The Internet Oracle

The Internet Oracle is, well, it's hard to say what it is: a game, a service, an outlet for the imagination, a virtual personality? But anyhow, you submit a question to it, and you get back an answer, typically a humorous and creative one. There are traditions about how you formulate questions (by groveling, in short) and how the answer is worded (it always ends by telling you what you owe the Oracle). In fact, though, what you owe is an answer to someone else's question which the Oracle will send you one day.

Here's a reply I just got:

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

O sagaciousest and perspicaciousest of Oracles, it's little I know of the duties of men of the sea, but I'll eat my hand if I understand however the Narrator can be at once the cook, and the Captain bold, and the mate of the Nancy brig, and the bosun tite, and the midshipmite, and the crew of the Captain's gig. Can you please explicate this matter for the future benefit of your unworthy slave?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

I was musing over this with some... contacts of mine, who received this piece of intelligence with great interest. Turns out Mr N. Arrator has been claiming paychecks on behalf of at least six different people, none of whom were legally entitled to work in this country. Rest assured Mr Arrator will be spending a long time paying for this.

Oh, and thanks to this tip-off, I negotiated my way out of some rather nasty audit proceedings regarding my tribute, so you owe the Oracle nothing. This time.

Internal evidence shows that the crew of the Captain's gig in fact numbered four.

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