I'm looking for the source of the following story, which I remember only vaguely.

There was a computer, let's say, in the basement of MIT Biochemistry building, which started shaking, smoking and making strange noises. It had found the cure for cancer or solved interstellar travel or something like that. It was just excited and wanted someone to come by and ask it the right question, so it could give the answer.

Can't remember the ending, or where I read it. It's similar to the Vonnegut story of the Alien who landed to give humanity all the answers, but unfortunately landed next to a house on fire, ran in farting and tap dancing (that's the way it talked) and the house owner brained it with a 9 iron. But it's not that story, or the Asimov computer story. This was maybe a paragraph of some other story, perhaps Asimov or Vonnegut.

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    Welcome to the site. You have a good start here. If you could take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit in any more details, that would be great. Every little bit helps us. – amflare Feb 2 '18 at 21:25
  • So... the last paragraph? What does that mean if it's a completely different story? Are you trying to indicate that they didn't understand the computer, much like Vonnegut's alien? – FuzzyBoots Feb 2 '18 at 21:35
  • Anyone know the name of that Vonnegut story about tap dancing farty Alien? I know it's not the question asked but it's got me intrigued – DannyMcG Feb 3 '18 at 5:04
  • @Danny3414, the farty alien story is The Dancing Fool from Vonnegut's book Breakfast of Champions. – sudhanva Feb 3 '18 at 9:05
  • I don't want to add this as an answer, because I am not sure of which book it is and it's been a while so my memory is fuzzy. But it does sound like a sub plot within a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel. The wizards at Unseen University build a machine and it gets all crazy and excited, but no one can figure out why, or what questions to ask it. – Bekah Evie Bel Mar 7 '18 at 2:46

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