The Ultimate Computer stood at the end of the Ultimate Computer Company's production line. At which point the guided tour eventually arrived. The salesman stepped forward to give his prepared demo.
"This", he said, "is the Ultimate Computer. It will give an intelligent
answer to any question you may care to ask it".
At which a Clever Dick
stepped forward - there is always one - and spoke into the Ultimate Computer's
microphone. "Where is my father"? he asked.
There was a whirring of wheels
and flashing of lights that the manufacturers always use to impress lay people,
and then a little card popped out. On it were printed the words "Fishing off
Clever Dick laughed. "Actually", he said, "my father is dead"! It
had been a trick question!!
The salesman, carefully chosen for his ability to
think fast on his feet, immediately replied that he was sorry the answer was
unsatisfactory, but as computers were precise, perhaps he might care to rephrase
his question and try again?
Clever Dick thought, went to the Ultimate
Computer and this time said, "Where is my mother's husband"?
Again there was
a whirring of wheels and a flashing of lights.
And again a little card popped
out. Printed on it were the words: "Dead. But your father is still fishing off