“Don’t touch that goop!” I redundantly exclaimed at my companion, who was at least elbow deep by now.
“No but you don’t get it man, it feels like reeally nice though”. He gazed lovingly at the ominous heap. It gently pulsated, and smelled vaguely of mangoes.
“Something this tactilely pleasing,” he explained, “is sure to be completely safe. This pile was clearly designed with the specific intent of getting touched.”
“I don’t think tactilely is a real wor-”
“In fact, this is such a blatantly obvious example of a touchably designed item, that anybody who does not at least give touching it a try must be some sort of dummy idiot.” He interrupted his loving gaze to shoot me a quick judgemental look, to make sure his thinly veiled insult was veiled thinly enough.
“In fact,” he continued, returning his eyes to their previous position of obsessive fixatedness, “any sane and rational individual would make sure all their senses were as involved as possible with this glorious gift from fate. As I am clearly such an individual, I shall henceforth engage my sense of speech. All praise the Pile of Softness!”
“I’m pretty sure speech is not a sens-”
“I can’t hear you over the sound of my rational action! Praise be! Rejoice! Hallelujah! …Wait can I say that, or would that be like some Jesus appropriation thing? Like is hallelujah religion-specific, or just some exclamation of general worship?”
“I’m not sure, I never really paid much attention in religion class. We have more pressing matters at hand, and speaking of hands I really think you should extract yourself before anything bad happens. I don’t like the suspiciously appealing nature of this thing, I bet it’s like an angler fish light dangle thingy kind of deal. It even has a sickly sweet scent, like carnivorous plants.”
“Can’t do that, I don’t think I have hands any more. They seem to have gotten removed at some point. This stuff feels reeeally good against my fleshy arm-stumps though.”
“I really hope that’s a tasteless joke you’re pulling now, leading up to you pulling yourself together, proceeded by pulling your still intact arms out of this thing.”
“Nah but like think about it man, what do I really need hands for anyway. What has the existence of intact limbs ever done for me?”
“Literally the majority of actions you perform every day?”
“Yeah right, you’re just making that up, bunch of handist propaganda. I bet you can’t think of a single example of a scenario where one would benefit from the presence of hands.”
The colour immediately drained from his face. He tore his eyes loose from the goop, to shoot me a look of pure pleading desperation. I hadn’t seen him look this distressed and pitiable since 10 minutes ago, when he asked me to borrow 5 bucks.
“Oh shit dude, you gotta help me get away from this thing man! I think it’s like seeped into my bloodstream and frozen me in place or something. Probably taken over my brain too, making me forget about the glory of high-fives!”
I eyed him and his constantly moving body suspiciously. “No movement, is it? That’s really unfortunate, seeing as you’re standing in an anthill.”
“WHAT! Getthemoffmegetthemoffme!” As his deeply sated fear of ants set in, his instincts took over. The panicked leap to safety was as elegant as a gazelle after a long night of hard drinking. The forceful backwards expulsion was enough to free his arms with a squelchy shwupp sound, as he stumbled backwards and broke his fall with his very intact hands.
“Oh thank fuck I got away! I could feel them crawling all over my body!” The look of desperate relief was one I hadn’t seen since I’d agreed to lend him 5 bucks 11 minutes ago.
“Yeah there’s no ants, I just wanted you to quit your bullshit.”
“Whaaat, what do you mea- oh, right. The hand thing. Yeah I’m fine. This pile of goop here, it’s just from the explosion at the pudding factory. Today was mango day. Geez man, maybe you should watch the news sometime.”
“You… mean this isn’t some sort of alien life form, here to take over our minds and bodies? But… it was pulsating!”
“Yeah I was wriggling my fingers in there, it feels really weird. Squelchy.”
While my companion being a bit of an idiot was indeed a more reasonable explanation than a hostile alien takeover, it only made more sense by a very small margin. It still wasn’t a reasonable course of action, by any means. As much as I hated having to admit my ignorance, I was going to have to ask him why he’d done it. I did.
“Well, you see, I know how much high-fives mean to you. so I saw this giant pile of what is obviously mango pudding if you approach it with any hint of critical thinking skills at all, and I thought hey, let’s act like I lose my hands to this thing. I just wanted to know if you’d still love me if I were more dexterously challenged. High-five!”
I left him hanging.