One of my favorite old pre-web ‘net institutions was the Internet Oracle. You’d send a message off to the Oracle, and the Oracle would answer your question. In return, you’d have to answer a later question someone else had sent to the Oracle, thus becoming the Oracle yourself. Not very surprisingly, in-jokes, puns, and general absurdity are highly prized when crafting Oracle answers.

I’d more or less forgotten about the Oracle until Phil dropped a link to the Internet Oracle website into my inbox today.

Immediately, I went to the most recent “best of the Oracle” digest (I used to have a whole collection of their “best of” digests), and found this gem:

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

Oh Oracle most amazing wonderful, I grovel before your sheer brilliance
and wit, whose puns not even Noel Coward on his best day could have

What is a good question to ask you?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

You know, last time someone asked me this, I suggested asking about
Monty Python’s Lord of the Rings. And I fobbed them off because they
hadn’t asked that. So to make up for it, and because you groveled so
nicely, here it is.

Aragorn: I am the rightful King of Gondor!
Woman: Well, I didn’t vote for you.
A: You don’t vote for kings.
W: How’d you get to be king then?
A: I am the descendant through sixty generations, father to son, of
Elendil of Numenor. Here is Anduril, the Sword that was Broken, and
is now reforged!
Dennis: Inheriting a three-thousand-year-old bit of tin from your
great-grandad is no basis for a system of government.
A: Be quiet!
D: I mean, if I went round saying I was Lord of Moria because I owned a
rusty hatchet, they’d lock me up!
A: Shut up!
D: Ah! See the violence inherent in the system! Help! I’m being
A: Bloody peasant!

How to Recognize Different Ents From Quite A Long Way Away

Number One: The Larch.

Gimli: Is Ori here?
Orc: No.
G: Is Fror?
O: No.
G: Nali?
O: Dead.
G: Loni?
O: Gone.
G: Floi?
O: No.
G: Are there in fact any dwarves left in Moria at all?
O: No. I was deliberately wasting your time.
G: I see. In that case I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut your head
O: Fair enough.

Number One: The Larch.

Aragorn: Now stand aside!
Lurtz: That’s just a scratch.
A: I cut your arm off!
L: No you didn’t!
A: What’s that, then?
L: Just a flesh wound.
A: Fine. [chops Lurtz’s other arm off] Victory is mine!
L: Come on! Have at you!
A: You’ve got no arms, you stupid orc!
L: Yes, I have!
A: Look!
L: I’ve had worse.
A: I don’t have time for this. [cuts Lurtz’s head off]
L: Oh? Call it a draw.

Number One: The Larch.

Gandalf: How long is it since Saruman bought you?
Wormtongue: Gee, I didn’t expect a kind of Orcish Inquisition.
[The doors of the hall burst open, and three Uruk-Hai enter.]
Ugluk: NOBODY expects the Orcish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is
surprise. Surprise and fear, our two main weapons. Our two main
weapons, surprise, fear, and an almost fanatical devotion to Saruman.
THREE main weapons, surprise, fear, nice black uniforms… I’ll come
in again.

Number Four: The Bristlecone Pine.

Bridge keeper: Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me
these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Frodo: Ask me the questions. I am not afraid.
BK: What… is your name?
FB: Frodo Baggins.
BK: What… is your quest?
FB: To destroy the One Ring!
BK: What… is your favourite colour?
FB: Blue!
BK: Right. Off you go.
Sam: That’s easy!
BK: What… is your name?
SG: Samwise Gamgee.
BK: What… is your quest?
SG: To destroy the One Ring.
BK: What… is the capital of Assyria?
SG: [pause] A!
BK: Smart-arse. Go along, then.
Gollum: Ask us!
BK: What… is your name?
G: We’s Smeagol!
BK: What… is your quest?
G: To get the Precious!
BK: What… have I got in my pocket?
G: [pause] We don’t know that! Aiieeee!

You owe the Oracle a picture of Rohan’s army banging coconut halves

Dear Sir,
I wish to complain in the strongest terms about the preceding answer.
It was nothing but a series of rehashed sketches with a few choice
words added. Yours, Arthur Philip Dent (Mrs), deep fine leg, Norfolk.

Dear Sir,
I never wanted to write this oracularity anyway. I wanted to be a

Colonel: Stop that! It’s silly!

iTunesDream Baby (Nocturnal)” by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult from the album Sexplosion! (1992, 7:05).

2 thoughts on “Monty Python’s Lord of the Rings

  1. Questions mailed to the Oracle are forwarded to other Oracle users, who serve as an “incarnation” of the Oracle by providing a witty answer to the question. The funniest and cleverest answers are selected by the Oracular Priesthood for inclusion in the famous Oracularities. That means that not only one user answers but a bunch of people. And ttttttttttttttttttthus there wasn’t a wiser reply!

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