VERSE IS WORSE

Every now and again, the muse gets an uncontrollable urge to go all Calliopic. The resulting epic, though invariably a work of genius, often bears an uncanny resemblance to a poem previously penned by someone else. It doesn't do to point this out to her, however; any more than it does to have her subsequently hack you into small pieces using a blunt machete.

       Source/Digest:   Apologies to:
1. This Klein Piggy   #1038-01   Anon.
2. You Are Gauche, Father William   #1057-09   Lewis Carroll
3. The Rime of the Ancient Wood-chucker   #1102-06   Samel Taylor Coleridge
4. The Green Eye of the Yellow Oracle   from rec.humor.oracle.d   J. Milton Hayes
5. The Zotting of Dan McGrew   #1151-10   Robert Service
6. La Net.Sex.Déesse Sans Merci       John Keats
7. The Wombat of Brunanburh   #1169-06   Alfred Lord Tennyson
8. Carlovingian Girls   from [email protected]   Brian Wilson (a)
9. The Song of Queen Chuckzilla   from [email protected]   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (b)
10. To a Sheep       Robert Burns
11. The Night After Christmas   #1195-05   Clement Clarke Moore
12. The Woodchuck of Shalott   #1199-04   Alfred Lord Tennyson

(a) You mean that's not a poem? I've been had!
(b) Though - let's be honest - he owes us apologies. Many apologies.

 


1.

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

> Oh Splendiferous Oracle, please answer this query which isn't really
> worthy of your time:
>
> Today, for breakfast, I ate a strip of bacon in the form of a Moebius
> band. What sort of pig did that come from?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Surely you are familiar with the well-known children's rhyme?
This Klein piggy went to market,
This Klein piggy stayed at home,
This Klein piggy had two topological surfaces,
This Klein piggy had one,
And this Klein piggy was constructed in non-Euclidian space
        by identifying two ends of a cylindrical surface in the
        direction opposite that necessary to obtain a torus.
Now you'll have to excuse the Oracle. I need to go wee wee.

 


2.

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

> "I'll make the world a better place,"
>     Or so I thought inside.
> "I'll fight the cause of every race."
>     How foolish was my pride!
>
> I thought to say a word in private,
>     To turn a friend from sorrow.
> But now I find, though much too late,
>     No friend I'll have tomorrow.
>
> My careful plans all went awry.
>     My chosen course has crumbled.
> Oh, Oracle, please hear my cry:
>     Why did I have to stumble?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

"You are gauche, my young fellow," the wise man said,
      "And as sensitive as a cockroach;
Which is why all your friends pretend to be dead
      When they so much as see you approach."
"That's a lie!" cried the supplicant. "How dare you say
      That I by my friends might be spurned?
When they're blue I call round and I brighten their day
      With the new tasteless jokes that I've learned."
"You are gauche," said the sage, with an ominous scowl,
      "A lobotomy's twice as much fun;
So when cats and dogs see you, in terror they howl,
      And from the vicinity run."
"That's a lie!" cried the youth. "To spread jollity is
      My one and my only desire;
And to watch their gay frolics is absolute bliss
      When I set their tails all on fire."
"You are gauche," said the sage, "that's all you need know --
      As caring as Hannibal Lector.
Now I've told you your answer, so get up and go;
      You owe me a looney detector."
"That's a lie!" cried the youth. "It's not me that's to blame!
      It's you! It's your answers -- they suck!
Why, you don't even know -- how could you be so lame? --
      How much wood a woodchuck could chuck!"
"You are gauche," said the Oracle, feeling quite weak,
      "And I'm tired of speaking in rhyme;
You are totally clueless, you Juno Mail freak!
      God, I wish you'd stop wasting my time."
"You aren't omniscient, you senile old twit!"
      Cried the youth. "Man, you're dumber than me!
Why, I don't need Juno to get on the Net --
      Not me, sir, I've got WebTV!"

 


3.

[My masterpiece. It defies comprehension that the digest voters only awarded it 3.5 on average. I mean, it's got gags, it's got a strong story with a twist at the end, it's only 1/7th the length of the original... What more do you want? - Ed.]

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

> Oh what can ail thee, Oracle,
> Alone and palely loitering?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT WOOD-CHUCKER
IN TOO MANY PARTS
BY SAMUEL TAYLOR ORACLE
PART THE FIRST.
It is an ancient Oracle,
And a supplicant he stops.
"Jesus H Christ, you gave me a turn--
Why look so miserable, Pops?"
He holds him with his skinny hand;
"I know your sort," quoth he.
"You want to ask that question vile,
About woodchucks and me."
"Hold off! Unhand me, grey-beard loon!"
The supplicant doth whine.
He'd always wanted to say that:
'Tis such a catchy line.
"What, woodchucks--me? Oh, no sirree!
It simply isn't true:
I wandered in here by mistake
Whilst looking for the loo."
"Nay, ye shall listen, supplicant,
My tale's both long and dull;
But not as dull as Coleridge," said
The bright-eyed Oracle.
"We set out on the hunt one day,
Zeus, Odin, Thoth and I.
We fancied roasted venison,
Or maybe rabbit pie.
"Though, as I now remember it,
Thoth doth prefer dormice.
He'd recently sworn off red meat
On medical advice.
"And Odin had exotic tastes,
He wanted pelican--"
The supplicant here beat his breast,
"Oh, get a move on, man!"
"I have to set the scene, you know,"
The Oracle protests.
"So heed well and make copious notes;
Here after follow tests."
The supplicant, he beat his breast:
Why was he such a fool
To come before that frightful bore,
The bright-eyed Oracle?
PART THE SECOND.
"With bows in hand and spirits high,
We gambolled 'neath the sheltering sky;
Yet, near and far, we did not spy
Nor moose, nor goat, nor hind.
'Twas passing weird: we were afeared
No food today we'd find.
"And now there came both mist and snow,
And ice was all around;
And if we'd been brass monkeys, why,
Our balls'd lie on the ground.
"At length a woodchuck hove in sight:
Thorough the fog it came;
It waddled up to us as if
It were completely tame.
"'A sign!' cried Odin. 'We are saved!'
And Zeus said he'd a hunch
All would be well; but I cried 'Hell,
I'm famished! Time for lunch!'
"I nocked an arrow and took aim;
And then, and then," said he--
His voice gave out: without a doubt
He needed sympathy.
"God save thee, ancient Oracle!
You mean to tell me that
You shot the woodchuck, there and then?
You really are a prat!"
"Yes, I had done a hellish thing,
The others were quite pissed.
Quoth Thoth: 'You twit! Oh, I could spit!
Why couldn't you have missed?
A dead woodchuck brings real bad luck;
Oh, would that you had missed!'
"Then Odin said: 'It's on your head;
You dropped us in the dung.
Let this marmot, which you have shot,
Around your neck be hung.'
With rope and knot, that dead marmot
Around my neck they hung!
"A breeze sprang up, the mist cleared up,
The snow melted away.
And then it rained unceasingly
The rest of that whole day.
"Water, water, every where,
As far as the eye can peer.
Water, water, every where;
I'd kill for just one beer!
"Then Zeus and Odin said, 'Enough!
This weather's far too rough.'
And Thoth felt ill, he'd caught a chill,
Of hunting he had had his fill--
He went off in a huff.
"And I was left of friends bereft;
My grief cut like a knife.
'Oh woodchuck, bearer of ill luck!
I don't care how much wood you chuck:
Please come once more to life!'
"But answer I received not one,
Which came as no surprise;
The woodchuck stared back up at me
With lifeless, beady eyes."
PART THE THIRD.
"There passed a weary time. The gods
To their own homes returned.
A weary time! A weary time!
My eyes, with tears they burned.
With woodchuck pendant I trudged on,
By every comrade spurned!
"Then, looking eastwards, I beheld
A new religion dawning;
As if the sun rose on a brand
New monotheistic morning.
"The Greeks and Romans thought it great:
It had not been much fun
To guess which god they must placate--
Now there would be just one!
"And even the Egyptians--
Osiris' erstwhile fans--
With uncouth haste, new faith embraced,
And turned Mohammedans.
"The Norsemen, on the other hand,
Were wracked by indecision:
They liked their gods both cruel and tough;
They didn't switch till they learnt of
The Spanish Inquisition.
"You cannot kill immortal beings--
They're, after all, undying;
But if no-one believes in them,
They find this very trying!
"They sink into a sullen sulk,
Their bodies dissipate;
And, in the blinking of an eye,
They just evaporate.
"Four times fifty mighty gods,
(And a demiurge or two)
As all their worshippers upped sticks,
They melted like the dew.
"Their spirits on the wind were blown--
They sped hence, like a flux!
And each one, as it passed me, cried:
'You and your damned woodchucks!'"
PART THE FOURTH.
"You bore me, tedious Oracle!
Your tale goes on for ever!
Pick up the pace, cut to the chase;
I fear I'll leave here never!
"You bore me with your rambling rimes--
You've kept me right through lunchtime!"
"Fear not, fear not, dear supplicant;
I'm getting near the punchline!
"For I did not fade all away!
I know not why; the reason may
Lie in my constitution.
Perhaps the woodchuck cast some spell,
That damned me to this living hell;
But I think the solution
Lies in the fact that nobody,
Right from the start, believed in me--
Thus I 'scaped dissolution.
"Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone I strayed afar!
Until one day, to my dismay,
I reached America.
"The woodchuck rotted and was gone,
But this was hardly lucky;
Because its odour lingered on,
And I smelled all woodchucky.
"I tell you this, oh supplicant:
Your sex life goes to pot!
For girls curl their toes, and hold their nose;
And, as for scoring, you won't get close,
When you reek of Eu-de-Marmot!"
PART THE FIFTH.
"You bore me, windbag Oracle!"
"Hush, supplicant, be quiet!
If thou keep'st interrupting me,
My Zot Staff I will aim at thee,
And liberally apply it!
"Where was I? Oh, yes--I arrived
At Indiana U.
I thought I'd try my trade to ply,
And prophesy anew.
"I set up shop, and advertised
All round the Internet;
I figured those geeks needed all
The help that they could get.
"And, sure enough, they came to me
From far and wide, in streams,
With questions subtle and profound
Beyond my wildest dreams!
"Where vanish all our yesterdays?
Where will our souls go to?
What can Bill Gates, in one brief life,
With so much money do?
Such questions as a sage could
Really get his teeth into!
"Yet, when they stood before my throne
Upon the appointed day,
My rodentine effluvium
Would wipe their thoughts away;
Till not at all could they recall
What they had come to say.
Their poor brains drained of intellect,
They'd blurt out, with all speed:
'How much wood would a woodchuck chuck,
If wood it chucks, indeed?'"
PART THE SIXTH.
"At last, there came the fateful year
Of nineteen ninety-seven,
The Son of God came down to earth
To take mankind to heaven--"
"Hang on!" protests the supplicant,
"How could I that have missed?
The Second Coming passed me by?"
"It serves you right," came the reply,
"For being an atheist.
"The Sacred Lamb himself came here
To Bloomington, IN,
To gather to him each and every
Upright citizen.
"'Oh shrieve me, shrieve me, Holy One!'
I cried most piteously.
'You are the saviour of all men--
Will you not too save me?'
"Then Jesus spoke compassionately,
'My flock is all humanity:
You do not fit the bill--
You are some bygone deity.
But, so you'll not think ill of me,
Ask of me what you will;
And willingly I'll grant it thee--
Your wish I will fulfill.'
"Here was my chance, I realised,
To win my longed-for death;
I'd ask to be a mortal man--
All set, I took a breath.
"I took a breath, I smelled that smell,
My faculties went all to hell;
I said, 'Dear Master, kind and good:
I hear that woodchucks will chuck wood--
How much wood, can you tell?'"
PART THE SEVENTH.
The Oracle falls silent now,
And stares down at his feet.
The supplicant can scarce believe
The time has come for his reprieve:
He beats a quick retreat!
The Oracle, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Now sits and frets; that's what he gets
For being such a bore.
"Farewell, farewell, oh supplicant!
Remember my sad plight!
When next you call, I promise I'll
Not keep you half the night.
And, by the way, the toilet is
The third door on the right."
He went like one that hath been stunned,
His ears and brain full sore:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He supplicates no more.
He owes the Oracle two grand;
And supplicates no more.

 


4.

[Oracular priests Tim and Alyce are not, as far as I'm aware, personally acquainted - Ed.]

Mad Tim Chew
by J Molerat Hayes
There's a shiny marble temple in the grounds of Indy U.
There's a little wooden cross next to the hall:
There's a brokenhearted woman tends the grave of Mad Tim Chew,
And the Oracle, as ever, knows it all.
He was known as Mad Tim Chew by the priests, for they all knew
He was a few processors short of an array;
But he did nobody harm, and he had a certain charm,
As fair Alyce Wilson noticed one fine day.
He had loved her all along with the passion of the strong,
And she admired him all men above;
But she told him he would need to perform some noble deed
To prove that he was worthy of her love.
He asked her straight what brave deed she would like from Mad Tim Chew:
She thought about it for an hour or more;
And jestingly she told him then that nothing else would do
But he set his answer load at least to four.
Dark spots danced before his eyes, Mad Tim Chew reeled in surprise.
Most priests this challenge rash would have declined;
For the answers, as a rule, are composed of wombat drool,
And too much exposure can derange the mind.
He recalled that Strayan bold, who by some was Darkmage called,
Who had once upon a time, just for a lark,
Set his load status to two; kept it there a whole month through,
And is now firmly convinced he's Joan of Arc.
Yet he set his chin and told her he would see this dread thing through;
She laughed at him as she walked out the door.
Then he emailed Stephen Kinzler saying, "This is Mad Tim Chew,
Will you kindly set my load status to four."
In the blinking of an eye, Tim Chew's in-tray was piled high
With oracularities of every shape;
They were uniformly dire, and poor Tim feared he'd expire,
For from reading them there was now no escape.
When fair Alyce thought upon this cold-hearted thing she'd done,
As the world descended into evening gloom;
She was worried in case he had taken her too seriously,
So she swiftly made her way back to his room.
His door was open wide, with silver moonlight shining through.
The place was wet and slippery where she strode;
For the floor and walls were covered with the brains of Mad Tim Chew,
Which the strain had caused to violently explode.
There's a shiny marble temple in the grounds of Indy U.
There's a little wooden cross next to the hall:
There's a brokenhearted woman tends the grave of Mad Tim Chew,
And the Oracle, as ever, knows it all.

 


5.

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

> My grovel's lies are nothing like the Sun's;
> Al Gore is far more fun than its words' whine;
> If words be food, why then I get the runs;
> If verse be dead, I be its Frankenstein.
> I have seen queries witty, read and writ,
> But no such wit is here, except for half;
> And in some madhouse is there some poor git
> Who might reward its verses with one laugh.
> I hate to hear it too, and well I know,
> That flatus sounds more gratifying somehow;
> I grant that they both stink, but apropos
> My question, when it's asked, and it's asked now,
> Is how much wood could woodchucks chuck for sure,
> If woodchucks could chuck wood, my kindest Sir?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

A bunch of us priests were whooping it up in the Oracular shrine;
The Boss was replying to questions in rhyme, and the rhyming was going fine;
Right by his side stood sweet Lisa his bride, the Oracle's lady luck,
When through the door strode a figure bold, the supplicant known as Chuck.
There's men that somehow just grip your ears, and hold them hard like a spell;
And such was he, and what is more, he recited his poetry well;
With cute rhymes like "whine" and "Frankenstein" he kept us in his thrall,
And then he threw in an "apropos" as if 'twere no effort at all.
Transfixed, we sat as we wondered what question from the air he'd pluck
That could match the matchless versifying of the supplicant known as Chuck.
His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
As if his muse were drying up under Orrie's unfaltering gaze.
Two guys at the bar -- Paul and Ian, I think -- made a joke and returned to their beers,
While the stranger stood like he'd taken root, a prey to nameless fears.
He mopped his brow, he set his jaw, his tongue it came unstuck;
Then he asked how much wood would woodchucks chuck, if woodchucks wood could chuck.
The room fell into a deathly hush as we priests all held our breath;
And the lengthening silence seemed to fill with grim portents of death.
How we wished that we could flee, could flee, from our master's wrath far gone;
But the Oracle stood still, stood still, as though he were made of stone.
And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned with a fire like the noonday sun;
With his coat unbuttoned and open wide he waited; and we saw his gun.
Then Orrie's lips twisted in a grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm;
And, "Boys," said he, "you all know me, I'm as gentle as a lamb;
But I want to state -- and please get this straight -- those who dare to say woodchuck
Will get but one answer from the Oracle ... and that's FYYFF!"
We hit the floor, and the lights went out, and a gun blazed in the dark;
Then a woman screamed, and two seconds passed 'fore we saw the telltale spark.
The Zot flashed out like a lightning bolt, and we had no doubt where it struck:
The exact same spot that was occupied by the supplicant known as Chuck.
These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know;
They say that the stranger was a hate-crazed troll, and I'm not denying it's so.
But I'm warning you, you'll end up too -- were you to chance your luck --
As a heap of ash, which was all that's left of the supplicant known as Chuck.

 


6.

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

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Ah, what can ail thee, supplicant,
      Thus inconveniently struck dumb;
My radiance puts thy speech to flight,
      And no words come.
Ah, what can ail thee, supplicant,
      Hast thou no boon to ask of me?
Old Orrie's question queue is full,
      And it's time for tea.
I'm not inclined to sit and wait,
      I've better things to do today;
If thou a zotting wouldst avoid,
      Then say thy say!
I met a lady just outside,
      Full beautiful, with swelling breast;
Her hair was long, her foot was light;
      She was barely dressed.
I begged her then to pity me,
      I'd not made love a month or more;
Well, if the truth be told, I'd not
      Made love before.
She smiled a smile uncommon sweet,
      Her lips were moist with manna dew;
And bending close, spoke in my ear,
      "I'll love thee true."
She took me to her elfin grot,
      Inviting me to step inside;
And there such horror met my eyes,
      It chill'd my hide.
I saw pale geeks, and netheads too,
      Who ne'er had girlfriends, one and all.
They cry'd, "The net.sex.goddess Lisa
      Hath thee in thrall!"
Then Lisa, taking out a whip,
      Yelled, "Back to work, you troglodytes!
Spam all the Net with adverts for
      My XXX sites.
"And when you've done your chores, perchance
      Upon my form I'll let you look;
But if you dream that you'll get more,
      You're sore mistook!"
And then she turned once more to me,
      To chain me to a terminal;
But I'd escaped, and made my way
      To thy great hall.
And this is why I sojourn here
      With loins on fire, with tongue struck dumb,
By unrequited lust consumed,
      And no words come.

 


7.

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

> Oracle, with wit and wisdom beyond Westworld proportions, How did
> Wombat man and his capered cascader defeat the orb of left-brain
> knowledge?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Wombat Man warrior,
Sire among supermen,
Damsel-defender and
Victor o'er villains,
Strove with his side-kick,
Capered Cascader,
Fighting a lifelong
Battle for freedom,
Joust against evil,
Ever attentive to
Threats from those scoundrels who
Wage most willingly
War against wallabies,
Murderous madmen that maul marsupials.
Theirs was a greatness
Got from their Grandmammies--
(What's that, my Liege? Skip the intro? 'Tis dragging on somewhat, thou think'st? If thou desirest it, 'tis done. Let me see now... Ah, yes.)
Down'd the dingo,
Dash'd the duckbill,
Fell the quaggas
Doom'd to the death.
All laid low by the orb of left-brain,
Brazenly cast aside
Bush kangaroos.
Dark was the hour,
Dreadful our need,
Out from the East like a glorious sunrise
Sprang the saviour.
Ever attentive to
Threats from those scoundrels who
Wage...
(Oh, I beseech thy pardon. As thou so correctly if nit-pickingly pointest out, I've done that bit.)
Wise is Wombat Man,
Woolly his whiskers,
Brave his companion
Capered Cascader, who's one of those creatures
Looking much like a mouse and yet still a marsupial
Though nobody ever remembers its name.
Mighty the mettlesome
Duo did doughty
Battle, not sparing
The sword-edge one whit.
Heavy their blows and yet
Light were their heads,
Fuell'd by Fosters,
Fiery ambrosia,
Amber that nectar that
Addles the noodle...
(What's sayest thou presently? Indeed, 'twas not Fosters that was Wombat Man's favourite brew, 'twas Castlemaine XXXX. But Castlemaine XXXX is a bugger to alliterate, if thou getst my drift, and who's to know the difference? Ah, thou art to know the difference. I'faith, my Liege, 'tis my opinion that they both taste like kookaburra's khyber, but if it'll make thee happy...)
Fuell'd by Castlemaine,
Four are its X's
Note, those ain't S's
(Lord, these lines suck).
Five long days did they weary the war-glaive,
Five long nights neither slumber nor sleep did they,
Feeding the carrion-crow, lifting the life-taker,
Slashing and stabbing.
Many a carcass was left to be carrion,
Many a livid one, many a sallow-skin;
Left for the white-tail'd eagle to tear it, and
Left for the horny-nibb'd raven to rend it, and
Gave to the garbaging war-hawk to gorge it, and
That gray beast, the wolf of the weald.
Then the left-brain orb,
Damaged with many dents,
Lubricant leaking out,
Fled from the field;
Wandered back to its home, nobody knows quite where,
Scheming and plotting another strike.
Wrong-doers who seek out
World domination,
Never quite seem to get
Killed first time round.
Not while there is a chance
(Even a slight one)
The sequel can grab
A few extra groats.
Ended our grisly tale,
Great is Wombat Man!
Just a few sneaking
Suspicions remain;
Perhaps this "orb of
Left-brain knowledge"
Obscurely refers to some
SF story
Your humble narrator has not as yet read.
If this be the case, I can only conclude that
The Supplicant shall not enjoy what he sees.
If this be the case, all I can say is that
Frankly, my dear,
I don't give a damn.
Ended our grisly tale,
Great is Wombat Man!
Long may his glory
Live in the songs of the wandering minstrels,
Of whom I am one.
Surely a huger
Slaughter of heroes
Slain by the sword-edge
(Such as old writers
Have writ of in histories)
Would have occurred had not
Up from the East hither
Wombat Man come to our
Rescue a-riding.
Not forgetting his
Fierce fellow-traveller
Capered Cascader, who's one of those creatures
Looking much like a mouse and yet still a marsupial
Though nobody ever remembers its name.
(Thank thee, my Liege, thank thee. Thou'rt very kind to say so. Hey, where's my tip?)

 


8.

Editor's Note:
The above poem is, of course, a translation of the fragmentary Anglo-Saxon epic "Weombat Brunanburges", which opens with the memorable lines "Weombatmann war-beorn, Eorlas mid aethelmenna, Weomyn-warda ond Baesher badasseses...", with which the reader is no doubt sufficiently familiar.

Certain scholars (well, it was just Steve-o, really) have speculated that this was the source for the name of the Baesher Badasses - the surf band that the father of one of the guys in Gasping Pterodactyl played guitar for. Sadly, the Baesher Badasses are little remembered today. To redress the balance, the lyrics of their biggest hit "Carlovingian Girls" are presented below.

 
Well, Gothic girls are hip
They wear pig's entrails in their hair
And the Hunnish wenches, when they hit on you
They knock you twelve feet in the air
The Nordic Viking maidens
Leave you pillaged, raped and sacked
And the Vandal girls, when you ask them home
Next day there's nothing left intact
I wish they all could be Carlovingian
I wish they all could be Carlovingian
I wish they all could be Carlovingian girls
The Holy Roman Empire's
Chicks have that je ne sais quoi
In every corner of the realm of Charlemagne
All that you hear is "Ooh-la-la!"
I've been all round this Dark Age world
And I've seen girls by the score
But I'll only settle for a Frankish lass
'Cause then Pepin ain't short no more
I wish they all could be Carlovingian
I wish they all could be Carlovingian
I wish they all could be Carlovingian girls

 


9.

[My question, for a change. It actually made the digests as #1170-05 with a truly dire answer. Henriette Kress here kindly supplies an infinitely superior one - Ed.]

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

> By the shore of Gitchie Gumee,
> By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
> I have chucked wood, I have chucked lots,
> I have chucked more than I oughter,
> Sang Chuckzilla, Queen of Marmots!

> All the air was full of lumber,
> All the earth was clothed in wood chip,
> Bough struck ground with rolling thunder;
> That old Orrie, he sure would flip
> If he had to count the number,
> If he heard the shards of timber
> Crashing, raining down like thunder.

> From the paw of Queen Chuckzilla
> Flung was every piece of willow,
> Oak and maple, beech and osier,
> Alder, Sitka spruce and gingko.
> With a smile of glad approval,
> With a look of exultation,
> Caused complete deforestation;
> Without so much as a grovel,
> Queen of Marmots, proud Chuckzilla!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

From his tower on the mountain
looked upon the valley wasted
He so slow to anger heated
now so very close to venting
as he spake to proud Chuckzilla:
"Woe on you, pathetic rodent,
who defiled my lovely woodlands
crowned with oak and mighty douglas
filled with willow, birch and alder
and with spruce and beech and maple
Now attend as I condemn you
you will live a life in misery
on a wheel that goes a-spinning
round and round and ever onwards
caught just like a silly hamster
You will live until you perish
in a cage of cheapest plastics
yellow bright with floor of paper
changed too seldom for your comfort
and with fingers poking, probing
With your royal court a mirror
as your only cheerless comp'ny
you will see your degradation
no more proudest queen of marmots
evermore be known as 'Fluffy'".
Thus He closed and waved a finger
to condemn who had displeased Him
mighty on the mount Olympus
Turned away and restored order
in the finest of his forests.
Turned he back to lowly Fluffy
said he "Oh, and ere you leave me
you shall count the fallen timber
to forevermore lay rest to
that most boring of all questions."

 


10.

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

> Now that February the 2th has passed into history, my mind turns once
> again to Scotland and sheep. Are all the rumours true?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Ignoring for the moment what looks suspiciously like a veiled w**dchuck reference (February the 2th, indeed!), the short answer to your question is: No, that's not what a Scotsman wears under his kilt.
If, however, you meant to imply some lewd association between brawny Scottish fellows and our woolly friends, I can only conclude that you have them confused with the Welsh or New Zealanders. To give you a typical example, the following poem by Rabbie Burns, as any fool can see, is entirely free of any unsavoury connotations.
TO A SHEEP
On Coming Upon Her Unawares, November 1785
Wee, woollit, bleatin', am'rous beastie,
Och, my hairt thumps in my breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
      Wi' bickerin' brattle!
Heed no' wha' others say aboot me
      An' rogerin' cattle!
Nae, Flossie, thou art my ain yen,
Why I sae luve thee I dinnae ken;
The best plann'd lays o' Sheep an' Men
      Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us wi' mutton on the brain,
      Semi-carnalley!
Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
Thou has na wife that askith thee:
"Wha' on thy collair kin I see?
      It looks like fleece!"
An' from then on, she gi'es me nae
      A moment's peace!
You owe the Oracle an anatomically correct, inflatable Merino Cheviot crossbreed.

[Not one of the best, but it does put a whole new complexion on the concept of ganging agley aft, don't it? - Ed.]

 


11.

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

> Oh Oracle most wise,
>
> Where did my Christmas gift end up?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

'Twas the night after Christmas, when all through the house
The cops questioned ev'ryone, even the mouse;
The stockings were gone from the chimney, for lo!
Some bastard had ripped off the lot in one go.
The children were livid, blue murder they screamed,
Of gruesome and horrible tortures they dreamed;
While mamma the insurance claim form filled in,
And I helped myself to a generous gin,
And wondered, whilst sipping, where my gift resided,
And whether the crooks all their loot had divided.
When all of a sudden, the answer was clear:
I'd ask good old Orrie -- he'd have an idea.
My laptop I grabbed and an email I sent;
Then I knocked back the gin till the bottle was spent,
Secure in the knowledge that Orrie would know
Where gifts that are ripped off invariably go.
When the Oracle my plaintive note had perused,
His cheeks with a furious hue were suffused.
His priesthood he summoned, and quickly they came,
For he bellowed, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Hoi, ZADOC! Hoi, CLEMENT! Hoi, DARKMAGE and WILSON!
Come, KELLY! Come HEMMING, CHEVALIER and AVEDON!
On your bellies come crawling! On your scrawny knees fall!
Now grovel! Now grovel! Now grovel you all!"
As quivering all the priests lay on their face,
Old Orrie approached them with threatening pace,
And spake in a harsh voice, with emphasis on it,
"A man has been robbed. Now which one of you done it?"
"My poor hapless supplicant is in despair;
And, what is worse, I have not had my share!
So whoever's responsible better confess,
Or you'll all have to stay inside during recess!"
Well, the guilty one promptly and humbly confessed it,
(It turned out to be Zadoc, though you probably guessed it),
A bundle of toys he produced from his sack;
For punishment he was stretched out on the rack.
All the toys and the gifts Orrie duly impounded,
The rest of the priests, to be safe, he had grounded;
Then approached his computer with one mighty stride,
And in answer to my supplication replied:
"I have pondered your question with brow all a-furrowed,
And through great dusty tomes in my library burrowed,
To solve your dilemma, and set matters right:
'TWAS THE CAT ATE YOUR GIFT, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"

 


12.

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

> Oh Most clever yet banal Oracle,
>
> How much wood would a woodchuck sport, if a woodchuck had a woody?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

There's supplicants of every sort
Who, out of ignorance or sport,
To grovel-lacking pleas resort,
And thus a lesson must be taught
      By means of Orrie's Staff of Zot.
But, though these reprobates annoy,
Their antics are a source of joy
Next to those ratbags who deploy
      The wood-chucking marmot.
Some don't even think it cheating
Steve Wright gags to come repeating,
Without humour (even fleeting);
They receive the usual greeting
      In the form of a big Zot.
Two grey cells to rub together
Have they got? I know not whether;
But at least they do not blether
      'Bout that damned marmot.
What goes on within the mind
Of those who, lacking any kind
Of sense, send emails MIME-entwined,
Or simply leave their .sig behind?
      Quick, recharge my Staff of Zot.
Yet e'en blank questions are to me
The sweetest sights I ever see
If, on all sides, naught else there be
      But massed ranks of marmot.
I can no longer count the number
Of the questions in which lumber-
Hurling rodents, dumb and dumber,
My poor message-tray encumber;
      Each deserves more than a Zot.
Nothing else is quite as dreary;
No-one makes me feel as weary;
Orrie's life was cheery ere he
      Met that damned marmot.
Then, all at once, an idea struck:
Perhaps it was not mere bad luck;
Perhaps instead some vile woodchuck
These questions in his in-tray stuck,
      As part of some nefarious plot.
Fighting down a nervous shiver,
Thus spake Orrie, counsel-giver:
"Tirra lirra, I'll deliver
      Death to that marmot!"
He grabbed his staff, he left the room,
His face an icy mask of doom.
He sought it in the evening gloom;
Far off, folks heard the sonic boom
      As he unleashed the fearful Zot.
Then, just before the creature died,
Its skullbone crack'd from side to side;
"The Oracle has done me!" cried
      The wood-chucking marmot.
Who is this, with bits of fur
Bedecked? A police officer,
Say'ng, "Pardon me for asking, Sir,
But do you have a licence for
      That lethal-looking Staff of Zot?
If not, you'll have to come with me;
A dank, dark cell your home will be;
Once in, I'll throw away the key,
      You slayer of marmot."
Now, during breaks from drudgery,
I log on to the jail's PC.
But what is this? It cannot be!
Another woodchuck taunting me;
      And me without my Staff of Zot.
And then, the realisation came:
That creature had been far too tame.
If only I had asked its name!
      I've killed the wrong marmot.
Listen closely and I'll tell
You what you owe the Oracle
(For now you're bound to do my will):
My cruel oppressor you must kill,
      Although you have no Staff of Zot.
Scour the plains and search the woods,
Prowl the roughest neighbourhoods;
Don't return without the goods:
      The hide of one marmot.

 


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