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    Tour de France (NLD)

    by , 10-26-2014 at 04:07 AM (321 Views)
    I was participating in the Tour de France, except there were no bicycles involved. At first I was swimming in a river. There were other people swimming around me, including little babies and their mothers. The babies were eligible for a special award if they could swim well on their own, but in one case we noticed the mother secretly helping her infant by supporting it from under the water, so it was disqualified.

    I didn't like being stuck in a group of people, so I exerted some effort to swim ahead of them and find my own space. It made me think about the huge variation in human athletic ability. In a long distance race like this, some people were already hours ahead. I figured I was probably somewhere in the middle, and I was sure that there would still be people hours behind me. I didn't feel any pressure to compete against others or try to finish the race quickly; it felt like the sort of event that one could complete at one's own speed.

    Under the water I could see seaweed in a form that resembled bundles of thick green ropes, stretching endlessly in the direction the river flowed. They looked like they were flowing along too, so I grabbed them to see if I could catch a ride, but they were moving slower than I could swim on my own so I let go again. The race course led me out of the river and now I was running on land down a quiet little house-lined street, like a small village.

    I was still thinking about that strange ropy seaweed. It had reminded me of thick cables of the sort that might carry electricity or another kind of signal. What would it be like if our society used biological materials like this for our technological infrastructure? I decided to try out the material, so I manifested a hand made out of the same stuff as the seaweed. It resembled a human hand in shape but was not connected to a body, and was light green in color. Mischievously, I made the hand crawl up the porch of the nearest house and pull the string of the bell that hung on the doorframe.

    The door opened, and inside I was surprised to see that the one who opened it was not a human but a chicken, an ordinary-looking hen. She must have been a Plymouth Rock, judging from her black and white barred plumage. It reminded me of a silly line I'd heard somewhere, so I joked, "There's nobody here but us chickens!" She didn't make any response—maybe she didn't know that one?—and I was still running so I soon passed by.

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