I recently had the opportunity to interact with humans on a fascinating level and engage in activities they apparently frequently are found doing.
I was reviewing my notes on an upcoming event on the calendars of the humans of this nation (a geographically-bound collection of humans that trade and fight with other similar collections of identical humans), a date known as “St. Valentine’s Day”. Information on this was scant, but I gathered it dealt with facing profound loneliness by means of ingestion of various confections and sweets.
Whatever the case, I was interrupted by a call. A colleague of mine, Herman Bubbert, proposed to me that I should get out into the field and observe humans interacting with one another at an event known as “Nite @ the RFC”. This was apparently a nite of games. Sports. “Fun.”
Shortly thereafter I found myself striding through the snow-drenched entryway of the RFC. Immediately my trained eye went to work.
Standing around a long table covered in food were small clusters (no more than seven or eight) of people. Others stood in self imposed lines loading up small plates with food or cups with various fluids. I followed suit, and got a plateful of chips and crackers. And cheese. And hummus. And some ice tea. And some more crackers. And cheese. They had some decent cheese.
My next task was to observe the humans more closely in the adjacent gymnasium.
I was astounded by what I found. A vast inflatable structure served as the arena for vicious, but terribly ineffective, fights. Another inflatable structure tested the inertia of humans, restrained as they were by long elastic cords—data was apparently collected based on the position of a Velcro ball placed by the test subject at their farthest reach.
Still other humans engaged in activities the likes of which I can’t possibly describe here. The general form of these activities (the technical term is “sports”) was a group of humans all trying to accomplish the same goal all at once. As might be expected, quite a useless exercise. The group generally was split in two “teams”, however, each side working together to accomplish things any individual by themselves could not possibly have wanted to do. Complex scoring systems yielded exactly the same result each time. A team won—this was without variation. I’m still baffled by the futility of this.
But I digress. My greatest accomplishment was my participation in another activity here. A Bingo tournament. These humans played a high steaks game whereby the winners would receive a light-weight garment and losers would receive nothing. These shirts likely signified victory over chance in some way; I have yet to work out their exact function in the regional culture of these particular humans.
The experience itself was exhilarating. As each new number appeared on the screen, close to 40 humans collectively exclaimed as to the presence or lack of such a number on their card. The excitement in the room was almost palpable as the pile of shirts rapidly dwindled until there was but one shirt left. The numbers were spoken, coins and marbles placed on Bingo cards, and…
In all my theorizing about humans, I never suspected anything like this. The symbol of human success—this shirt—was mine. I may have expected a warm welcome from those remaining humans, respect for my accomplishment, acceptance perhaps. Unfortunately, the atmosphere among the remaining humans had turned almost hostile. It was at this point I quickly and quietly vacated the region.
In conclusion, I find humans—once again—to be a fascinating, yet thoroughly confusing species. The concept of “sports” warrants more research. I also plan a careful analysis of the shirt. Furthermore, note that this very Friday is St. Valentine’s Day—as the humans would do, prepare to eat various sweets!