Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Love letter to a lab rat

To that one rat (you know who you are):

Hopefully, you won’t find this too forward of me, but I’ve noticed that you’ve noticed that we’re running the same maze.
This may or may not be attributed to the intelligence-boosting injections they’ve been giving us for the last three years, but it is a pleasant and welcome surprise. I don’t want to brag or anything, but I think the drugs kicked in sooner for me than for you. I actually noticed you first, maybe a few months ago, and I must say that the unfortunate period of hair loss that you experienced, either from the injections or from necessary cranial shaving for further experimentation wasn’t enough to throw me off. No sir. I’m a bright rat.
So now, since we’ve noticed each other, and you seem to enjoy me as a distraction as much as I enjoy distracting you, maybe I should inform you that the profuse perspiration issue is a side-effect of the injections. I know some rats think that’s hot (perspiration in female rats, not medical experiments) and you don’t seem to mind, but that much sweat pouring out of a rodent can cause all sorts of problems both unsightly and irritating—itching, dandruff, acne—and I don’t want this to crop up later as a potential problem if we ever happen to interact beyond running back and forth past each other in the gauntlet or running side-by-side on the wheel.
I’ve also noticed that we seem to be silently competing for who can stay the longest in the maze. Thank you for being a gentleman and letting me win. I find that extremely attractive in male rats, especially in one with superior deltoids, biceps and lattisimus dorsi. You know, you don’t really need to stay as long as you do. A rat burgeoning with as much mass as you have could easily get by on 45 minutes a day.
I got that you made note of my lower body conditioning today. If you ever want pointers on building your gastrocnemius maybe I could trade what I know in exchange for some spotting on the chest press. I’m not saying that your legs are small, but if we ever get to the point that our injections render us capable of speech, it might be a good starting point for interaction.
Considering that it is our lot in life to be lab rats, I think we both have to accept the fact that the aforementioned experimental psychological achievement may not come within our generation. This is an unfortunate possibility, but if your level of intelligence has progressed to the same level as mine, you will understand the gift we have been given that is our cognizance of one another and our admiration for the physical product mutually displayed in conjunction with the intelligence-boosting injections we receive, which thankfully has not yet lead to our untimely demise.
It is a gamble that you will even be able to read this letter, but I must say, it is a privilege and a delight to see you, day after day, problem solving with your uniquely rodent strategy.  I will keep watching. Don’t even pretend that you won’t do the same. If only I could convey an adequate token of my admiration. I push the levers after you leave, again and again, hoping each time that wherever you are, five-pound blocks of cheese fall before you from the sky.

Until tomorrow,
That other rat (me)

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