I believe I have commented before on the curious suicidal tendencies of the food. One that caught my eye (and would have, thus, rendered me blind were I to have eyes and interprete this strange food language in a literal way) was the explanation that it made them, somewhat, feel alive.
This is a strange paradox. While I can understand such an approach being a reasonable evolutionary outcome (the high rate of selection enforcing a much quicker increase of the species’ fitness), I simply couldn’t understand why any self-aware organism would volunteer itself to be removed from the gene pool in a bid to increase the fitness of the whole species. It was quite a paradox, one that had me doubting the food’s self-awareness in the first place.
It seemed just too altruistic to be true.
But I have had to come to terms with it, and I have termed it “coming of edibility.” Food that is ready to test how alive it is by facing me, is alive enough to be eaten and fail the test. The Sarlacc, thus, decides who lives and who dies as a snack.
Odds are good for the dying bit. Free tip if you are of the gambling type.
I have, however, through astute observation, improved and maximized my approach towards food acquisition based on this trait.
The Sarlacc is probably the most powerful optimization force in the Universe. Given enough incentive, in the form of food, I am sure I could create a perpetual motion engine.
Admit it, you had to think for a bit and wonder if I was being serious.
Of course I was.
Where was I? Right, optimization. See, I noticed that the food that rarely got away (rarely being the keyword) was not seen again in a long time. It did not seem like a big mystery, managing to get away from the Sarlacc is rare enough to instill a newfond love for being alive in even the most suicidal lemming, but thanks to a particularly obnoxious and boisterous food, which I made sure I’d remember in case we crossed paths again (an unlikely event, given the tiny lifespan of these talking sacks of meat), I understood an additional social undercurrent in the food’s hierarchy.
The one that got away (and I still cannot understand what is so special about that phrase) and I crossed paths again. Given how terribly nonexistant my movement path is, the only way this could happen was for the food to come near again. And come near it did.
What I observed was quite enlightening. The food had, apparently, gained some notoriety inside its tribe, and was lording its newfond status over the rest. He had decided to come and “show them all” where it had all happened.
I am not unacquainted with this particular behaviour, I am a sight to behold (hold on the be, whatever it may be). But when the younglings of the tribe started to emulate their senior, amidst cries of fear, terror, and elation (from themselves and from the rest of the tribe) I realized that was opportunity knocking.
I of course ate the food. Quite a few of them… Except one.
The one that got away.
The one I let get away with it. It got away with its pride. And what a ruckus that caused! Surely this would be of some advantage. And it was.
This is all primal food behaviour, I am sure I do not need to explain it to you, my dear reader. But to voice the bovious, there was a dispute in the food’s hierarchy.
There were loud cries of excitement, angry threats, taunts and bewilderment. There was only one option of course. The food will try again. The Sarlaccdome, two food enter, one food leaves!
Usually no food leaves, but I don’t think they wanted to contemplate that possibility.
So they came at it again. The tribe watched breathlessly, two of their best came to taunt the almighty Sarlacc…
And miraculously, both got away again.
They tried a third time, getting even closer this time, challenging me even more. And still came on top.
The tension was palpable, the challenging food obviously having a hard time of it, and the crowd getting tense and restless, crowding like a crowd would trying to get a better view.
The best way to get a better view?
Getting a bit closer.
That’s because, you see, confidence is contagious. So is enthusiasm.
And so is Death by Sarlacc™. I managed to restrain myself long enough, and most of the tribe managed to get a vantage point to watch the race of these two… From the inside of my stomach. I am sure they gave those two a hero’s welcome once I swallowed them too.
Getting away strategy #17: When a food “testing itself” gets away, let another food from the same tribe go. while it not always works, the net result is a positive food flow into my belly.
Hat tip with the tip of my hat to the Specimen’s tip, I should be more open minded about baiting food with other food. Sometimes it IS useful!