I said ORACLE. No orifices to see here.
I recently bought this, uhh, oracle, for the princely sum of 50 cents. I know, ripped off, I hear you say. But how could I resist a book which is 'founded on an entire new plan which never fails to reply to any question asked'.
And it's devised by Cornelius Agrippa, 'being an infallible prophet of the male sex'. I know, it gets more irresistible every minute, huh?
First published in 1857, it promises to answer questions such as...
Shall I soon be courted?
Ought I to believe the tender vows that are breathed to me?
What disposition will my husband be?
Is the repentance sincere?
Will my reputation be always good?
Have I any rivals?
...and of course the ageless classics...
Does my husband always tell me the truth?
The secret that I hide, will it be discovered?
Shall I die maid, wife or widow?
Basically, it was the first Magic 8 ball.
After choosing one of the 100 questions on offer, you close your eyes and place your finger..... NO, I SAID ORACLE, NOT ORIFICE.... upon a table printed in the book, the symbol your finger lands on corresponds to an answer to your question, yada yada yada, and there you have it, problem solved.
According to Cornelius, 'Nothing is more easy or simple, and we have seen eminent and wise men struck with astonishment at the correctness of the Oracle, and never has a work of this kind been presented to the public in such a state of perfection, and we flatter ourselves that upon a trial it will be universally admitted'.
Man, was old Cornelius an opium fiend, or what?
I decided to test it out and ran my eyes over the questions, skipping the ones about courtship (those days are long gone for me), virginity (ditto), good reputation (ditto), tender vows (way past that, 'are you awake?' is as good as it gets now), forgiveness (you've got to be fucking kidding), children (vasectomy took care of that), answering letters (what are letters?), long voyages (I hate flying), and what opinion the world has of me (I really don't give a fat rat's clacker).
The first question I chose was 'Will my husband make me happy?'
Close eyes, waggle finger, poke page, open eyes, have landed on symbol of one triangle. Check chart... Q23, one triangle, go to page 38.
Answer: 'Yes, every other day'
What the fuck? Only 50% of the time? That's not what I signed up for almost 24 years ago. So, he's only made me happy for 12 of those years? Pretty shit odds, I reckon.
In that case, let's try this one then. 'How many husbands shall I have?'
Eyes, finger, 3 squares, page 65.
Answer: 'Several in jest, and one who will cause you to weep'
I have no idea what this means. Several in jest? I'll marry them for a joke? Or I'll marry several clowns? I understand the one who will make me weep, coz if he's only making me happy 50% of the time, I'm crying the other 50%. Jeez.
Here's a good one. 'Has my husband loved any other woman as much as he loves me?'
Eyes, finger, 4 triangles, page 86.
Answer: 'As much, yes... more, no.'
My husband is in SOOOOOOO much trouble when he gets home. Stupid Oracle.
Bit scared of this one. 'Does my husband believe me to be really virtuous?'
Eyes, finger, 1 triangle, page 85.
Answer: 'He must be a simpleton to think so'
Right. Moving on...
Safer territory here. 'Will my life be peaceful or agitated?'
Eyes, finger, 1 square, page 25.
Answer: 'If you agitate the ocean you must expect a storm'
No wonder I get seasick. Of course I agitate it when I'm only happy 50% of the time, you idiot Cornelius.
This will be interesting. 'Have I any enemies?'
Eyes, finger, 3 striped squares, page 98.
Answer: 'None to be really feared'
As if. *looks over shoulder*
Oh dear. 'When shall I cease to love?'
Eyes, finger, 2 squares, page 43.
Answer: 'Very soon'
Not surprising, since I'm only 50% happy and he loved someone else as much as me. Cornelius is a wanker.
Oooh, good one. 'The wish that I have at this moment, will it be gratified?'
Eyes, finger, 1 triangle, page 8.
Answer: 'That is impossible'
Yeah, coz Cornelius is already dead.
Another risky one. 'Shall I be loved long?'
Eyes, finger, 3 striped squares, page 84.
Answer: 'It would be impossible to love you long'
Fuck you and your fucking oracle, Cornelius, you stupid arrogant twat.
Right, fuck this, final one. 'Will my husband have much intelligence?'
Eyes, finger, 1 circle, page 10.
Answer: 'Happily much less than you'
Cornelius is a fucking genius, he's really onto something here. Love it.