yer autograph, Mr. McGregor? I though you were really fab in "Trainspotting".
Spielberg: Later, kid. Do you know your lines?
Kendai: I just sort of growls and splutters. Hey! Am I really gonna be in a movie?
Spielberg: No, you'll be replaced by a 30-foot computer-generated cephalopoid slug-thing, voiced by Jeremy Irons, hopefully. You just stand there and give the actors something to interact with.
Kendai: Bummer. 
DeVito: The kid speaks better Cockney than I do.
Spielberg: Maybe he can give you some extra coaching, then. Where're you from, kid?
Kendai: Birmingham!
McGregor: For the benefit of the non-Brits here, that's not quite within earshot of Bow Bells, Steve.
Spielberg: So who's gonna notice apart from a few nit-picking Limeys? Okay, kid - try and do your lines with a Cockney accent. Maybe it'll inspire Danny here.
Kendai: I growls and splutters with a Cockney accent?
Spielberg: You got it. Right, settle down everyone, we're doing another take!
Assistant to Mr. Spielberg: Take sixteen, and action!
McGregor: Pinter beer! Calf an' cow! Dead 'orse! Yog-Soforf, cahm forf! Cahm forf! I speaks the dickie birds, I breaks yer duck ponds, the crated veal is carst aside, innit? Parse froo the early an' late an' enner inno the world, why doncher?
DeVito: Ahay goat ar bahad feline abutt this, Aharry.
McGregor: Don' get yer knickers inner twist, Syd me old son. It's a piecer cake, this is, innit? As I was sayin', Zyweser, Wecater, Keooser an' all the rester that pony an' trap! Cahm forf, Yog-Soforf, cahm forf, yer silly old duffer!
Kendai: [gazes at Ewan McGregor in adulation, mouth hanging slightly open]
Spielberg: That's your cue, kid.
Kendai: Oh, ah, sorry. Er... grl, splbl'bl'bl, woojub...
Spielberg: Don't forget the Cockney accent now.
Kendai: Oh yeh, right, sorry. Erm, grl, splbl'bl'bl, woojub... mate!
DeVito: Bleeyadin eck, Arharey! It's ar flayemin horctopurse!
Kendai: Zxsplit'ny, wobble, snotglox'bl'dr, ecke ecke f'tang, cockles and whelks!
McGregor: Grarnted, 'e ain't winnin' no byooty corntests dahn Hislington way. Still, yer knows wot they says, Syd, repellent vileness is only skin deep.
DeVito: Oo says that?
McGregor: Me, pillock! Nah, lemme 'andle this. Wotcher, Kerfooloo, me old mucker! 'Ow's tricks? Rerlyer wergarnafingummy fertang, an' all that.
Kendai: Er, fnt'neyblad, plinth, gotterdammerung, down the Old Kent Road!
McGregor: Nah, I knows wot yer's finkin', yer old cesspool of hundilooted hevil yer. Yer's finkin', why donni just gobbles up these two 'ere puny 'oomans fer me Michael Winner, incher?
DeVito: Ahy fink thart's wart ehe's finkirn, Ayhray.
McGregor: But 'ang abaht, me old slime-droolin' maniferstation of grotersqueness. Yer's gotter fink, why's these two 'ere likely lads rousin' me up from me heternal slumber inner first place, doncher? Yer's gotter fink, maybe they's gotter propersition fer a pretty nifty caper fer me, doncher? An' it just so 'appens...
Spielberg: At this point, Cthulhu swallows up Syd whole.
Kendai: How do I do that then?
Spielberg: Just grab him, kid. Let the magic of SFX take care of the rest.
# # #
That's quite enough for now, Supplicant. Suffice to say, it's on track for a summer '99 release. I've got my ticket for the premiere.

 


8.

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

> Blast! It's the coppers! What are we going to do now?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Yer leaves the torkin' ter yer uncle 'Arry, of corse.
*ahem* Evenin', hofficer, nice weaver fer the time of year, innit? Say 'ello ter the nice rozzer, fellers. Nah, wot canni do yer fer?
'Oo're we? Wotter question! I'm 'Arry, this 'ere's me partner, Syd, an' this hexcitable gent 'ere's our old mucker from acrorss the briny, Alberto "Mad Dog" Semprini. Nah, nah, put the cannon haway, Alberto, we don' want nobody gettin' an 'eadache nah. Yer'll 'ave ter hexcuse 'im, cornstable, 'e don't spikka di Eenglish too good - 'e's a Sherman, yer see. Sherman, as in Sherman tank, as in Yank. That's it, yer got it in one. They should make yer a sooperintendent, smart feller like you.
Nah, I knows wot yer's finkin'. Yer's finkin' "Wot the ding dong bell are these 'ere dodgy-lookin' spivs doin' dahn 'ere in the bank vault, why is they 'oldin' sacks wiv dosh in, an' why is there a bleedin' great 'ole inner wall behind them," incher? Well, it's like this. We's soowage hinspectors, see? Take a sniff of old Syd if yer don't believe me, 'e pongs fit ter stun a wart'og at five hunnerd paces.
Yeh, we's soowage hinspectors, an' we was dahn the soowers catchin' rats, wern't we? Wiv the bags, see? Why's it say "SWAG" on the bags? That's our oonion, innit? Stands fer the Soowage Workers An' Garbidgemen oonion. Wot's that, Syd? Yer don't fink 'e's buyin' it? Corse 'e is! Put the gun haway, Alberto.
Why's Alberto got a gun, hofficer? Like I toldyer, 'e's a Septic, inne? Septic, as in septic tank, as in Yank. Try an' keep up, willyer? Where 'e comes from, they's got halligators in the soowers, donney? Yer gotter go armed, it stands ter reason! Them rats dahn 'ere is pretty fierce too, yer know. Gnashers this long! 'Ave yer leg orff as soon as say "Cor blimey, strike a light". Stop cryin', Syd.
So yer see, it's the rats wot dug the 'ole in the wall, only we scared 'em orff, gerrit? An' before we goes orff chasin' 'em again, we fought we'd stick all the lolly in our bags so's if the rats cahms back an' we wasn't 'ere, they couldn't eat it, see? Yer follerin' all this are yer, son? Fer the love of Mikey, Alberto, will yer stop wavin' that bleedin' shooter abaht! Yer even makin' me nervous.
Nah, cornstable, if yer wants ter make yerself yooseful, can yer get in the 'ole an' watch fer the rats till we finish baggin' the loot, I mean, the readies. That's it, right in an' rahnd the Jack 'Orner. Can yer see anyfink? No? Yer hamaze me. Maybe yer mince pies will hacclimatise.
Right, me old chinas. If yer's all done 'ere, we can leave by the front door. Ah, the old bill, dontcher just love 'em? 'Ardly enorf brains ter fill a fimble. Blow yer nose, Syd.

 


9.

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

> Orrie, Orrie, friend of prophets,
> please inform on these space muppets:
>
> The "sling-shot" effect, that some sloppy organization used to justify
> swinging a satellite around Venus to "speed it up", can't store any more
> potential energy than a sling shot, nor any more energy than you put into
> it. Why bother, then?
> Why not just go straight from point A (Earth) to point B (Saturn)?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

"Corse yer wants ter go from A ter B, squire, I can unnerstan' that. But yer's got ter arsk yerself, 'ow much is this gonner corst me? All that rocket fuel an' plootonium an' stuff. Corsts a bomb, that stuff does. Yer carn't get that fer a knock-dahn price dahn the market, know wot I mean? So we at NASA reckons..."
"We works fer NASA nah, does we, 'Arry?"
"That we does, Syd me old mucker. The North 'Ackney Space Hagency, not that ovver mob."
"Shouldn't that be NASH, wiv a H fer..."
"Shut yer cake'ole, Syd. As I was sayin', guv'nor, we at NASA reckons that, wot yer wants is some system wot uses - wotcher call it again? - potenshal energy, that's it. Well, as it 'appens, that's hexactly wot our special NASA Potenshal Energy Sling-Shot Heffect Launch Platform uses. 'Ence the name, geddit?"
"Is that that 500 yards of dodgy knicker elastic wot yer got orff Phil the Greek?"
"Din't I tell yer ter shut it? Yer must hexcuse me partner, guv - 'e was dropped on 'is 'ead when 'e was a baby."
"I don't remember bein' dropped on me lump of lead when I was a baby."
"That's corse it gave yer hamnesier as well. Can we get on?"
"Sure fing, 'Arry."
"So this is wot we does. We attaches one end of the knicker elastic - I mean, the Launch Platform - ter the top of the Post Office Tower, an' the ovver end ter the back of the van. Then we drives the van haway till the Launch Platform is stretched really, really tight - full of potenshal energy, see? - we loads yer space probe inner it, an' twang! Bob's yer auntie!"
"Will that launch the saterlite inner space then, 'Arry?"
"S'long as the release mechanism works. Ovverwise, it just flies rahnd an' rahnd in a circle, wiv the elastic gettin' shorter an' shorter as it gets wrapped arahnd the Tower, until smack! Misshun aborted."
"That would be a bloody funny sight though, 'Arry."
"Har, har - yeh, yer right, it would. Wotcher say, squire - shall we abort the launch like that, just fer a larf? Oh well, suit yerself. Nah, Misshun Control - that's Syd 'ere - will be based at Euston..."
"Wot? The railway station?"
"The same. So, if anyfink goes wrong, the hasternauts can pick up the dog an' bone an' say 'Euston, we 'as a problem'."
"Har, har, har - that's really good, 'Arry."
"I fort so too. Not that anyfink is gonner go wrong, mind. I'm just sayin', s'posin' it does, yer don't wants ter be callin' Syd an' sayin' "King's Cross Saint Pancras, we 'as a problem'. Bit of a moufful, that. Yer could be sucked inner a black 'ole before yer halfway frough a message like that. Stands ter reason, dunnit? Nah, where didyer say yer wants ter go?"
"'E said Saturn, 'Arry."
"Then we gets yer little Albert ter calcyerlate the trajectory, Syd. 'E does maffs at school, dunn'e?"
"'E's not very good at it..."
"S'long as 'e can go in an' nick a pocket calcyerlator - we'll take care of the rest. So, guv'nor, that's 500 yards of knicker elastic, use of the van, use of Syd's mobile phone, an' use of young Albert's maffermatical genius... Make it heighty-five quid in all fer yer innerplanetary voyage. Nah, nah, wot am I sayin'? To you, squire, heighty quid! Is it a deal or is it a deal? That's the spirit - I knew yer'd see sense! Oh, an' we don't take cheques. Nah, kindly settle haccounts wiv old Syd, corse I've got ter go dahn the bookies ter place a John Major on the Test Match. I'm bettin' play will be innerrupted by a metcherite landin' in the middle of the pitch this pee-emmer."
"Yer must be bonkers, 'Arry! Wot's the chances of that 'appenin'?"
"Depends on 'ow well young Albert calcyerlates the trajectory, dunnit?"
"Blimey! 'Ow dyer fink of all these fings, 'Arry? Must be even yer brains 'as brains."
"Steady on, me old China. Yer wouldn't wants me ter lose me natcheral modesty nah, wouldyer?"

 


10.

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

> Great Oracle, who's warehouses are full of fabulous piles of gold, jewels,
> silver, and other such treasures, why can't I find the pot of gold at the
> end of the rainbow?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

I don't know - it should've worked. Did you get hold of a leprechaun like I told you? Here, let me see him.
"Faith an' begob, sorr! Moi shillelagh's in the mulligatawney an' moi blarney's in Glocca Morra, begorrah!"
Ah, there's your problem - that's not a proper leprechaun. In fact, it's not even Irish - nobody Irish speaks like that. Sydney, why are you dressed up in a green suit and a fake red beard?
"Blimey, squire! 'Owcher reckernise me?"
I have intuitive powers far beyond the scope of human comprehension. That, and the fact you'd need to be an idiot to be taken in by that pathetic disguise - no offence, supplicant. Did Harry put you up to this, Syd?
"Trade secret, guv. I'm not at liberty ter reveal me sources. Me PG Tips is sealed an' all that palaver."
I'll take that as a yes. So what's the scam? Oh wait, I can guess. Supplicant, did you actually catch this ersatz elf yourself? Uh-huh... You got him from a professional, accredited leprechaun hunter. Sounds like Harry all right. How much did you pay for him? Good heavens, you wouldn't have much change left out of a pot of gold after that!
Well, I'm sorry to tell you, but you've been had. This little folk- wannabe and his partner are a pair of lowlife from London who've crossed my path once or twice before. If I know Harry, your money is currently riding on a sure-fire loser in the 2.15 at Doncaster. Still, it's not a complete loss. You are now the proud owner of the world's only Cockney leprechaun. You can probably sell him to Madame Tussauds for a tidy sum.
"'Ere, yer not sellin' me ter that place! They covers yer all in wax in that place! Me cows an' kisses'll 'ave a fit if I comes inner the 'ouse all covered in wax!"
Tell her you've joined the Chippendales. Now if that's all, supplicant, you owe the Oracle a genuine Glaswegian Wizard of Oz.

 


11.

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

> Most morally upright & virtuous Oracle,

> How does one get out of a contract written in blood?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Sold our soul to Satan, have we? What, not Satan? Then who? Let's have a look at that contract. "I, the undersigned, freely and willingly submit my soul and any associated spiritual intangibles to H. Sleestack, Esq., Prince of Darkness..." Oh no, not again. Just hang on a moment, supplicant.
[The Oracle mutters an incantation whilst fiddling with various buttons and levers on his console. Presently, an interdimensional portal opens and deposits two figures on the floor of the Oracular Chamber. One is tall and shifty-looking, the other short, round and wearing an expression of amiable befuddlement. Both are dressed in skivvy's clothing, flat caps and two days' growth of stubble.]
Oracle: Hello, Harold, Sydney. What are you up to this time?
Harry: Cripes, squire, yer don' wanner do that innerdimenshunal stuff on people wivvout warnin'. We coulder been on the loo or sumfink!
Syd: We's in the heternal souls bizness, Orrie.
Harry: Shurrup, Syd.
Syd: Sorry, 'Arry.
Harry: Don' lissen ter 'im, guv. We ain't doin' nuffink. Straight up. Yer must be finking of two ovver fellers.
Oracle: Harry, I know you're buying souls. I've got one of your suppliers here.
Harry: Oh yeh, so yer 'as. Wotcher, mate! 'Ow's the prospect of heverlarstin' torment lookin' terday? Still, yer gotter larf, doncher?
Oracle: Do tell me, I'm dying to know - why are you buying souls?
Harry: It's a buyer's market at the mo, innit? Prices is rock-bottom! It's not like the 80s no more. I mean, we got this geezer's soul fer a song.
Syd: Two porshuns of jellied eels an' chips ter be precise.
Oracle: Letting it go a bit cheap, aren't you?
Supplicant: I was really, really hungry.
Syd: One of the porshuns was mine, too.
Harry: I keeps tellin' yer, Syd - yer bizness ain't gonner get orff the penny-an'-pound if yer don' hinvest in it.
Oracle: What do you want with a bunch of souls, Harry?
Harry: Strewf, innit hobvious? It's Harmageddon this millennyum, innit?
Oracle: Of course, silly me.
Harry: An', wiv a big job like that, they's gonner need subcontractors, inney?
Oracle: You're not putting in a bid to be the Antichrist?
Harry: Nah, nah, nah, don' be daft!
Oracle: Well, that's a relief.
Harry: ...That'll be Syd in a Mephistorpheles cozzy.
Syd: I'm rentin' it from the fancy dress shop dahn the 'igh street.
Oracle: So how many souls have you got so far?
Harry: Trade secret, that is!
Syd: Free.
Oracle: Three?
Syd: Yeh. This surpplicant, busty Brenda dahn the Crown an' Ferret - she wants ter be the 'Ore of Babylon - an' me. An' I ain't too chuffed abaht that bit, 'Arry.
Harry: Look, yer carn't expect the Troops of Midian ter foller yer rahnd if yer ain't damned ter heternal perdition first, Syd. No street cred, if yer gets me drift. They's very pertickerler abaht that sorter fing.
Oracle: I hate to be the one to break it to you, boys, but I don't think a total of three slightly used souls is going to get you very far in terms of running the global holocaust.
Harry: Nah, nah, not global, yer silly old fillet of cod. We's got our mincers on the local contract, in't we? I wants yer ter fink of me as the 'Orseman of the Norf 'Ackney Hapockerlypse, like.
Oracle: [rubbing his temples in a pained way] I can't say why exactly, but the more I hear of this grand venture, the less I want to know.
Syd: We's even gettin' our own seven seals!
Harry: Well, they's sea lions really, but 'oo's ter know the diff, eh?
Syd: They's not dodgy is they, 'Arry?
Harry: Wiv Phil the Greek gettin' them for us? Corse they's dodgy! Remember, we's gonner be negoshatin' wiv the Barons of 'Ades 'ere, Syd - they wouldner wants it any ovver way, see?
Oracle: Getting back to the real world for a moment, if that's not too much to ask - I don't believe this contract is entirely valid.
Harry: Corse it is! It's signed wiv blood an' all!
Syd: My blood, as it 'appens.
Harry: Well, wot was we surpposed ter do? That surpplicant is a right squeamish woolly woofter.
Oracle: Yes, but did you notice he signed his name "George W. Bush"?
Harry: Stone the crows dahn the Old Kent Road!
Oracle: Taking that, the dubious provenance of the blood and the absence of any reliable witnesses into consideration (because, let's face it, Harry - you don't know anybody remotely reliable), I think it's safe to say the supplicant's soul is his own again.
Harry: The connivin' git!
Syd: Does that mean 'e 'as ter pay me fer me jellied eels an' chips?
Harry: Wot am I surpposed ter do wiv jus' two souls?
Oracle: You could always repair your shoes.
Syd: Har har har! That's good, that is!
Harry: Shurrup, Syd.
Syd: Sorry, 'Arry.
Oracle: Goodbye, boys.
[The Oracle begins muttering another incantation and fiddling with the buttons and levers on his console.]
Syd: So 'oo's this George W. Bush geezer?
Harry: 'E's a hactor, inne? 'E was in that film, "Oh God".
[The interdimensional portal closes, swallowing up our two would-be lords of misrule.]
Well, let that be a lesson to you, supplicant - don't go selling your soul to just anyone you meet. Not for a portion of jellied eels, anyway.
You owe the Oracle your eternal gratitude. Here, sign this agreement form on the dotted line. Oh, all right, use ketchup if you must!

 


12.

On Mon, 9 Jul 2001, Jim Evans wrote:

<snip>
> Sid and Harry seem to be on hols,

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Ah, but they aren't. I can now exclusively reveal that they've been fully occupied with making the movie of how their monumental partnership started, provisionally entitled "When Harry Met Syd". I also hereby offer a sneak preview of one scene from the film that's already destined to become a classic:
Harry: Wotcher sayin', that wimmin fakes horgasm?
Syd: Me cows an' kisses says most wimmin 'as at one time or anovver faked it.
Harry: Gerahttof it!
Syd: If yer arsks me, me cows an' kisses fakes sex altogevver.
Harry: Well, nobody ain't faked it wiv me!
Syd: 'Owcher know?
Harry: Corse I know, pillock! Doncher fink I can tell the diff?
Syd: Ooo...Cor...Ooo...
Harry: Wotcher up ter nah, yer daft git?
Syd: Oh...Oh strewf...Ooo Oh blimey...Oh...Oh...Oh...Oh cripes...Oh stone the crows dahn the Old Kent Road Oh! Oh...Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow...Oh...Oh... Ow Ow Ow....Oh... Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow...Oh...Oh... Oh... Oh lumme strike a light Oh... Oh... Huuhhh...
Harry: Wot wos that allabaht?
Syd: Yer put yer crate of twenny gross made inner Yookraine mobile phones on me foot, dincher?
Harry: Well, yer shooder moved it, plonker.
Woman at Another Table: Whatever he's having, I don't want it
Waitress: Don't worry, madam - we've taken it off the menu.

 


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