Monday, May 08, 2006

A Trip to the Oracle

I climbed the cracked marble steps, pushing past creeping vines and giant, tropical weeds that seemed out of place in the northern hemi-sphere. The temple was located in a rough part of town, behind a street lined with pawn shops and pool halls. I stood between two ominous seven-foot tall statues of a robotic tree with wicked looking arm attachments. What madness, I thought to myself, the statues are made out of poured plaster, when bitumen and straw would seem the logical choice!

I did some brief callistenics, for the blood, then placed my offering of penny candy and glowsticks on the porch, as I had been instructed to do. With some trepidation and, I would even say, dread, I pushed the doorbell.

It happened so gradually that I hardly noticed the wall of shimmering green gas materialize before me. Tendrils of green fog writhed a few inches from my widening eyes, and within the heart of the foggy obelisk flashed flickering branches of electrical discharge.

(Speilberg wanted to make the oracle look
more like this.

"Yes?" A deep, slightly weary masculine voice sounded from out the wall of fog.

"Yes!" I echoed, rather stupidly.

"You rang?" The voice had a calm, almost melancholy aspect that was slightly menacing.

"Er...Mighty Oracle, I come seeking advice."


"...and I've heard that your advice is sought far and wide, by people from Winston all the way to Grange Street."


"So I was wondering if you could answer my question."

"Which is?"

"How can I quit my slavish addiciton to skateboarding?"

Skating is good, but self-determination is better.

There was a pause, and the flashes of lightning from within the wall of fog increased in their intensity for a moment. I feared a bolt was about to shoot out and zap me. I covered my eyes with one arm, cringing in the flickering light, but held my position on the temple porch.

Then the Oracle spoke out in a pleasant, even tone that assuaged all my fear and anxiety:

"You must seek the fabled Red Goat of Haberdashery that grazes on the steep slopes of the Mountain of Dirty Laundry, past the Seven Stale Waterslides of the Park of Perpetual Motion. You will encounter a despondent Dragon, whom you will engage in a game of chance. The winner takes the powerful Mantle of Sonic Youthfulness, and proceeds to the Crypt of Freakish Fashion Experiments. You must win the mantle before hazarding the Crypt. Only with its aid will you be able to resist the Sirens of Suede Monstrosities and recover the Shoes of Short Distance Pizza Delivery. Once you have the Shoes, you must make haste. There are Powers that would like nothing more than to see the Shoes delivered to the treacherous King of Salted Serpents, but this must not be let come to pass. Feed your skateboard to the Goat of Haberdashery, and he will disgorge a magical hat. The hat will make you forget you could ever ollie up a curb, and you will be cured of your addiction."

"You might also be required to participate in a lizard toss."

The Oracle fell silent, though its foggy tendrils continued to writhe in the most unnerving of manners. I considered all that it had told me, and let out a heavy sigh. I then felt the impact of a soft object on my bum, and turned about. It was the morning post, which the paperboy had lobed with not inconsiderable skill at the Oracle's porch.

I picked up the paper and examined the headline. Another librarian strike. When would we ever learn to pay our overdue fines? With heavy heart, I passed the newspaper to the Oracle, and watched in amazement as it disappeared into its foggy green interior.

"Mighty Oracle," I said, "you describe a long and arduous journey, yet the radishes in my garden require daily watering and attention. Is there not some other way to save myself from destruction?"

"You could just hide your skateboard in the basement and stop using it."

The bold simplicity of the plan astounded me, and I suddenly understood the grounds for the Oracle's reutation for wisdom. Overwhelmed with gratitude, I took out my pocket calculator and did some rudimentary differential equations. Yes, the plan was bold, but it just might work. Thanking the Oracle again, I threw back my head in an extravagant gesture, rolling my eyeballs up into my cranium like some weird piece of Aztec statuary, then turned and descended the steps, back towards the town and my shambling destiny.



Mark E. said...

I was looking forward to having you teach me some more moves this summer. perhaps a flatlander instructional video series is necessary. is K-tel still around to distribute this sort of thing?

Bathroom Hippo said...

Sadly Cartoon Network cancelled Sea Lab.

flatlander said...

Hah! K-tel is the first company on my list of things to buy when my lotto numbers come up. It will give me access to the back catalogue of classics, such as "Starship Catain Kirk" and "Breakdance II: Electric Boogaloo".

Until then, seekers of skate wisdom will have to consult Bob's Trick Tips in the Links. But when my back feels better I'll try to get around to make some house calls.

jin said...

Another BRILLIANT tale!
You paint your words in the sky.
The movie unfolds
as it is told
then is gone in the blink of an eye!

Gyrobo said...

Robotic trees? Wherever do you get your ideas?

Look at me! I'm a cow! Mooooooo!

flatlander said...

Note: the statues of robotic trees were coniferous, not deciduous as Roboshrub appears to be. The image came to me in a dream, written on a postcard, that was sent to my address by mistake.

mizfit said...

i think i must warn you. my intution says (we indians are very intutive. or atleast like to pretend we r!), i have thins sinking feeling that all this was the Oracle's plan to get the skateboard to himself. BEWARE!!!

Karl the Sorcerer said...

I've seen coniferous roboshrub before. They're rare, living only in the harsh upper tundra regions of Siberia.

During the last ice age, they roamed the Earth, vaporizing all signs of intelligent dinosaur activity.