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The Wisdom Oracle of Vanished Wood
Oh great Oracle, before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

The Future

Oh great Oracle, does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?

Depends on how you figure it...

Oh great Oracle, do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

Very much so... in both cases there is much to look forward to... much to look back fondly on and... a strong sense of adventure...

Oh great Oracle, how do I set my laser printer on stun?

First... find some guy named Stun, then....

Oh great Oracle, how is it possible to have a civil war?

Yes... but only if both Kings are heavily sedated.

Oh great Oracle. if all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

At a very, very, very safe distance....

Oh great Oracle if God dropped acid, would he see people?

Only if were bad acid.

Oh great Oracle, if love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?


Oh great Oracle, if one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too?

Fortunately this is not a real possibility. Synchronized swimmers DO NOT DROWN... they simply go down in unison....

Oh great Oracle, if the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?

Ummmm... O.K. - maybe you have me here....

Oh great Oracle, if work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?

Acutally they don't pay you to work... you work for free... the 'pay' is simply a bribe to keep you from doing it for free for someone else.... why else do so many refer to their paychecks as the 'weekly insult'.

Oh great Oracle, if you're born again, do you have two bellybuttons?

Actually, ummm... who the hell came up with these anyway???

Oh great Oracle, if you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry?

This question pre-assumes that you were hungry in the first place.. therefore... MAYBE is the only correct answer.

Oh great Oracle, is a castrated pig disgruntled?

Well, he's certainly not having a ball....

Oh great Oracle, why are hemorrhoids called 'hemorrhoids' instead of 'asteroids'?

Because they have nothing to do with flowers....

Oh great Oracle, why is it called tourist season if we cant shoot at them?

WE CAN'T??? When they change THAT rule???

Oh great Oracle, why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?

No... after years of research and study of the typewriter keyboard... government specialists have determined that the existing alphabetical order is simpler to remember than the way it was orginally laid out on the keyboard. As proof of this I ask you to close your eyes and then recite the alphabet (in alphabetic order)... now, keeping your eyes closed, recite the alphabet in keyboard order!.... Not as easy is it? See....

Oh great Oracle, where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?

I don't know... but the road's paved with them...

Oh great Oracle, if the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn't the whole airplane made out of the stuff?

Humph... everybody knows that boxes are not aerodynamic.... this idea would never get off the ground.

Oh great Oracle, why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

So you can use it before it becomes cottage cheese...

Oh great Oracle, if most car accidents occur within five miles of home, why doesn't everyone just move 10 miles away?

Silly question.... because nobody would ever get there... there would just be this one big pile of cars... EACH 5 MILES FROM ITS DESTINATION!!!

Unto Francesca who asks: 'Oh Great Oracle, my question is... What attributes help make a person a good leader?'

Good Francesca... there are three things that are required to make a person a good leader... firstly, an excellent sense of rhythm and timing, secondly, some basic knowledge of music and thirdly a nice pointy stick to wave at the musicians (and throw at them if they get out of line....).

Betony ferch Meilyr ap Emrys enquires, 'Oh Great Oracle, my question is... Who will win this year's Spring Crown?'

Yo, Betony... you got a bet riding on this, or what??? Look... it's against the by-laws of the Oracle's Union to give obvious answers like names to questions like this... but, I can give you some pretty sure fire clues to help you in your quest... Firstly, look for the person who loses the least number of fights...secondly, look for a person wearing armor... they will more than likely have a weapon of some type and will have a reasonably aggressive personality during the tourney... oh, yea.... one last clue that may help you in your search... I can, with absolute certaintly tell you that the winner of this year's Spring Crown will be found on the 23rd and the 24th days of May to be physically located in the lands of Nordskogen...

Hrothgar wants to know 'who put the bob in bob de bob de bob'?

Ahem... Hrothgar.... ummmm, I don't know how to tell you this, but it's 'who put the BOP in the BOP de BOP de BOP'... and the answer is actually kind of interesting... 'it was the SAME GUY who put the RAM in the RAMA LAMA DING DONG'.

Torquil MacAlpine writes: 'Oh, Great Oracle... my question is: If mares eat oats and does eat oats, why do little lambs eat ivy?'

Good Torquil, exactly how long have you known this lamb and how serious is the relationship... and how is it you know so much about mares and does???

Conchobar MacGabhann queries, ' What is 2 and why is it what it is'

Ah, my Scottish friend, 2 is the lonliest number since the number 1... and it is that way because women get really peeved when they have too much competition.... By the way... I don't recommend testing this theory... particularly if you're married.

A fearsome gentle (is this a paradox or what...) asks, 'Oh Great Oracle, my question is: Why do store mannequins have nipples... and why are they always erect?

Well now... musta’ been a darned cold winter in the Shire, eh? Well... this question is best answered second part first. Look, I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but mannequins ARE NOT ALWAYS ERECT! Some are seen in the seated position... some in the lying down or reclining position... I have actually seen one once in the 'lying on its back with its feet in the air' position. I actually have it on very good authority that mannequins can assume any number of positions... but, given your obvious over familiarity with mannequin anatomy you probably already know that. Now, regarding the first part of your question...

Lady Astrid enquires, ' Oh Great Oracle, my question is: Will Leif win one of the royal tournaments within the next 6 months?'

Look, like I’ve said before... its against the rules for me to be overly specific.... but... well, what the heck... (next 6 months ya’ say? Hummm... no pressure on ol’ Leif, eh?).... ahem... Let me consult the ol’ lamp here.... I can say, with absolute assurance that, as the forces of the universe are currently arrayed and unless something radically changes between now and then (acts of God, Congress or the Crown; War; pestilence; plague; or weather condition influenced by El Nino) that somewhere in the Known World, somebody by the name of Leif (or somebody who knows somebody by the name of Leif) will most assuredly win a Royal Tournament WITHIN THE NEXT 6 MONTHS... probably. Hope that helps... new oil ya’ know...

This plaintive plea comes from Lady Caitlyn of Green Castle.... 'Oh Great Oracle, my question is: I feed my husband sumptuous meals, I keep our castle well and I embroider his shirts most fashionably. He seems to have lost interest in me. After our five children, he goes to bed in a hurry and sleeps. What am I to do?'

DEAREST LADY!!! ... did you say 'sumptuous meals... keep our castle well... and embroider most fashionably'???? Hey, this is a no brainer... pack the bags, dump the kids, don’t wake up the ol’ man and get yer’self on down here to the ol’ Oracle’s room.... (hummm.... try really hard not to wake the Sisters here at the Convent... they get a little crabby about these in house consultations ya’know.)

The sweet Lady Ashley Daralis of Vanished Wood wants to know, 'Oh Great Oracle... my question is: Why is it that the title of the person in charge of the great outdoors is The Secretary of the Interior?'

Whoa... Mother Nature is gonna’ be peeved to hear that her job got reclassified... REAL PEEVED... AND AS A SECRETARY YET!!! (I gotcher’ ‘El Nino’... RIGHT HERE!!!)

Lord Michael, who (it seems) has been out making his own mushroom soup again, askes, 'Oh Great Oracle... my question is: How do I stop the evil Keebler elves from making those poison cookies?'

Well, I’ll tell ya’ Michael... ummm... hey, Mikey... how do you know the cookies ARE poison, hummm? Eaten any lately? ... and, if you find that they indeed are poison... well, I refer you to the above question. I mean, the elves really work for Ma Nature... you mess with her and somebody is gonna’ pay.

Lady Caitlyn of Green Castle... who still has marital problems... enquires, 'My husband is soon to leave on crusade, I worrie for him being in the holy lands so far from me! My maid says that the Sarecen women have dark arts of dancing that no man can resist! Is this true? Can he be faithful?'


Lord Nathan (the Lost) seeks knowledge and enlightenment, 'Oh Great Oracle.... I am a wandering traveller from the eastern marches of the kingdom and would like to know how to meet with the fair Lords and Ladies of the Vanished Woods.'

Well... well... a 'wandering traveler' did you say? A much better kind than those stationary ones! Well my Lord... I have generally found the best way for you to meet with those after whom you request is to boldly walk up to them... stick out your hand and say, 'Hi... I’m Nathan... a wandering traveler from the eastern marches of the kingdom... pleased to meet you.' Now, of couse... I’d actually say something like... 'Hey... I’m the Oracle... I live here... wattcha’ got to eat?' But I think you would find the first approach much more satisfying... Now, if the above information is a bit advanced for your cause, I would recommend you to get on your magic box and try the following web site: Drop by the herald’s point... they will give you access to those gentles who may actually explain to you the highways and byways your journeys will require to bring you upon the fabled shire you seek.... and then you can try that line I gave you.....

The fair Sheridyn of Indo ponders, 'Oh Great Oracle... Why do people drive on parkways and park on driveways?'

Good question... that one had me scratching my head for about 175 years back a while ago.... then it hit me... BEHAVIORAL DYSLEXIA!!! For further studies in this area I encourage you to try to tell any known 3 year old to do something... watch the results. Now, as a further test of this theory... tell the kid NOT to do something... see... behavioral dyslexia.... Sometimes we just never get over it.

That renouned and beloved victulator of Vanished Wood, that favored feeder of famished fighters, that brave barazier of bar-b-qued birds, that seer of suculant sizzling sirloin steaks,... that (ummm... somebody got a bib??)... well, you get the picture... ahemm, the legendary Twm ap Twm emplores, 'Oh Great Oracle... I spend more time trying to lean how to fight than cook, so why am I better at cooking than fighting?'

Look, Twm-baby... as a wise ol’ athlete of our time once pointed out, 'Ya, gotta’ go with the pitch.' I mean, I don’t care how determined you are... reaching for them 'low and away' pitches never put anybody into the hall of fame. I mean, let’s face it, take any stick-jock out there... lay this question on him, 'Stick or steak?' Now which do you think HE’LL choose? Soooo... got any of that really great ham left over there?

The Lady Astrid has approached the Oracle of Vanished Wood with the following question, 'Oh Great Oracle... Will my Lord ever return to battle upon the tourney fields.'

Dearest Lady Astrid... If your lord ever once strode upon the tourney fields and there test himself for the honor of your grace then know ye that he has not nor ever shall leave those lists. With all his heart, though he wear no armor, he is there still. With all his strength, though he bear no sword, will he strive to do thee great deeds. With all his courage, though he bear no shield, will he defend thee. My lady... one can not return to what one has never left.

The worthy gentleman Lord Wilthain asks, 'Oh Great Oracle... Why cannot Pennsic last all year long? ... and what is a 'Pennisc' anyway?'

When one has been 'pensive' for way too long one begins to be Pennsic. This is a condition treatable only by packing up one's belongings and, under heavy guard and medical attention, removing them selves to the mountainous region of Ethelmark (once known as the Debatable Lands) there to breath the fresh clear air of those lands and rejuvenate themselves. This is the only known cure for Pennsic-ness. It has been found that wearing armor and smacking one's friends with a large stave of rattan will accelerate healing but this is not critical to the course of treatment.... and, uh, Wilthain... who told you it CAN'T last all year? The fact of the matter is that it can... just not in the mountainous region of Ethelmark.

... and then there's Aldred the Somewhat Underdressed who has taken the perenial problem of the missing sock to all new heights with his question, 'Oh Great Oracle... Where is the other half of my pair of underwear?'

Weird ones... we get weird ones... Anyway... here goes. My Lord Aldred... should you truely desire to locate the missing half of your 'pair' of underwear I would encourage you to look among your trunks for where you have placed your shirts! Yea, verily. T'was a time when no worthy of mention would but wear his braes but would wear both braes and a shirt as 'underclothes'. As no one of respectability would wear just his braes or just his 'under shirt' they together became a 'pair of underwear'. ... and you probably thought I was going to say something witty like... 'Have you checked your girlfriend's apartment?', didn't you?

Lord Ceinwen, who is obviously studying for the clergy (I mean, why else would he be hanging around the convent, eh?) asks, 'Oh Great Oracle... If God has been since the beginning of time, what was there before?'

TAXES... (and we were darned thankful to have them...)

Now... here's an interesting one. Parsia of Cynnabar enquires, 'Oh Great Oracle... my question is: What's grey?'

Hummm..... first of all those shirts I gave to the Sisters for cleaning last week... now those are grey... used to be white... but enough about me. You ask, 'What's gray?' Well, this is a reasonably broad question as you have asked it so when I consulted the ol' lava lamp I got a kinda' interesting answer... 'Everything and Nothing'... hope this means something to you... Anyway... had a couple of other thoughts: 'Lady Jane; a thing that gets kissed by a rose; a mare; the tea of an Earl; my beard; duct tape; almost everything by moonlight and... the answer to this question!' ... and, I would like to congratulate you on having the shortest question to date!!

Lord Kiyohara queries, 'Oh Great Oracle... my question is: Why do people spend so much energy pretending to be other than what they are?'

Ah. Grasshopper... A most profound question and one worthy of the Great Oracle of Vanished Wood... and like any good question, it is one best answered by a question. Therefore, I pose to you the following, 'Which of the chameleon's colors does not belong to him?'

Krystoff Gunderson of Vanished Wood ponders the following, 'Oh Great Oracle my question is... Why is there Braille on drive-up ATM's?'

Good Krystoff this is truly a question of our age. I too have pondered this having encountered the phenomenon myself at locations that could only be reached by automotive means and, after much thought and analysis of the problem I have concluded that there is only one possible answer... Have you noticed lately the distinct lack of good manners exercised by your fellow motorists? The most prevalent of these manifestations is the excessive speeds at which these afflicted individuals propel their vehicles and the closeness at which they follow you... if they for some reason are forced to follow you at all. The only conclusion that one can reach is that these poor drivers, unable to see the speed signs along the sides of the road and so disendowed in their visual abilities that they can not perceive your vehicle except by the nearest of proximities... MUST BE BLIND. Therefore I am reasonably certain that the braille instructions you find on the ATMs of which you speak must be put there for the benefit of these deprived and depraved individuals.

Krystoff Gunderson of Vanished Wood also poses the next brain-bender, 'Oh Great Oracle my question is... Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?'

Friend Krystoff.... having visited these fair isles myself and witnessed these highways of which you speak... the only thing I can think of is that they are the manifestation of a massive homesickness on the part of all those who came to the island and discovered that if you drive all day long you will either fall into the ocean at some point during your drive (assuming you try to drive only in one direction)... or you will pass the same location quite a few times during the day as you drive back and forth! Ummm... either that or somebody is planning on building one heck of a tunnel one of these days.

Now... ol' Aldred the Somewhat Underdressed asked last week, 'Oh Great Oracle... Where is the other half of my pair of underwear?' Fearing that I may have somehow went a bit astray with that answer I again consulted the ol' lava lamp and whadda' know... yet more enlightenment came to me...

In days of old... when Knights were bold they would go a-tourneying. Now I am aware that to this crowd there is nothing new or enlightening about this fact. However, what is less known is that often, when they would depart the castle, their mothers would bless their endeavors and often personally inspect their equipage to help ease their fears for the safety of their offspring. After extensive research efforts into these rituals, I have uncovered the fact that mothers then are not much different than mothers now. As each young Knight would prepare to leave the castle their mothers would frequently ask of them, 'You do have a clean pair of underwear with you don't you? It wouldn't be seamly to get hurt in the joust and then have to go to the chiurgeon with dirty underwear on... ! I would be so embarrassed.' From this discovery I have been able to determine that as a standard part of each Knight's kit were two sets of underwear... those which he wore and those which he was expected to change into before going to the chiurgeon in the event he became injured... i.e., a 'pair' of underwear. Even though time has passed and the practice of jousting and fighting in tournaments has faded into history (well, o.k.... in the mundane world), it should be noted that mothers today still perform this ritual with their young. Therefore young Aldred... if in your youth you had listened to your mother you would know the answer to your question... and, I would like to thank my mother for providing this illuminating answer to this question.

The anonymous individual of prodigious curiosity of mind who posted these to me began their questioning with the following, 'Oh Great Oracle... If you were to row a sailboat at midnight by the light of a new moon, playing chess with a deaf, blind cow... who would win, the cow - or the sailboat?'

Huh? First of all, M. Anonymous... I wouldn't be rowing a sailboat... tried it once... way, way, way too much work. But anyway, enough about me. Unfortunately, as you are probably aware, your question can not be answered as it is asked because you have failed to provide me with the colour of the boat and the time zone and direction in which the boat is sailing.... All of which must be known in order to determine if I am playing the black or white pieces. You have also failed to mention whether or not there was a copy of 'War and Peace' on board. Tisk, tisk....thought you could trick the ol' Oracle did you.... harumph....

O.K... question #2 went this way, 'Oh Great Oracle... Does Wonderwoman wear a Wonderbra?'

When warranted. A wonderfully well wired one... weekly... on Wednesdays... while wolfing waffles. (Hey, YOU asked the question...)

... and then there was question #3: 'Oh Great Oracle... Do I look fat in this dress?'

Oh, oh... potential landmines here... yet... I, being Le Oracle Shaky, will veer not from my obligation to answer such questions, as the spirit shall direct... therefore... ahem.... Oh, gee... Look at the time. Well, well... I'd better get moving or I won't get all your questions answered before Star Trek is on...

Question #4: 'Oh Great Oracle... If a tail-less cat were to sit on the windowsill of a millionaire's mansion, and a white rat ran by, what would the chef cook for dinner?'


The naturalist nature of our mysterious questioner comes to the fore with question #5. 'Oh Great Oracle... What - to a snail - it is the meaning of life?'

Be neither a slug nor the salt of the earth.

Mathematics this time, eh? Question #6 reads, 'Oh Great Oracle... How many camels would fit on a truck if they had no tongues?'

Would those be filtered or unfiltered Camels?

Ummm... yea. Question #7... 'Oh Great Oracle... How much beer would a deaf man drink if he lost his leg in Vietnam?'


Question #8 addresses cleanliness.... 'Oh Great Oracle... Do bald men use shampoo?'

Absolutely... as baldness is simply a lack of hair and it does not deprive these men of their 'Head and Shoulders'.

... and Question #9 follows on a similar line of 'thought': 'Oh Great Oracle... Do bald women use shampoo?'
... and, FINALLY, 'Oh Great Oracle... Do all old people play bridge nude? (... or is it just me???)'

You will be happy to know that you are not alone... I know for a fact at all old people (among those old people the subset of which is given to playing bridge) play bridge in the nude... as they must be under their clothes.

Caitlyn (the husbandless) of Green Castle asks, 'Oh Great Oracle... my question is; Since my beloved husband has passed on and left me well off, I decided I needed a pilgramage to feel better. So, I hit all of the sites, saw the good shrines and took in a few shows. I think I like it here in sunny Byzantium. Should I sell of a castle or two and stay?'

Hey Caitlyn... good to hear from you again. The fact that you've been out wandering around the hinterlands explains why I haven't heard from you for a while. I also noticed that you didn't send me any postcards... not that it matters... I mean me... you favorite Oracle... shut up in this musty ol' cell with nothing but a bunch of loonietoons Sisters wandering around and a warm lava lame to keep me company... Anyway... I've consulted with the lamp and it appears that you might want to consider a summer house somewhere in the south of France... I'd keep the Byzantium property... You might find opportunities in converting it to a B&B in the near future....

The next queston comes from an anonymous source... and a kinda' mysterious one who mystically ponders, 'Oh Great Oracle... my question is; How will the Great Oracle answer this question?'

Truthfully, completely, promptly, courtesly, concisely and in writing.

Chickie asks, "Oh Great Oracle... one of my questions is; If feathers are not aerodynamic, how come birds fly?

Ummm.... well... I didn't really want to get into this because it is still an area of great speculation and the true and final answers have not yet been determined. However, because you have asked... There is a great belief that the reasons a non-aerodynamic encumberance can assist birds to fly are somehow related to the same phenomenon that is observed in the fact that chickens, who never fly a day of their lives, suddenly become aeronautical wizards once their heads are removed. Now, current science has begun studies that may successfully associate these observed mysteries with the confused state of "bird-brainedness" or "feather-headedness" in humans. I'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Queston #2: "Oh Great Oracle... If water is blue, how come clouds are white?"

Another science question.... The Oracle likes science questions. O.k., the reason that water is blue... wait a minute... what water are you messing with. The water around here is a kinda' brownish green muck. You can walk across it on weekends. I think you'd better go out and check that water colour thing again and get back to me. Now the cloud thing is easy... clouds are made of the thoughts of people... when clouds are white it is because people are thinking happy and light thoughts. When the people of a land are unhappy you will notice that the colour of the clouds tend more to greys and blacks... these facts a bourne out by a study of literature in which we are often instructed that when unpleasantness occurs "a dark cloud settles" over the scene.

"Oh Great Oracle... Is this lipstick the right color for me?"

A rose by any other name can still be used to make perfume.

"Oh Great Oracle... If life is like a box of chocolates, where's the yummy filling?"

Stuck between the top and bottom of the cookie... you've been looking in the wrong box.

Unfortunately some of the questions after this one were eaten by weevils but I was able to make out one more question from the first list.... "Oh Great Oracle... If two high school students were running the mile in gym class from opposite directions and traveling towards each other and one was running at 3 miles per hour and the other was running at 6 miles per hour, who would collapse first?"

The one running up hill in armor which, of course would be the one running 3 miles per hour. Easy one.

and finally, a sweet lady from Rokkehealdan writes, "Oh Great Oracle, my question is: A widow, recently 40 years of age is betrothed to a Scot of ill repute - a known rapier man. What is the proper attire for the nuptials?"

Whoa... Rosaline... ummm... let me see here.... - A widow, long since gone to pot, - was betrothed to an ill-equipped Scot, - when she pondered her weeds - satisfied all her needs - with a sheep's skin coat and cravat. - ... by the way.... do you know Torquil by any chance?

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