How does the food come up with these activities? It is absolutely baffling that the species manage to thrive when every waking moment is spent in trying to come up with new and exciting ideas on how to more effectively get themselves out of the gene pool.
Confused? So was I. Recently I have become the center of attention of what the food call a “gambling rig.” They even have specific names for this, the people running them are “bookies” (how that relates to “books” is anyone’s guess, mine is that somehow these used to write about their exploits – keeping a “log,” which can later be burned to keep oneself warm). The people who visit them are “gamblers.” And I am the bet.
Yes, they are betting on me. How? Several things. The kind of food I will manage to snatch next. The kind of food I will go for when offered several to choose from. The length of time it will take me to capture something or other.
And so, for the last few weeks my home has been surrounded by food, excitable, irrational food. They cheer when I choose what they wanted, and despair when I don’t.
It’s all very interesting, I have to admit, and quite insightful too. I have concluded that becoming a bookie is the sign of a food that can connect cause and effect. They calibrate the odds to my reactions with surprising accuracy, and inversely I can calibrate my responses to their odds and see how they adjust when I am not within their predictions.
Usually they start with “hm, that’s odd,” which explains the term; very strange language this.
I have also realized that I cannot overdo the unpredictability, or the foods lose interest. While I hesitate to use the word, one can almost describe that behaviour as “rational.” When they cannot predict the system, the bookies leave.
As a result of all this excitement, three things have happened:
- I have been eating well for the last few weeks.
- I have been having a grand time of it. My favourite is when I break the odds at the right time, and the food that placed the wrong bet jump into the pit in despair.
- I so want to eat a bookie. Crafty, intelligent prey. There has to be a way to get at them, or so my pride tells.
Pride? Well, it must be a difficult thing for the food to comprehend, but it’s these little challenges that spice up life when one lives for several thousand years. Job satisfaction, if you will.
The real insight into the bookies’ intelligence came one day during a not very noteworthy bet. I was presented with three Twi’leks, one of my favourite foods. Three of them, not particularly different, properly restrained and within tentacle shot, a rational being would expect the chances to be fairly equal, and for what I gathered from the chatter outside, so it was. Some bet on the fatter one, others on the more healthy-looking one, and even on whichever was their “lucky number.”
Superstition: The cry of the almost rational mind which is within reach of truly understanding cause and effect, but hasn’t gotten there yet. So cute.
But the chances were not equal. While I was deciding which one to pick, a delicious smell reached my sensory tendrils. A familiar, oh so delicious one.
I couldn’t feel any Jawas nearby. No, surely they didn’t…
They did. They had basted one of the Twi’leks in Jawa gravy. I twitched slightly, that surely had to be delicious! But then I hesitated.
The game was not fair, but obviously the gamblers did not know that. Or so I thought. But for now I couldn’t see a way of taking advantage of that. So I did the predictable thing and ate the Jawa gravy basted Twi’lek first.
Side note: It was delicious.
But I paid attention to the reactions. The usual disappointments, cries of joy and… And a barely noticeable subset of food that didn’t feel particularly happy or surprised despite having won the bets.
So there it was.
Opportunity knocking. Of course, the best way to make use of it was the way of the Sarlacc: Patience.
I let the food build a comfortable prediction of my behaviour. I stuck to it religiously (which did not make the food suspicious, and I suspect the reason is they did not believe me intelligent… Hilarious, I know). From time to time, there was a rigged bet, and I bit like I was supposed to. Just waiting.
Until the right opportunity came.
The bet was a simple one that day. On the one hand, a juicy, plump, healthy Twi’lek. On the other hand, a scruffy looking human (I heard the term “nerf herder” for the first time that day). The bets were heavily on the Twi’lek side, except for a small subset of people who bet large sums on the nerf herder.
The nerf-herder was, again, Jawa-flavoured. The bookies knew where my preferences would go. The odds were only slightly favouring the Twi’lek as more likely, much more than what my usual behaviour would warrant, in a bid to steer foods with a modicrum of Sarlacc knowledge towards betting for it, and leave the bet for the secretly flavoured human to the food in cahoots with the bookies.
When all was said and done, the food was released. I waited for a bit, gave a bit of theatrical suspense by appearing indecisive.
And then I took the Twi’lek.
There were cries of joy, there were cries of outrage.
And there were cries of bookies who had to face payment of large sums to those who bet for it, and had to face the angry subset of food who thought the bet was a sure thing. There was anger, there was fighting.
And there were bookies being thrown down the Sarlacc pit by the universally angry mob.
Have I mentioned how sweet victory tastes? Odd, isn’t it.